Outside Magazine called her the “Mother on the Mountain”. Back in November 2013, I had the chance to interview The North Face athlete, Hilaree O’Neill, about the ongoing balancing act between her career as a ski mountaineer and as a mother of two young boys. What’s it like to climb Everest with two young kids back at home? How does she manage risk? What lessons has she learned over the years?
When the snow began to fall here in the Canadian Rockies, I immediately started to think about what I could do outdoors with my baby girl. Whatever we did, she’d have to be able to ride on me or in a sled or Chariot. I would also have to able to keep her warm. While I would be working up a sweat walking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, she’d be sitting still and getting cold.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say: even better if that village shares your interests and some of your philosophy on child-rearing. Imagine my joy when I discovered a wonderful online community of other outdoorsy parents from throughout North America – from Alaska to Georgia, Alberta, Colorado and beyond. This group has been keen to collaborate on articles, share each other’s new blog posts, and also offer up tips on outdoor parenting. I thought it was high-time to feature a bunch of them!
I asked each one for their favourite posts and their tips for new parents who want to get in the outdoors. I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am by their wise and encouraging words.
If you’re a new parent, the thought of taking your baby camping might seem pretty far-fetched. But if it’s something you love to do you may be tempted to give it a shot. Break them in early, right? I figured that the earlier we took our little one out, the better. If I didn’t try, I’d never know, and I might get too comfortable with the idea that it would be too hard. So, this past week my husband and I packed up our sleeping bags and ventured into the great unknown: sharing a tent with a 10-week-old baby.