Adventuring with kids

Traveling with kids on an outdoor adventure can be great fun or a giant pain. . . The Spring 2011 issue of Women’s Adventure Magazine outlines a few tips for motivating kids.  Some of the tips were particularly relevant for your next climbing adventure with children in tow.  

Tips included:


  1. Involve the kids in planning the trip.  Not so helpful for a younger audience but particularly necessary for those that are in the pre-teen stage.  
  2. Make it fun.  This one changes with the child.  Example, if your child likes all things dirty, hiking with a bucket can be a joy. Think of other ways to make the entire experience an adventure.  
  3. Develop their hobby. Hope that they are climbers or find something like an interest in plants, fossils etc that they can safely explore while at a climbing area.  
  4. Set kid friendly limits.  I think this one is one of the most important things to remember for both parents and children.  Reset your expectations – don’t expect to hike as long as you do without kids. Don’t expect to climb from dawn to dusk without breaks.  If your child is young enough and needs constant supervision (as do ours), don’t expect to climb as hard with kids as you do without.  Women’s Adventure Magazine recommends that you plan “shorter distances aimed toward playful destinations”. When chosing a climbing destination and/or a specific area in which to climb, pick a climbing locale near a swimming area or someplace a child can safely explore while you climb. 
  5. Finally, the Women’s Adventure Magazine article suggests that you focus on comfort.  My addition – make sure that you have considered the basics like warmth, water, food, and then add in some favorite snacks.  No one likes being wet so consider the weather (and bring rain gear if needed).  Our “comfort” extra – we carry an REI Hammock for naps and/or rests.  For those naysayers that think comfort is overrated, I suggest that you lighten your load by scrimping on the basics for yourself.


Check out the whole issue or just the article on motivating your kids for outdoors at Women’s Adventure Magazine


New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.