This blog is an attempt to chronicle the trials and tears, as well as successes and joys of taking kids out into nature. Scenic pictures, funny stories, frustration, and laughter are the mainstay.
Tuesday morning we were rushing to get out the door. Running late for school again. My bright red raincoat was still damp from the weekend’s camping trip out at Fort Stevens State Park on the Oregon coast. But I grabbed it anyway. Later, standing at school drop-off and waiting for the bell to ring, I fumbled about the pockets hunting for my keys. Instead of keys, I dragged out a handful of slim silver and maroon tent stakes.
Search any women’s outdoor group, news article comments section, or hiking forum, and you’ll see some pretty strong opinions about women alone in the backcountry. Or solo women travelers, period. There seems to be such a stigma against wanting to be alone that’s made doubly so when female. The usual fears are aired about attack, injury, rape, safety, wild animals. While some are (slightly) more valid than others, it’s not something that’s inhibited me on my travels. It wasn’t because I’d decided to take a radical stand. It just didn’t occur to me that it was even something to worry about.
When I first started taking the kids camping, there were a fair number of raised eyebrows. Even more so when I had the kids in their own separate tent, right from the start. It hasn’t always been easy getting on the trail with small children, but I’ve tried to make the best of it in order to encourage them to spend time outside and to love the wilds as much as I do. There are some things that make it easier for parents who are taking kids out for the first time.
The logistics of single parent outdoor adventures can be daunting to say the least. There’s no partner to help set up camp while the other person cooks. And there’s sure as hell nobody there to help with tear down and the post-apocalyptic level of cleaning required when you get back home. There are times, just thinking about all the work necessary, raises a faint voice whispering “You don’t have to do this!” Thankfully, I ignore that voice.