We always talk about finding great adventure buddies + getting to know new friends on the trails. But what about family!? Do you get outside with family? Do you love it? Hate it?
We don’t know…we rarely talk about it here on the Adventure Blog. Which means that is exactly what we’re about to start chatting about.
On a personal level, my family adventures are rather limited. In part because the majority of my family lives at least 1,000 miles away from me. Another reason we don’t get a lot of family adventures in is because we have very different views on what an outdoor adventure is.
My mom prefers to bike along paved paths, while my brother was once into pretty aggressive mountain biking. My other brother takes to the slopes with abandon on his snowboard, while I tend to play it a bit safer. I prefer to run long distances or take on extended hikes, while everyone else is keen on a few hours outside followed by hot chocolate or french fries.
We’re all different in how we get outside, but we do all get outside. What’s more important than making our preferred styles of adventure match is figuring out how to get them to overlap from time to time.
This happened a few summer’s ago in the TETON Sports #yourlead van. I committed to three months of living in the #yourlead van with a new van buddy every week or so. My mom + my youngest brother both joined me on different occasions + for different reasons.
Getting My Brother Up A Mountain
It didn’t take much work to talk my brother into joining me. All I needed to do was promise mountains + meals to get him on board. We spent nearly 10 days living in a van together. Mind you, this was after about 10 years of only seeing each other at family events. Luckily we seem to travel quite well together. I believe we visited 3 states, stopped by a few National + State Parks then hiked to the summit of a 14,000 foot mountain. I cooked breakfasts of eggs + sausage followed by days full of snacks + dinners of pasta + veggies. We rarely showered, hiked more miles in a week than he had in his entire life + generally had a blast.
Convincing My Mom To Live In A Van
My mom took a bit more convincing. After explaining we could easily get access to showers as we drove through cities with recreation centers she reluctantly agreed. We spent a week roaming Montana, camping in Idaho, driving across Wyoming + introducing her to ultra trail running in Colorado. She slept in a tent under the stars, learned how to chill at a coffee shop just for the WiFi access + accepted a ride from a stranger at the Never Summer 100K. It’s pretty safe to say that she had a better understanding of why I do what I do. She got to experience the solitude, the calm + the quiet of being on the road as well as the chaos of ultra races, the logistical headaches of constant travel + kindness of humans.
During those two weeks of family bonding in the #yourlead van I got to show two people who are a huge part of who I am what my life is all about. I got to share my ups + downs on the road as well as push each of them toward their limitations in the wilderness. My brother climbed the highest mountain of his life, even after wanting to turn around half way up. My mom watched her daughter take on 62 miles of running + actually enjoyed spending 24 hours chasing me around the mountains.
They seemed to have a lot of fun catching a glimpse of my life on the road as a nomadic wanderer. I know I had a blast showing them my world + watching them try new things + actually love what they’re doing outside.
Since then I’ve convinced my brother to join us on a remote yurt trip that required skinning a few miles. Even better, my mom is coming to visit for a week of mountain exploring in a few weeks. Apparently I didn’t manage to scare them away the first time…
how do you get outside with your family? Why do you get outside with your family? Has you family helped you become the explorer you are?
These are all rather rhetorical questions [although we’d love to hear your story] that we’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Tis the season to be surrounded by family, indoors + out. Which means this is the perfect time to share your version of adventure!