21 days biking, canoeing, backpacking with a baby and a 3-year-old? Yep

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

After my kids were born, I could barely make it out the door with them for months. I checked and double-checked diaper bags. I made sure we had toys and ointments and clothing changes (for them and for me). More than once I forgot my actual wallet, so concerned was I with loading up all the stuff the babies needed.

The Markos, on the other hand, managed to take their little boy camping when he was 6 weeks old.

That was just the beginning of some epic adventures with their children. In fact, Maura and Bobby Marko and their children Jack, who is now three, and Rowan, who’s nine months old, are currently on a 21-day backpacking, canoeing, and biking trek through Minnesota. You can read about the family’s escapades on their blog, We Found Adventure.

Maura has some great tips for parents who want to get their children outside. She says the best thing to do is just try it and see what happens.

Just do it

“So often, the fears and concerns people have about adventuring with babies along prevent them from even trying it. If you’re really anxious or don’t want to go alone ask a friend, a family member, another family to join you on the adventure. Safety in numbers can often help people feel more comfortable. If you don’t know anyone who would be willing to go out with you look for local community hiking or nature groups. In Minnesota, we have a Hike It Baby branch and a Free Forest School where we can connect with like-minded parents for outings.”

Maura says that getting back outdoors was key when she was battling postpartum depression.

“I didn’t feel like I was successful as a mother, a wife, a daughter, anything. I couldn’t see a way through an hour alone with my own two children. On a cold New Year’s Day, we set off on a short hike to a frozen waterfall at a nearby state park here in MN. Planning for that day in the woods was refreshing, falling back into the old routine of packing a day pack and preparing for a hike felt so good and natural. Hitting the trails with my baby girl in a carrier on my chest, feeling her deep steady breaths as she slept away snuggled up in her snowsuit, a calm came over me. I began to think that maybe I could do this. And a little bit of my confidence crept back in…Here I am 8 months after my diagnosis and with the help of meds, family, friends, and the woods I am feeling wonderful!”

It won’t always be perfect

Just like anywhere else, kids do have tantrums and meltdowns on the trail, too “Handling tantrums in the woods is the exact same as when we’re at home. For us, it’s all about staying calm, not feeding into Jack’s emotional roller coaster, and giving him the time and patience he needs to find his calm. Recently, as we were descending a steep, rocky trail Jack was getting very anxious and stressed out as the trail was difficult for him to navigate but he was determined to do it on his own. He eventually asked for a time-out and sat down on the trail for some deep breaths. After that brief break, he was back on the trail, asking for help when needed and chattering away as if nothing had happened.”

And sometimes, trips just don’t work for one reason or another. I told Maura about our first camping trip with my 10-month old, which ended with me holding a screaming child at 11 p.m. while my husband frantically threw all our gear in the car before we drove to a motel. I felt better knowing she’s been there, too.

“There are most definitely times when trips don’t go according to plan and they need to be cut short. One of the first things we impress upon people is that if nobody is having any fun, just go home. It just isn’t worth it to force a trip for the sake of doing it if nobody is enjoying themselves.”

Amen, sister. Sometimes it’s best to just go home, regroup, and try again when everyone’s feeling better. But she makes a good point: “One thing we remind ourselves is that we’ve been kept up at night plenty of times by loud, drunk groups camping next to us. If our baby cries a little in the middle of the night it isn’t the end of the world and it’s just part of the environment when car camping in a campground.” So true. I have much more patience for crying babies than for full-grown adults who keep us up late, being loud at campgrounds!

The Markos are currently on the canoeing portion of their 170-mile trip. You can keep up with them on their blog, or on their Facebook page, where they’re posting videos and updates as they go.

Images by Bobby Marko, wefoundadventure.com

Have you had success taking your kids camping? What advice do you have?

For more kids’ activities and easy recipes, you can find Laura at Peace but not Quiet, and on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Misc Books and Media Mountain Biking in McCall Guide Book

Misc Books and Media Mountain Biking in McCall Guide Book


Welcome to the all-new 3rd edition of Mountain Biking in McCall. It’s hard to imagine a more premium place to ride than in the lush, shady forests in McCall, Cascade and New Meadows. The Payette Lakes region boasts thousands of square miles of public land that’s spiderwebbed by a vast network of singletrack and jeep roads in a wilderness-like setting. As part of your mountain bike adventure, you’ll commonly encounter postcard views of craggy granite mountains, tall-grass meadows, sparkling lakes and streams, a rainbow of wildflowers and a rich diversity of wildlife. It’s a mountain paradise. The 3rd edition of Mountain Biking in McCall features 40-plus rides–from a number of short singletrack rides to a ton of intermediate rides to full-day epic adventures for experts.
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Media ( Books, Maps, Video) Mountain Biking Boise Guide Book 6th Ed.

Media ( Books, Maps, Video) Mountain Biking Boise Guide Book 6th Ed.


Welcome to the 6th edition of Mountain Biking in Boise, published in 2012. The new edition contains the most popular rides in the Boise Foothills, including the Watchman Trail, Fat Tire Traverse, Freddy’s Stack Rock Trail, Mahalo Trail, and much more. We mountain bikers have much to celebrate in Boise considering that we now have access to more than 200 miles of trails, including 130+ miles in the Ridge to Rivers system, 80+ miles at Avimor and all of the trails, jumps, technical features and more at the Idaho Velodrome & Cycle Park in Eagle. This compares to an 85-mile trail system in 2002, when there was no public access to Avimor and the Idaho Velopark was a field of sagebrush. All of these additions to the mountain biking experience in Boise puts our community one step closer to Mayor David Bieter’s goal to be “the most livable city in America.” I would venture to say that Boise’s mountain biking assets rival any city of its size anywhere in America, and it should be considered a Top 10 mountain bike destination in the U.S. Now, with the latest edition of Mountain Biking in Boise, you’ve got 65 trails (well, 66 actually) to explore. Seize the day, grab your bike and go have some fun! If you’re new to mountain biking, you can ride a progression of beginner rides and intermediate rides and work up to advanced/expert rides. Just take it one day at a time, one ride at a time, and you’ll get there! Have fun!
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Merrell Shoes Women’s J86612 Waterproof Leather Biking Hiking Shoes

Merrell Shoes Women’s J86612 Waterproof Leather Biking Hiking Shoes


Whether your idea of a weekend venture is braving a mountainside for work or facing the farmers’ market, you’re going to want the right women’s shoes. Step into comfort, style, and versatility with Merrell Women’s J86612 Taupe Moab Ventilator Waterproof Leather Hiking Shoes. These multi-functional shoes are designed to give you all the support you need, no matter the task at hand (or foot).The uppers of these hiking shoes are made from a combination of waterproof leather and breathable mesh, so you get the best of both worlds. The leather keeps you dry, while the mesh panels allow air to flow in and out of the Merrell shoes, ensuring your feet don’t overheat. The interiors are lined with mesh, too, which helps wick sweat away so it evaporates more quickly. The result is drier, warmer, cleaner feet. And who doesn’t want that?Support is important, too. Merrell knows it. That’s why they gave these waterproof shoes their Merrell M Select FIT.ECO blended EVA contoured footbeds. Those combine with built-in molded nylon arch shanks to ensure anatomically-correct support where you need it most. The soft footbeds offer organic odor control, too, so you’re doubly protected.When the terrain gets rough or the day gets long, your feet will appreciate the Merrell air cushions built into the heels. They absorb shock and add stability on long hikes as well as easy-going afternoons. And speaking of rough terrain, what about those times you need some extra traction to get up a steep hill or across a sandy stretch? Don’t worry: Merrell thought of that, too. They gave these babies a set of Vibram high-performance rubber outsoles with 5mm-depth lugs. They’re stable, durable, and slip-resistant, as well as shock-absorbing and fatigue-reducing.All of those features…and still these leather shoes weigh just under two pounds. Not bad, eh? At this point, good-looking is just icing on the cake. Hope you like icing. Warm taupe with blue and black accents is stylish enough to wear out socially, and it’s neutral enough to match your most eclectic athletic gear.It’s so satisfying when you find one solution that takes care of multiple questions, isn’t it? Stop questioning what women’s footwear to wear when you’re running around (literally or figuratively). Step into a pair of Merrell Women’s J86612 Taupe Tan Moab Ventilator Waterproof Leather Hiking Slip-Resistant Shoes. Wasn’t that easy?Manufactured Sizes: M: 5-11
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Biking, Walking to Work Can Help Shed Pounds

U.K. study found a switch away from cars helped folks with 30-minute commutes drop 15 lbs in 2 years
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Health Tip: Practice Biking Safety

Follow the rules of the road

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Mountain Biking Moab Pocket Guide, 3rd: More Than 40 of the Area’s Greatest Off-Road Bicycle Rides

Mountain Biking Moab Pocket Guide, 3rd: More Than 40 of the Area’s Greatest Off-Road Bicycle Rides


The”Mountain Biking Moab Pocket Guide “gives fat-tire enthusiasts the skinny on where to ride in this southwestern Mecca for mountain biking. The best rides around Moab, in Canyonlands and Arches national parks, high in the La Sals, and along the Colorado River are all covered in this handy pocket-size guidebook. Detailed ride descriptions make it easy to find the trailheads and follow the routes, with easy-to-read maps and ratings for physical and technical difficulty. This guide will help mountain bikers choose a ride that’s appropriate for their fitness and skill level and is an indispensable companion for all their fat-tire fun.

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