5 Ultimate Adventure Families
Raising a family is an enormous responsibility. A large part of your job as a parent is to keep your children safe and breathing until they’re 18, so the thought of clipping them into a pint-sized climbing harness and dangling them over cliffs is likely followed by the image of a Child Protective Services social worker gone ballistic. It’s one thing to risk losing a kid in Disneyland, but entirely another on the streets of Delhi or jungles of Costa Rica.
“Yeah, no, I think I’ll wait until my kid can pay for her own supplemental insurance plan, thank you very much,” you might think as you shelve your dreams of world travel and thru-hikes. Or, if you’re still on the fence about raising kids, you might opt to postpone parenthood in favor of crossing off half your bucket list.
We’d like to introduce you to five families who, to one extent or another, have built their family lives around exploring extremes, from new continents to cultures to climbing routes.
RESIST. That’s the first word you’ll read on John and Amy’s blog, but after 15 years writing about their travels as newlyweds and their backcountry family adventures, it won’t be the last. The family pushes back against the typical sideline-soccer-coach weekend routine, pretty much owning the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor recreation opportunities.
Their kids Clara, Lillian, Henry (a.k.a. “Mr. Wallace”) and the trail pups that have joined them over the years grew up learning to backpack, fly fish, camp, and participate in the regional mountaineering community.
We think you’ll enjoy John’s sense of humor as he chronicles three (maybe five?) childhoods spent building skills and exploring new interests, some of them involving conservation programs and important research on the microbes that live in snow. We particularly enjoyed John’s advice on acquainting non-outdoorsy kids to the trails; this post was inspired by a trip when his own kids insisted on bringing their less-experienced buddies with them.
Meghan Ward started this award-winning blog in 2012 to inspire (and amaze) parents who worry that family life means stuffing the adventure gear in the attic until the wee ones are old enough to buckle their own crampons. Want to know how to hike and camp in the backcountry with an infant? She’s done it with two small daughters. What’s it like to travel and trek while pregnant? Meghan knows all about it, and she’ll share with frank, well-researched, and beautifully-written blog posts and gear reviews. The photos are stunning, too.
Dig through her archives, and take your time reading some of the more introspective posts to see how her thoughts on outdoor parenting have evolved over the years. Meghan writes for multiple outdoor-oriented publications, and we’re grateful she’s maintained this project for the benefit of rookie rambling families.
When your family has spent six years traveling the globe, how do your kids get an education? I mean, beyond learning about new cultures, world history, the environment, and how to pack a carry-on like a pro? World Travel Family covers anything you’d ever want to know about global travel whether you’re kid-free or have young ones in tow. But what might interest some of our readers most is their information-rich section on home schooling or, as they call it, “worldschooling.”
Kids “D” and “Boo” are home schooled under the U.K. system, but blogger Alyson’s insights and extensive resources are no less valuable to any family on the go. She’s also got a ton of advice for building remote careers, including how to earn income through travel blogging.
Tanya Coob is a freelance writer who, along with her husband and 10-year-old son, don’t take their home stomping grounds for granted. She’s been blogging about their Calgary-based adventures since 2011. As they’ve pledged to “get out to the mountains almost every weekend” and plan major backcountry adventures each summer and winter, climbing, hiking, mountain biking, and downhill skiing is second nature to their kid.
Tanya’s put together some fantastic destination guides based on actual experience—not content grifted from generic travel sites. Proof? There they are, in full color, biking flow trails or summiting peaks in the rugged and breathtaking Canadian Rockies.
Because there are five days between weekends, Tanya’s posted her tips on Calgary urban hikes, and since she’s been an adventure mom for nearly nine years, parents of toddlers might want to check out her advice geared toward rugrats.
OK, at first blush we thought this slick blog was stuffed with outsourced articles and top-shelf stock photography. “The Ultimate Guide To…,” “7 Tips For…” and “How To XXX in ZZZ on a Budget.” On closer inspection, it’s obvious the five young Averett kids (aged 11, 8, 6, 4, and 1) and their parents earned the right to be so authoritative. They actually have seven tips to make your family trip to Jordan unforgettable, and yes, you can take the whole gang on an African safari without raiding anyone’s college funds.
The Averetts’ expertise lies in exploring the Middle East, where they lived and worked as expats for a few years before taking a year off for family world travel. Now that they’re back stateside, their adventures are closer to home but no less spectacular. They’ve posted quite a few articles about their adventures across Utah, KÜHL’s home state, with gear reviews and trip reports parents with small kids will appreciate.
We love the short-but-sweet post, “On Moving Back: A Letter to Our Kids” in which Mom and Dad remind their children that the lessons they’ve learned in their travels will make them more accepting, curious, adaptable, and courageous as they settle down into their new lives as so-called “normal” suburban kids.
Bonus: Homegrown KÜHL Kids
Ambassador Nicole Goodman has been sharing her adventures raising KÜHL kids since the early days of the Born in the Mountains blog. From glacier gawking in the Canadian Rockies to SUP on the Croatian coast, she loves globe trotting with her husband and two daughters.
Is Your Family a KÜHL Family?
New adventure family blogs are popping up all the time, which means kids are testing their boundaries, bonding with their parents and siblings, and learning to adapt to and learn from experiences one can only encounter outside the sandbox. While we get high marks on leading outdoor review sites, there’s no better endorsement for travel and outdoor clothing than those written by parents (and kids) who test them “in the wild.”
We picked these adventure family bloggers based entirely on the merits of their content. Most of our outdoor performance wear is geared toward the grownups, and we have an amazing group of brand ambassadors field-testing our gear.