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Go A d v e

e r u t n

FALL 2013




FAVORITE FINDS Best finds from the OR summer show

Dearest Adventurers, We’re so glad you’re taking the time to peruse what we think is fun and helpful info for adventurous families everywhere! After 5-years blogging we’ve had so many fantastic experiences, found super helpful products and have made very useful connections. We’ll be showcasing the BEST-OF-THE-BEST of what we’ve found, right here in this downloadable, easily sharable, fun to read format. This Fall 2013 is the inaugural issue of our seasonal digital magazine. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey with us! Family adventure is all about getting outdoors together. We’re aiming to help you create a generation of happy children who love nature and being outdoors.

Be part of raising a generation of nature-loving outdoorsy children. Adventure Mom offers easyto-replicate exploration ideas and field tested product reviews that enhance outdoor recreation. We also supply family travel tips, colorful infographics and family focused articles designed to inspire family activites and togetherness.

If you have a product you’d like to see the Adventure Mom Team feature, email us

We’ve done our best to compile adventures big, and small. No matter what life stage you and your children are in, we hope you’ll find some new ideas that inspire your family for creativity and create joyful memories. Whatever your adventure, have fun! --

Kathy Dalton and the Adventure Mom Team

We’d love to hear from you! Let’s stay in touch: 801-901-0515 Twitter Facebook www.facebook/GoAdventureMom Instagram www.instagram/GoAdventureMom Pinterest

subject line “Review.”


Featured Adventure Mom Bios Meet our team of real women, adventurous gals who love their kids and want to enjoy nature with them. Is this you? Kathy Dalton: Adventure Mom’s founder is expecting a whole new venture this spring when baby arrives, making her and husband Jon parents of three! As a former ski instructor, Kathy has taken her love for outdoor recreation and through the power of social media share her passion with the world. Kristin Sokol: A mid-thirties mother to daughters 5 and 7-years-old with a rad husband who also lives to adventure. They love slick rock hiking in Moab, skiing at Alta and family Razor scooter-ing around the neighborhood. Mary Edwards: A late thirties mother of fiveyear-old twin girls! Favorite family outdoor adventures include catching an elusive butterfly, dipping toes into an icy river and making the most of an eating an ooey-gooey S’more in the canyon. Christine Bowman: A mother to seven children, she enjoys the best of being a blended family. Our token baby boomer shows us that being in your fifties does not mean spending evenings in the recliner or wearing elastic waistband pants. This Grandmother to 13 shows us that the adventure gets better with age. Do you love having fun and sharing your experiences? Consider joining our team! Email us at

Contributors in this issue: Cover Photo - Adam Buchanan: This Colorado native and adventure photographer is a papa to three adventure hungry kids. Follow his beautifully documented exploits on Instagram @adam_buchanan Recipe - Jessaca Hallows: A food blogger and adventurous mom who creates excitement in kitchens across the country with her fantastic recipes sweet and savory. See Jessica’s site at: Craft - Summer Rumsey: Carving out a beautiful niche for her husband, three kids and two dogs, this experienced craft blogger shares her best home décor, craft and recipe tutorials at

Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way. Dr. Seuss


Contents table of

Fall 2013

Raise outdoorsy kids!

Page 6 Downloads and infographics


Teaching Children to Love the Outdoors - plus 5 ways to raise outdoorsy kids 6 Document and share your adventures - tips for using instagram 9 Help create the world’s largest online photo journal.

The Great Nature Project 10 6 Adventure Apps we think you’ll love 11

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Pitching a tent: 101 12 Easy Pumpkin Granola Bars 13 Interview with National Geographic Photographer Dan Westergren 14 Your Next Meal May Be In a Ditch 16 Building Strong Family Relationships 18

See cool finds from the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 20 How to give spoiled kids the best Christmas ever - and easy steps for starting a service project 22

Page 20

Fall Wreath Craft 24 Reading Rainbow App Review 25 Resources 26

Make this Fall wreath! Get these and other Page 24 cool apps Pages 9 & 11


free downloads and infographics Here are a few of our latest free digital goodies:

3 Tips For Happy Hiking Boots!

Adventure Mom’s Guide to Layering

20 Favorite Family Adventures in Utah

CLIF BAR Check out the latest seasonal flavor from CLIF Bar, Pecan Pie! This new energy bar combines a blend of spices and nuts to create that home-baked taste reminiscent of the holidays. CLIF Bar is also bringing their popular seasonal flavors back: Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie. In the giving spirit of the holidays, CLIF will donate one percent of all seasonal net sales to Protect Our Winters, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting against climate change. Pecan Pie, Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie CLIF Bars are available nationwide now, until supplies last (MSRP $1.39). These always sell-out quickly, so get them while they’re hot!


Teaching Children to love the outdoors


What is Nature Deficit Disorder? And, how does it relate to your children?

These combined factors are the leading contributors to Nature Deficit Disorder. Imagine how different your life would be if you had not experienced outdoor play as a child. Think of the friendships you built and the neighborhood connections created. Think of how you explored your world. Outdoor recration is critical in selfdiscovery, friendship building and plays an important developmental role in shaping adult perceptions about the world.

NDD is in NOT a disease. It’s a widely used term coined by author Richard Louv in his book titled Last Child in the Woods. The term is used to describe the steep reduction in children’s outdoor play over the last decade. It’s a new and potentially serious social problem. The term has been adopted and is regularly discussed by experts in the outdoor industry who know the value of the outdoors as it relates to children.

For more interesting insights on Nature Deficit Disorder and how to keep it out of your neighborhood, check out Last Child in the Woods. It’s a great read if you’re serious about avoiding the pitfalls surround this generation of kids. was born as a result of Kathy Dalton’s efforts to combat Nature Deficit Disorder. Her vision was clear. She and the Adventure Mom Team want to support parents and partner with brands that focus on keeping outdoor play and exploration a

According to experts like Louv,

Additionally, over the last 20

there are increasingly fewer

years, there has been a dramatic

places for children to play

increase in parental worries and

outdoors. Advancements in

concern during play outside

entertainment technologies have

the home. Fewer parents allow

made children less interested

their children to have regular

and less likely to WANT to play

supervised and unsupervised


outdoor playtimes.

priority for American Children and kids across the globe. Our site provides a way to share family-focused articles, infographics, and field-tested gear

continues on page 8


reviews to make being outdoors as simple and fun as possible Look to Adventure Mom to show you what works and what doesn’t. We depend on viewers to join the conversation and share ideas as we support each other to raise kids who love and appreciate being outside. Share what stops you from taking kids outdoors. Is it time? Money? Resistant attitudes from young ones? When you connect yourself to the Adventure Mom community, you connect yourself to valuable resources. You learn from parents who’ve been where you are. They can offer valuable stories, experiences and insight. Join our community today! Follow us on Facebook, subscribe to the newsletter and interact with us. We’d love to share insight and ideas with our nation-wide community of adventurous families. We want to get to know you!


Ways YOU Raise Outdoorsy Kids

1. Monkey See Monkey Do - Set the expectation by

modeling the kind of behavior you wish to see from your kids. This means puddle jumping, skipping rocks, jumping rope, and yes, it mean YOU on a Razor scooter (it’s fun)!

2. Let Them Explore - Pull back Helicopter Mom. Yes, I’m

talking to you! Stop hovering. Let them get dirty, roll on the grass or wade in the water. It will help them understand the relationship between cause and effect.

3. Let Them Lead - Kids should be involved setting the

tone for playtime. Allow kids to choose an event from a small list of activities you find acceptable i.e. going for a hike, nature walk or bike ride. Make them feel as “in charge” as possible.

4. Be Still - Help them to understand the beauty of sitting still and noticing the life sounds and sights occurring at every moment all around them.

Help them find a spot on a rock at the edge of the side walk or in the woods. Encourage them to simply sit and use their senses to enjoy their surroundings.

5. Start a Field Journal - Help kids remember the

highlights of their outdoor adventures. Younger children can draw pictures which are easily kept in a folder or binder in plastic sheet protectors. Older kids love having special notebooks to record experiences. Be sure to read and re-read these journals. It motivates them to do more. Consider scanning or sharing a photo of your kid’s finished page on your favorite social media or with family. Impressing grandma or mom and dad’s friends can be very motivating.


Document and Share Your Adventures -- tips for Using Instagram There’s a reason the Instagram app has swept the globe. It’s a great way to not only tell people what you’re up to, it’s how you can SHOW them. The Adventure Mom Team LOVES viewing Instagrams from outdoor enthusiasts all over the country. Some of our favorite instagramers include @USINTERIOR. Yes, it’s the official Instagram Handle for the U.S. Department of the Interior. As you might imagine every single image they share is totally breathtaking. Technology can play an important role in motivating us and inspiring others to stay connected to nature. We’ve found Instagram to be a great way to do this. If you haven’t gotten Instagram on your smart phone yet, don’t feel like you’ve missed the boat. It’s never too late to start, Adventure Mom is here giving you our official What-What Tutuorial on how to install and start using Instagram TODAY! How do I sign up for Instagram? You can only create an Instagram account using an app available for most smart phones or similar device.



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1. Download the Instagram app via the App Store for your iPhone/iPad, or in Google Play for an Android device. 2. Once the installed, tap the Instagram icon to open it. 3. Tap Register. 4. Create a username and password and fill out your profile info (ex: email, name). TIP: Make an effort to choose a name most people would know you by. If you name yourself lolipopkid147, it’s likely that even your closest friends won’t realize it’s you posting unless you’re in every photo.




Rhonna Designs

5. Tap Done. 6. Search for friends. Here’s the Instagram Handles for the Adventure Mom team: @GoAdventureMom, @Go_Adventure, @Kathydaltonslc, @thevocalsokol, @marescook & @christibow.

(try the fun embellishments to give your photo an extra pop!)

Be sure to use the hashtag #GoAdventure and tag us in your posts! 7. Start sharing photos! You can Instagram from your camera’s gallery or you can take a new shot, it’s up to you! 8. Once you’ve played around a bit more you might discover that there are apps you can use in conjunction with Instagram. See the sidebar for some of our favorites!



National Geographic is the undisputed leader in global nature photography and environmental issues. Adventure Mom is thrilled to be a part of the National Geographic Insider program. As a proud participant, we’re helping to test National Geographic Kids products when they’re in the early stages. One of our partnerships we’re working on is called the The Great Nature Project. The goal of the project is to create the world’s largest online photo journal. This is where your new or existing Instagram account comes in. The Great Nature Project is a fun way to use Instagram and teach children to take pictures. Just be sure to use the hashtag #GreatNature, #animals and #goadventure if it includes them when posting your photos on Instagram. For more information on The Great Nature Project go to:


6 Adventure Apps We Think You’ll Love

Oh Ranger! Free park app oh-ranger!-parkfinder/ id402715941?mt=8

Yonder Think Yelp meets the trails yonder/id643341612?mt=8

SkiUtah Snow Report Check out the snow report

Just Joking Great for family road trips ski-utah-snow-report/ just-joking/id672796476?mt=8

National Parks by National Geographic national-parks-by-national/ id518426085?mt=8

Reading Rainbow App Encourages reading app/reading-rainbow/ id512350210?mt=8


Pitching a Tent: 101 By Mary Edwards

Recently, I supervised a group of young women and young men on a 4-day survival trip. After hiking for 11 miles the first day, we found a campsite. The boys immediately pitched their tents while the girls sat waiting for them to finish so the boys could help set up their tents. I didn’t want the boys think the girls were too helpless and dainty to survive in the outdoors. I wanted to teach my girls not only to learn how to pitch and take down their tents, but to do it faster than the boys in our group. I was amazed at the sense of accomplishment Photo by Meliss a Avery at www.C the girls took in knowing how to pitch their own tent. Their knowledge gave them confidence in other areas of camping and they became as independent as any of the boys were by the end of the trip. You don’t have to be on a survival trip to learn to pitch a tent. It’s relatively simple. Each tent comes with its own instructions. If you don’t have them, look online to see if you can print them off. Either way, most tents are quite basic in set up.

What you need to: pitch a tent tarp • tent • tent poles • tent pegs or stakes • rain fly • stake mallet/rock Spread the tarp flat on the ground. Assemble the poles and then place them on the ground. Lay the tent on top of the tarp and if necessary zip close the doors and windows. Next, carefully push (don’t pull) the tent poles through the sleeves of the tent or attach them to the hook system. Then insert the pins on the tent corners into the end of the poles and up comes your tent. Finally, secure the tent corners and sides to the ground with the stakes using a stake mallet or rock. Make sure to tuck any edges of the tarp underneath your tent so it won’t collect water. Usually tents come with a rain fly.

What you need to: add a rain fly fly • stakes • poles (not all fly’s have poles) Lay the fly flat on the ground (strings will be attached to the fly). If the fly has poles lay them crosswise and place ends onto the pockets of the fly. Lift the fly over the tent and clip the corner strings of the fly onto the tent stakes. Then hammer the remaining strings with the stakes attached into the ground. If there are no poles, lift the fly over the tent and hammer the strings with the stakes attached into the ground. Photo by Erika Wiggins


Easy Pumpkin Granola Bars 1 Cup Granola 1 Cup Rolled Oats 1/2 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour 1 Egg 1/4 Cup Honey 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon 1/4 Teaspoon. Pumpkin Pie Spice 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips or Chopped Pecans

Photos by Jessaca Hallows

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine your granola, oats, and flour in a large sealed bag and shake. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, honey, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in either chocolate chips or pecans. Pour into your pan, and pat down firmly with a spatula or clean hands. Bake your bars for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool in the pan, then gently lift out using the foil. Cut into bars, and enjoy! Recipe adapted by Jessaca Hallows original


Interview with National Geographic P hotographer

Dan Westergren One of the greatest things Adventure Mom can offer readers is the connections and relationships we’ve worked hard to build. We’re proud to share an exclusive interview with National Geographic Travel photographer, Dan Westergren. Dan is the Director of Photography for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Follow him on Twitter @dwestergren and on Instagram @danwestergren. and gives our readers his take on teaching children to love nature through photography. Adventure Mom Asks: How do we teach children to love the

outdoors through photography? Westergren: For me, taking photos of nature has always made me appreciate it more. Some people may find the camera a distracting element, but it's always forced me to pay more attention to my surroundings. Adventure Mom Asks: What sparked your love for photography? Did you have an experience as a child

with photography? Westergren: When I was in Elementary School I would spend a week each summer at a camp in the woods on a lake. There was a camp staffer that would lead hikes in the woods showing us interesting things like Jack in the Pulpit planes and wild anise root. I guess I must have spent a lot of time hanging around his cabin asking questions. When I started 7th grade at the school where he taught science, he recognized me and sent one of the members of his photography club to find me. Then he proceeded to teach me how to develop film, and even though we use computers now, the wonder of watching a print appear in the developer tray never left me. I feel that same wonder when looking at a new set of pictures Adventure Mom Asks: Where do you find your inspiration? Westregren: Since a large part of my job is looking though other photographer's pictures, I draw great inspiration of following them along on their journeys through the photographs. I also find inspiration by looking at collections of photographs constantly. I used to have to go to the library to find photo books, but now so many bodies of work are available on the internet, it's much easier to look at many styles of work. I must say though that now the options on the web are overwhelming and I find myself looking for photo books that I can sit down and absorb.


Adventure Mom Asks: How do you see families getting involved in The Great Nature Project? Westregren: The Great Nature Project is a great family activity based around photography. If you're looking to get your kids interested in Nature, this is a great way to start. The photography aspect makes this so easy to get the kids involved. It's like a treasure hunt. The best part is you won't just be taking pictures for your own enjoyment. You’ll have the chance to add to the archive of photos being created from all over the world on the Great Nature Project website To join in, snap a picture of a plant or animal in your neighborhood, and upload it to a photo sharing site like Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, or National Geographic Your Shot, making sure to tag it #GreatNature. To participate in the record, add #animal to any animal photo. If you haven't used any of these photo sharing sites with them yet, this is a good opportunity to try it as a family activity. For photographs of animals in your neighborhood you need to get as close as possible to get a good photo, especially if you're using a phone. What I do is shoot a picture when I first see an interesting animal, since you probably won't be very close yet, try to get a picture that works with the animal as part of a larger composition. Resist the temptation to just take a picture of the animal in the center of the photo with a lot of nothing around it. Then, once you know you have a picture, start moving in closer to the animal. Move very slowly and don't make eye contact with the animal. There are a lot of wild rabbits in my neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia and my son and I realized that you can get close enough to step on them. Be careful though you don't want to get too close to a fox or raccoon.

Photo by Kathy Dalton

For birds, you should hang a bird feeder outside a window, then shoot pictures through the glass. If there is more light outside than inside you can get some amazing pictures. Of course there is more to taking pictures of nature than animals. Go for a walk in the woods and crawl around on your hands and knees looking for unusual plants and fungus that you won't see in your garden. Adventure Mom Asks: Thanks Dan, for sharing some great tips not only about photography and

nature, but also giving readers some great ideas about some exciting family activiy ideas. As you might have gleaned from the interview, Westergren is a real professional with a lot of valuable insight. We loved a recent National Geographic article written by Westergren about How To Photograph Kids. If you have trouble getting your kids to look normal in posed photos or have trouble even getting them to participate in a photo-shoot, check out Dan’s article here: A tip from this professional might be just what you’re waiting for. www.intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic. com/2013/08/30/how-to-photograph-kids


Your next meal may be . . .


in a ditch by Christine Bowman

Foraging for mushrooms.

In the local Intermountain West area the calendar for foraging is as follows: Asparagus – April through May In the Northern Utah area, look for wild asparagus along ditch banks throughout Weber and Cache counties. There are some rules for harvesting wild asparagus. For example, you should only remove about a 1/3 of the stalks from any plant. Look online for more information.

That’s what I thought as I scrambled over the moss covered, broken down trail up to Twin Lakes with a couple of friends.

Watercress, Wild Carrots, and Onions – May through June These yummy salad greens can be found along most canyons streams. Once you get them home be certain to wash the them really well.

I had it written somewhere on a piece of paper tucked back in my jammie drawer – Forage for Mushrooms in Eugene, Oregon.

Choke Cherries – Mid-July through Mid-August In Utah and Colorado these berries can be found all over the foothills and through the mountains. Choke Cherries make excellent syrups and jellies.

But wait. There at my very feet, were mushrooms, puffballs, and something that may, or may not, have been morels. Maybe I don’t have to go to Oregon? Maybe I can forage here in the Wasatch Mountains? Then my thoughts immediately zigzagged to foraging local pine nuts. And that ladies and gentleman is the mind of a person with ADD. Your next amazing adventure could and should be foraging for food. Although the season for most of us is over, it’s not too late to get the calendar out and plan for next year. A quick Google search – Foraging for Food in your geographic area will probably surprise you (as it did me) with maps, and information about how to find wild food. Also keep in mind that children are naturally curious and love the hunt of finding something. Foraging makes a perfect family activity.

Piñon Pine Nuts – September through October all

over the Southwest including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The easiest way to collect pine nuts is to find a tree with many mature cones, and place a sheet at its base. Then, shake the tree or try to knock off loose cones with a long stick. Mushrooms – April through September A word of caution: since there are more than 2000 species of fungi along the Wasatch Front, please consult an expert. Children need to know that many mushrooms are poisonous and that they should not pick and eat them without expert help. The Mushroom Society of Utah (801) 466-5124 can jump-start the novice with classes in identification and numerous field trips during the good mushrooming months. MSU holds a two-day foray, most often in the Uinta mountains. There are so many other opportunities to forage for fruit and other herbs, nuts, and greens. It’s an adventure just waiting for you to put on the calendar and make it happen.

Happy hunting!


Building Strong Family Relationships

By Mary Edwards

Horrified eight-year-old Dan dragged along the ground when his spur caught in the stirrup coming off his horse. He had fallen off a horse before, but this was different. He was in a hourse cutting show, an equestrine

Dan and his two sisters Anna (10) and Cate (5) and

competition, and he’d never been dragged along

his parents train for and compete in horse cutting

the ground. It felt like an eternity. He really didn’t

shows together. Dan’s parents decided to make

want to get back on his horse, in fact, it took him

horses a part of their lives early on. Riding horses

several minutes to consider it, but he mounted

was one of the things they bonded over when

his horse again and he’s never looked back. He

they first met. Since then, they decided to focus

continued to compete fearlessly in cutting shows

on creating strong family bonds through training

with his family.


music lessons, creating strong family bonds happen when you participate in an activity together. Sharing

Whether it’s horse cutting, outdoors, athletics, or music lessons, creating strong family bonds happen when you participate in an activity together.

Whether it’s horse cutting, outdoors, athletics, or

a common goal like getting to the lake at the top of the mountain, getting your footwork right in a sport, or performing your best at a recital can motivate the family to work harder. The unconditional love, encouragement and practice involved creates bonds that will last a lifetime. It won’t always be roses and rainbows, it will be a lot of hard work and occasionally you’ll get grumpy or frustrated with one another, but the family time is priceless. Training for cutting shows takes a lot of time and energy for the rider and the horse. For Christine, Dan’s mother, it is worth it. She says, “After doing all the work of loading the horses into the trailer, we have a half hour drive to the trainer’s each time we practice. We spend that time talking—about


Photo by Kathy Dalton

cutting, but also about the day, school, friends, life.

get their horses warmed up and saw them taking

We also spend the last few minutes of each drive

turns cutting before the competition.

doing mental preparation. We each say what we’re going to work on during that practice and then we

When Dan fell off his horse in his first show, his family

meditate on that detail as we conclude the drive. I

supported him and encouraged him. His mom said,

like to think that this is good preparation for life.”

“I hope it gave us a chance as a family to develop a certain we-can-handle-failure-because-we’re-going-

The family goal is to win consistently. Christine says,

to-try-big-things-and-have-a-few-big-failures ethic.”

“This is so unrealistic. We have great horses and we train our hearts out, but much is left to chance.

As families, we can try big things and fail as long as

The real goals are: to work hard to get better

we do them together, have boatloads of fun and

at something we love, to spend time together,

bond along the way.

to handle challenges with less fear and greater equanimity, and to manage failure with the right

Attend a Cutting Show. Local cutting shows are

mixture of grace and defiance.”

generally free. Remember to pack sun block, water bottles, and snacks. Visit

I took my twins to watch a cutting show in Oakley,

(National Cutting Horse Association) for more

UT. We watched Anna and Dan and their parents



Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Each Winter and Summer the who’s-who in outdoor products and gear assemble in Salt Lake City to showcase new product lines, share ideas and meet retail buyers and media.




Nearly 1,500 exhibitors draw outdoor industry professionals from across the globe to see what’s new outdoors. The Adventure Mom team was there and made up three of the more than 25,000 attendees there. We sauntered, marveled and drooled over the new products and outdoor offerings. We made lots of new friends and established some great connections and resources to share with our community. AND we walked away with some great gear to test. We were thrilled to be there and are even happier to show our readers some of our favorite products and companies. We love to support brands and products that “get it right!” See the website to see details on more products that will be useful to you in your family recreation.


Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest deals and ideas for seasonal family recreation.










A. After connecting and building a friendship with women across the country on Social Media, we were delighted to meet our friends from Twitter over lunch. B. Does this sleeping bag make me look like an alligator? C. Kristin snuggles inside the new zipper-less sleeping bag. It’s a genius design with a quilt sewn in instead of a zipper. D. Raise your hand if you love Keen! We previewed the new Mom & Me collection for 2014. There are going to be a lot of cute and Happy Feet! E. Teaching a child to ride a bike is a piece of cake if they’ve learned to use a Joovy Balance Bike. You’ll wonder why you ever put your kids on training wheels. F. Switch magnetic sunglasses. This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. Magnetic lenses that can be switched depending on your activity.

G. Osprey tech bag holds all your gear and easy access to your ipad even while it’s still INSIDE your bag. H. What little girl wouldn’t get excited about sipping out of these darling Sigg Hello Kitty water bottles? I. Pacsafe travel bags are the ultimate in security when traveling. With super safe locks and fabric lined with mesh wire, it’s the go-to bag for travel and safety. J. Mary & Kristin sporting the new Kelty all in one zipper-less backpacking system. No more zipper problems when you’re 100 miles from home. This is the box set of Backpacking. K. Lodge Aebleskiver Pan is perfect for dutch oven delights. L. If you like your coffee or hot chocolate hot when you’re outdoors, these vacuum sealed Camel Back insulated containers might be on your Christmas wish list.


How to give spoiled kids the best Christmas ever!

By Kristin Sokol

If you’re like me, thinking of what to get your kids for Christmas is stressful. My kids get three meals a day, plus too many snacks. Their drawers are crammed full of clothes and toys cover their bedroom floor. The thought of buying more literally sickens me. Do they really NEED anything? Here’s a gift you can give your kids that will help them for the rest of their lives.

I knew I could and should do more. Every year since, I’ve gradually done more to benefit families involved at that school.

I found a group called the Centro de la Familia Migrant Headstart school four years ago. One of my old friends, a preschool teacher there, reached out to her friends in a mass e-mail asking for help to provide practical Christmas gifts for a struggling family.

Over the years it’s evolved into what I call Operation Undies. One of the main things I collect is new packages of socks and underwear. There is a critical need for it

Knowing the family’s needs were serious, she offered help three times before they accepted. They only asked for a box of crayons, saying they thought they would be able to buy some, but didn’t have the extra money. When I heard that story, I realized how wealthy and capable I am. And I wanted my kids to know how important it is to use what they have to help those in need. We, with the help of our cousins, covered the needs of that family. My kids LOVED picking out toys and warm clothing for the strangers. After it was over I realized that we’d all had the best Christmas ever. Joy and happiness filled all our hearts.

amongst the students there. Every child should have socks to wear in the winter. Every child should have underwear that fits properly. With the help of my family, friends, neighbors and in some cases strangers who heard about it, we’ve provided serious relief. Last year our donation was estimated to be just over $10,000 in goods. This donation affected



Steps to starting a service project

1. Brainstorm. Sit down and have a five-minute brainstorming session by yourself or with a friend. Discuss who, what or how you could help. 2. Make a phone call or send an email to whatever group, organization or school you choose. Explain that you’d like to help and ask about their needs. 3. Use your resources. Talk to your friends, neighbors, relatives, employer, dance groups, church, preschools or clubs. Tell them you have a service opportunity and need help. Don’t worry about going it alone. You’ll find that everyone wants to help. Give them a specific job, item to buy or collect.

EVERY family at the school. Additionally, more than 30 migrant families were individually sponsored by families that are in some way connected to me. I found that everyone around me wanted to help.

Whether we know it or not, we are unbelievably wealthy and have opportunities available that some people only dream about. Where much is given, much is required.

We’re at the beginning of the Holiday Season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not everyone has the time or resources to organize a large scale drive, but everyone CAN do something.

Don’t let this Holiday season pass you by without offering a hand. Give your kids the gift of joy through service this year. Let them be heavily involved. It’s the best Christmas gift they’ll ever receive.



By Summer Rumsey

One way to welcome the cool weather of fall is to spruce up your front door with a cute Fall wreath. Summer Rumsey from Summer Scraps shares a tutorial on how to make a cool-weather, warm-beverage inspired Fall Wreath. Feel free to choose your favorite fall colors that match best with the color scheme of your home’s exterior, foliage and your front door. Required Supplies: • 1 Wreath Form • 1 1/2 rolls Orange Tulle • 1 roll Green Ribbon (ribbon with wire is easier to work with) • Wire • 1 bag of Pinecones, acorns, etc. • Pins • Glue Gun • Scissors Tip: If you live in a wooded area send your kids out on a scavenger hunt looking for supplies around your backyard and neighborhood. You’ll save money if you can find pinecones, leaves, etc. Let’s Get Started! Not every craft has to be complicated and take all day to make. Once you’ve assembled the supplies, it should take under 30 minutes to assemble, including Glue Gun warm up time! 1. Wrap the tulle around the wreath form, securing it in the back with pins. 2. Make a bow from your green ribbon and secure it in the middle with wire. 3. Secure the bow to the wreath with another piece of ribbon. 4. Using a hot glue gun, glue the acorns underneath the bow. Glue the pine cones to the tails of the ribbon. Now you’re ready to graciously welcome not only guests as they arrive at your front door, but you’re welcoming the crispness of Fall in the air!


Reading Rainbow App Review

LeVar snaps a photo of a roof-top beehive for the Great Nature Project

Photos by Christy Solberg/National Geographic

As part our partnership with National Geographic, we had a chance to chat with LeVar Burton at National Geographic Headquarters. If you’re asking yourself who LeVar Burton is, think back to when you were a kid. Who doesn’t remember Reading Rainbow? Don’t we all have such fond memories of singing Butterfly in the sky--I can go twice as high--Take a look--It’s in a book--A Reading Rainbow! It was a thrill for us as parents to talk to someone whose life’s work has inspired kids across the country to LOVE reading. Here’s LeVar Burton’s take on technology as it relates to reading:

These tablet devices are so engaging. I find that my iPad is the best tool I ever had and it’s the most fun toy I’ve ever owned. You cannot beat that combination. I carry a library around on my iPad. Not that I’ve stopped reading print on paper. It’s just so much more convenient to read electronically. Sooner or later, I believe, we’re going to recognize that it is unsustainable to continue to tear down trees to make books. We’re going to be consuming most of our reading on electronic devices going forward. I don’t care what it is on, I simply want kids to read. I have experienced as a child my world opening up to degrees that astonished me simply by opening up the pages of books. I have tried to communicate my enthusiasm for literature and the written word, certainly through Reading Rainbow, but through most everything I do. ~ LeVar Burton


Resources Here are a few of our favorite resources. Do you have a favorite resource or site not listed? Please let us know! Sites worth checking out American Hiking Society Great Nature Project National Geographic Kids Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition Outdoor Industry Outdoor Industry Jobs Outdoor Foundation Visit Salt Lake Mountain Mama Maternity Joovy Balance Bikes Blogs you should follow Tales of a Mountain Mama Climb With Kids Chasquimom A Nature Mom Bring The Kids Rocks and Sun Get on The Beaten Path Kid Project Big Grey Rocks Family On Bikes Nature For Kids Rockies Family Adventures Wild Tales Of Mommy Hiker Walk Simply The Active Explorer A Little Campy
 Adventure Tykes Adventurous Parents Active Kids Active Family
 Val In Real Life Brave Ski Mom Ground Truth Trekking Fun Orange County Parks


Go Adventure Magazine  

Adventure Mom shares the latest tips on how to get families outside.

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