Families — Parents — Kids

Brooke, adventure parentBecoming a parent can (and oh it will) happen to anyone - that goes for any whitewater lover, big wall climber, backpacker, ultra runner, damn good frisbee tosser, and, well, you. One day you're hang-dogging a 5.10b or admiring those tan lines left by your Chacos on the tops of your feet and the next you're hearing, "We're pregnant."  And you think, "My life is over. Goodbye kayaks, so long Chamonix summer adventure, hello minivan."
Maybe it's not over. Maybe you don't need a minivan.  Unless you want one.
Check out these parents and families who set the stage and take their kids outside.

4 Year Old Lead Climbs 5.10

Surfing, skiing, riding bikes, and climbing. These are the outdoor pursuits that come easier to the little ones than many of us realize. That is until we see our kids give them a shot. That's when we're delighted and surprised, or surprisingly delighted, to see them try, maybe fall a bit, but also get back up and keep going with no shortage of stoke. This video should really get you excited. Watch little Jaime. He's just 4 years old and cranks 5.10b in the gym on lead.

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This Mom Has One of The Best Outdoor Jobs

Ultimate scenery, red Jeep, dented bumper. No wonder Nena Barlow is smiling. This is her office.

In a less discerning phase of my life known as "my late 20's to my early 30's," I was simultaneously a Jeep owner and a contributing editor for JPFreek Adventure Magazine. The magazine held the ground, and still does, as an adventure lifestyle publication that covers the not-so-odd mixture (and apparent subculture) of an active life and the fun of owning a Jeep. During those hazy days, my editor launched a column called "Jeep Jobs" and assigned it to me a few times.  We'd locate professions, fields, departments, geeks and gophers who used Jeeps in their day jobs, interview them, and share the joy with the readers.

We found some rock stars out there. This one was one cool mom with a cool Jeep.

Parents Always Take The Blame: The Colossally Cool Story of Liz Clark Sailing Around The World

No matter what we become, it's like we just can't get away from the simple fact that we must pay homage to our parents for turning us into the creatures we grow up to be. Liz Clark learned to sail at a young age, and at 9 years old her parents pulled her out of school for a 6-month, 5,000-mile sea-going voyage to Mexico. She says she learned two things about herself from that extraordinary trip: "I wanted to protect the world from human destruction and, one day, I wanted to sail around it."

Well. Guess what?

Bodes Well: A Lesson Learned from a Family Traveling in a 1971 VW Bus

family campervan VW bus, bodeswell

"A little about the van. He got it for a steal, but I soon found out why . . . A little electrical work here, reupholstering some seats there . . . But, the restoration wasn’t enough. The van was just the beginning, just a taste of the possibilities. Soon he was talking about traveling around the world. Yes, of course I thought he was crazy at first." - Angela Rehm

Launching a drive through South America by way of a loop around The United States in a camper van with your family - even with little ones you love so much that you ache at the idea of them growing up - is both easy and hard. Easy in this sense: all you have to do is decide, pack your junk, and go. You don't even need a plan or a map. But it's harder on the emotional side, and that's really the part that puts the brakes on for most of us. Once you start thinking about the consequences of your big trip, such as the hit to your savings account, an uncertain financial future, time away from your friends, guilt trips (lovable) from family, and all of that, out come the joyous mid-day nightmares. Right or wrong, that's just the way it is.

Trip of A Lifetime: Vogel Family Completes 17,000-Mile Bike Ride from Alaska to Argentina

Almost three years ago, in June of 2008, the Vogel four hopped on their bikes in Alaska and pedaled south, getting to know the nuances of a bicycle seat with, well, that part of your body you can't see. When they left, the twin boys were 10 years old. This week they're all finishing their trip at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. To put that in lucid reality, that's a 17,000-mile bike ride. No wonder it took them over two years. We had to catch up with the Vogels to allow them a moment to reflect on what this meant to their family, how they've changed, and what they intend to do next.

Here are seven questions and 10 photos. Check this out.

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