🎒Kid’s hiking pack—we selected a pack that had plenty of ways to adjust the pack for a good fit, lots of great pockets that help to position weight effectively, and the option to add a hydration reservoir.
We’ve found that if we weigh their packs before hitting the trail they are more successful carrying the pack. Between 5-10% of the body weight works well for us. If they are over we pull items and put them in our packs.Read More
Here’s all of the gear we use to bike as a family. Our philosophy bike riding with small kids is to keep it fun. Their ability to ride can fluctuate daily, so we always aim to provide an option for a break. Set up for a bike ride is pretty quick. Our bike trailer pops up in seconds, and the mountain bike seats stay installed on our bikes at all times so we are always ready to use them.
Mammoth Lakes is an outdoor adventure wonderland. We love to visit throughout the year, but winter might be our favorite time to travel to Mammoth because of the family-friendly winter sports. We’ve included a list of must-see and must-do activities to consider for your next trip.
To get more inspiration before your visit, check out Visit Mammoth on Instagram.Read More
Keeping kids cozy during cold weather adventures is important, but knowing how to properly dress can be stressful if you are new to winter adventures with little ones. The key to happy kids in the cold is proper layering! We use this layering technique for all cold weather outdoor adventures. The last layer changes depending on the activity.Read More
If you told us that our daughter would learn to ride a bike without training wheels long before she turned 3, we never would have believed it. Thanks to a tip from family, we learned about balance bikes and never looked back. If you want to give it a try, we’d say go for it! Each child is different, but here are some tips that worked for us.Read More
After a little over 3 years since we purchased our van, our Sprinter van’s odometer finally ticked past the 50,000 mark. Bruce is the van’s name, for those who care about that sort of thing. We bought the van new, and maintained the stock Continental Vanco “four season” M+S tires and the stock steel 16 inch rims. Although these tires were anything but “off-road”, they carried us across rugged terrain and icy conditions pretty well…with some help from the van’s 4×4 transmission, some basic air-down techniques, and tire chains (more on our original tire chains for the stock tires check out our blog post here).
At 50,000 miles it was finally time to buy a new set of tires. We only had two decisions before beginning to search for brands and models. First, we easily decided to stick with the stock black steel 16 inch wheels in order to save several hundred dollars. Second, we needed to decide if we were going to upsize. Although upsizing would require the purchase of a full-sized spare and new tire chains, we quickly decided we wanted to do it. According to friends with more off-road experience than we have, and a few Sprinter forums, upsizing would improve performance on- and off-road. Maybe more importantly, larger tires will also look better. 🙂Read More
This is our newest and BEST hack. We started using this nightlight at home. It changes colors to give a visual reminder to the kids that it’s bedtime or morning. We picked blue for bedtime, red for stay in bed, and green for get up and go! We can change the color using an app on our phone. It has been tremendously helpful for us at home and camping. The key is using it consistently so when you go camping, the kiddos are already familiar with how it works. We have power in our van so we use the same light we have at home, but if you need a battery operated version there’s several out there. (Something like this nightlight might work) We also noted that this light helps illuminate their sleeping area. Our daughter used to wake up scared at night when it was too dark in the van because she didn’t know where she was. Seeing her familiar light and being able to see where she was has also helped if she wakes during the night.Read More
The PBD (Plant-Based Diet) Nut Loaf has been a staple for years. We LOVE this recipe! It has very simple ingredients, it’s easy to make, and is filled with a powerhouse of nutrients including protein, fiber, folate, vitamins E, K, A, and copper. We usually serve it with a side of redskin potatoes and steamed spinach. It’s the perfect dish for a chilly night and makes great leftovers.Read More
We’ve camped everywhere from the beach and the desert, to the mountains and everything in-between with our kids. Sleeping in a tent with little ones was a big departure from our former days as backpackers sans kiddos. Now with kids, we’ve tried lots of different options and we are sharing our experience, good and bad. There’s so many different factors that go into camping in a tent with kids such as professional organization guidelines, family preferences, child needs, and style of camping to name a few. For this reason, what we are sharing in this blog is not recommendations for what you should do, but rather a description of what WE do. Plus, what we do continues to evolve as our children grow and new equipment is developed in the ever expanding realm of outdoor gear.Read More
There’s nothing like summer hiking. The beautiful flowers, refreshing lakes, and long days are what dreams are made of. But summer hiking can be a nightmare filled with sunburns, over heating, and bugs without the proper preparation. After years of hiking we learned that certain pieces of gear and a few tips make all the difference to squeeze the most out of those long summer days on the trail.Read More
Below is a list of gear we take backpacking.
We’ve found that reading books to our kids about the outdoors has helped inspire excitement for any family outdoor activity. We put together this list of our favorite books that have helped teach our kids about so many things: animals, plants, seasons, the sun and moon, camping, fire safety, bugs, colors, hiking…the list goes on and on!Read More
Finding a comfortable way to carry your baby or toddler on hikes can be overwhelming. There are so many options, and the needs and size of little ones are always changing and growing. Our collection of packs and carriers came to be after combing through blogs, watching video reviews, testing, and even stopping random parents on the trail. We’ve got you covered from the first few days and weeks of infancy all the way up to toddler carriers. While no carrier is perfect, we found each of these options was a nice solution to meet our needs as an active family hiking everything from local parks to overnight adventures in the Sierras.Read More
Traveling can be cumbersome and exhausting, and doing so with kids only amplifies the challenges. Whether it is a road trip, an airline trip, a camping trip, or even a vacation to a resort, kids undoubtedly complicate things and the thought of the obstacles surrounding a trip can sometimes be stifling or even create such a road block to cancel or postpone the notion all together!
Over the past year and a half, we’ve tried our best to stay active with our daughter. Our trips haven’t always been easy, but we have learned a few things that have made our adventures more fun and most important, doable! Below we’ve listed six tips for traveling with a young family.Read More
Firefall is one of the most spectacular displays of natural beauty that Yosemite National Park has to offer. When conditions are just right, Horsetail Fall, located on the eastern side of El Capitan, lights up and resembles molten lava pouring over the side the valley. Words and photos don’t do it justice, you need to see it for yourself!
We’ve put together a few tips to help get you in place and ready to capture the big event.Read More
Snow is falling and snowshoeing is calling! We recently traveled to both Big Bear and Yosemite National Park in California to get out into some fresh powder. While it was all fun and games when we finally got on the trail, prepping for and traveling on wintry roads to get to the trail can be a little hair-raising, particularly during a major snow storm. We are going to walk you through our experience selecting snow chains for our Mercedes Sprinter 4×4, what we learned about Mercedes tire chain disclosure, our experience with the van’s performance with the factory mud/snow tires plus 4×4, and what conditions prompted us to install our chains.Read More