Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 days of summer . . . Adventure for boys: Extreme sports for the family

I'm joining Sarah Robinson of  Sidetracked Sarah and the team of the "5 days of series" to talk about various topics under the heading 5daysof summer . . . The topics range from summer recipes, games, and crafts for the kids to 5 days of summer . . . for Mom (and everything fun in between). Beginning June 17 - 21 we will be blogging about all things summer.  My topic of choice is 5 days of summer . . . adventure for boys. The specific titles are listed below. I do hope you will follow along to be encouraged, inspired and to get ideas for a summer full of adventure! 

*affiliate links are present in this post - see disclosure 

My husband and I spent our honeymoon whitewater rafting through the jungle in Costa Rica. It was there we became pregnant with our first son, and our life of adventure, travel, and excitement abruptly took a major turn. We went from daring and free to "they'll never let me skydive with a baby strapped to my back" in the blink of an eye.  

We wanted a family. We just didn't expect it to begin so quickly. Yet, there we were, on our 1 year anniversary, with a 2 month old baby in our arms. We spent that anniversary with a quiet evening at home eating lobster. It was nice, and we were happy, but it sure was a change. 

It wasn't too terribly long before the adventure bug was biting again. We found ways to take our little guy with us. He was boating and island hopping as soon as he could hold his head up. Boy #2 was only a couple of years behind him and before we knew it, we were a family of 5. 

What exactly is extreme adventure for families? How does that look differently from our prior adventures? Well, the number one difference is the amount of equipment that is required to haul around. With a family, you don't just take off to go wilderness camping and wing it. You have to plan, and haul stuff. You also have to have an emergency "out". 

Whether we are headed off on a road trip adventure or out into the wilderness, we always have a plan to check in with a responsible family member. If they don't hear from us at the appropriate times - they know where to come looking. 

Adventures are only truly fun when they are safe. Planning, research and common sense can take care of that in a flash. 

Although you cannot indeed, jump out of an airplane with an infant or toddler strapped to your back, you can paddle a river with them in a canoe or kayak. 

As a matter of fact, the sooner you introduce them to the idea that these outdoor adventures are a way of life, a special "family hobby" or an inherited lifestyle - the simpler it is when introducing new activities. 

Enjoying extreme adventure with the family can be affordable. Often times there is an initial investment to spend on equipment that will last as long as you take care of it. If it provides countless hours of enjoyment and family bonding, it is totally worth it. 

Extreme defined

It is what you make of it! A bike ride can be just a bike ride, or a cycling adventure. A camping trip can be just a camping trip - or a wilderness adventure. Like life - it is what you make of it and you can pursue outdoor adventure at your own level and pace . . . together, as a family. 

Why extreme? 
  • Fun and challenging 
  • Forms strong family bonds 
  • Develops self esteem and confidence 
  • Get's families out in God's creation together 
  • Memories that last a life time 
  • Traditions to be passed on through generations
What kinds of "extreme" activities are easily adapted for families? 
  • Biking/ cycling adventures on trails and tracks through woods, mountains and paths 
  • Kayaking in oceans & down rivers 
  • Hiking - start early with family walks and gradually lengthen them 

  • Family camping in campgrounds and resorts 
  • Wilderness camping (rivers, islands, mountains) 
  • Skiing - water and snow 
  • Surfing & body-boarding 

Whitewater rafting/ Elkhorn Creek, KY - Class I & II 

  • Whitewater rafting- Class I - Class III (most places it's not legal to do Class IV with young kids) 
  • Tubing 
  • Spelunking - exploring caves 
  • Rock climbing - real or simulated (takes expertise but can be done safely)

  • Paddleboarding 
  • Canoeing - rivers, lakes and creeks 
  • Fishing (yes, this can be an extreme sport too)  
  • Snorkeling
To put a little excitement into your summer - get out and try some of these (or your own) ideas for extreme family adventure. There are special bonds created when you step out into the unknown together and discover something new in God's wonderful creation. 

Be safe - and enjoy making memories that will last a lifetime

A fun & informative book to help prepare you: 


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