Top Outdoor Gifts for Kids

It is Christmas time which means we are looking for that perfect gift. The gift that won’t break a few hours after playing with it or won’t be thrown in the corner a couple days after Christmas. I am getting to the point that when I look for gifts for my daughter I want to try to make sure it is something that she will truly enjoy or use. Below are some of my daughter and my favorite kids gifts.

A Day Trip to Gaines Farm

Fall is here, one of my favorite times to explore New England, with the crispness in the air and beautiful colors starting to pop, it is hard to resist a day drink. Even though we had a 1001 chores to do around the house, I did not want to pass up on the beautiful fall day. After soccer we jumped into the the truck and took a ride to Vermont. Our goal was to initially hit the larges corn maze in Vermont, but when we realized it was over two hours away we had to change direction.

All About Me

Being in the outdoors has always come natural to me. When I was just a couple days old I went from the hospital in Presque Isle Maine, into the woods of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway where my parents worked. I live about 60 miles from town until it was time for me to start school. I was fortunate to spend 16 summers and a few winters on the Allagash. Here is where I learned to swim, canoe on lakes and white water, primitive camp, hike, read a compass, snowshoe, cross country ski, snowmobile, live in a cabin without electricy or the modern conveniences of home and overall survive in the wilderness.

My Year as a Hike Like a Woman Ambassador

This morning as I was laying in bed scrolling through Facebook, a memory popped up that a year ago today I announced that I was one of 22 women chosen to be an Ambassador for Hike Like a Woman (HLAW). At the time I was chosen I did not know what this meant other than I would get to connect with women who had the same passion I did, the great outdoors.  Well this year has changed me in more ways than I could imagine.  

Top Hikes with Kids in the Monadnock Region

As school and activities are winding down for the summer, it is time to focus on summer plans and bucket lists.  I have had many people tell me that their kids want to hike this summer and have asked me about hikes in the area that are good with kids from babies up to Middle School age. This is very exciting to me. Even thought hiking with kids is not always fun, check out my blog post on that.  It very beneficial so I have put together my list of favorites hikes for kids in the Monadnock Region.  The hikes are in no particular order and I had input from my eight year old.  Click on the trail name for a full description of each trail.  

Facing Your Challenges

Have you ever struggled to do something and it’s bothered you so much that you felt you needed to face that challenge again.  Well that recently happened to me, well it has happened multiple times, but the most recent was this past Sunday.  The beginning of the spring I had some minor health issues, nothing too serious, but I had to put my hiking on hold for over a month to get myself better.  After I was medically cleared to hike again.  I did not jump back into hiking like I should have.  I did  a few easy hikes on short trails with minimal elevation.  Due to my daughters activities, home improvement projects and lots of rainy weather, my hiking has been put on the back burner.  

An Outdoor Mother's Day

Every year my husband gets frustrated with me, as he always asks what I want for Mother's Day and I say nothing.  I am not much of a materialistic person, I prefer experiences over objects.  Of course I always love the homemade gifts and cards my daughter makes me every year, and I would not pass up a trip to the spa, but overall I do not want my husband spending money on items I may only use a couple times, if at all. I think this year, I finally got that I am more happy with experiences then material items.

Adding a Little Wildish to my Life

When I started my online outdoor adventures I was not sure where it would head.  It started out with my social media accounts, then onto my website and blog, then being honored as being an ambassador for Hike Like A Woman, where I have been able to pursue my passion of leading a women's outdoor hiking group and being able to encourage and empower more women to get outside and feeling more comfortable being there.

Anyone who has a public social media account knows that you run the risk of getting random people reaching out to you with various requests or opportunities.  I ignore the majority of them, thinking they are spam. The beginning of this month I got a direct message from Adam at Wildish.  There was something about this message that made me want to explore it further.  Adam was reaching out to me after viewing my social media account and wanted me to be an Ambassador for his company.  Curiosity got the best of me and I requested additional information.  

A Day Back in Time

Recently I checked something off my bucket list I have wanted to do for a while.  Old Sturbridge Village located south of Worcester MA and near the Connecticut border, is a wonderful step back in time.  My husband and I feel that we were born in the wrong era as the early 1800's seemed like a simpler time.  You had to work hard and there was not the luxuries there are now, but you focused more on what mattered like family and building the life you want instead of the constant rush and demands to today's society.

A Little Water Park Fun in North Conway

Planning a vacation in New England during February vacation is never easy, especially when you want some outdoor activities.  The weather these past few years have made it difficult to plan vacations around winter activities.  This year when planning a few days away during school vacation week we put a lot of though into where we wanted to go and what activities we wanted to do.  We would have loved to either cross country or downhill ski, but with the unpredictable weather we have been having this winter, we decided to do something more focused on the indoors. Something we rarely do.   

Using Hiking to Unwind

One day I was asked by a friend to go for a hike after work.  When she first asked me I hesitated to say yes.  Going for a hike on a week night? How could I do that when I have a hundred other things I have to do after work? Dinner, homework, household chores, preparing lunches for the next day, the list goes on and on. Plus, I am always drained after a busy day at work, how could I find the energy to go for a hike.  The other side of me did want to miss an opportunity to hit the trail so I agreed to meet her after work. 

Challenging myself with the 52 Hike in 2017 Challenge

Last December I was looking for something to challenge myself in 2017.  There are always the same stand by resolutions of I will loose X amount of weight, I will exercise X amount of times a week, I will eat a cleaner diet, I will manage my finances better, or I will spend more time with loved ones, etc.  I'm sure you have heard them all.  Even though there is nothing wrong with these resolutions and they are important, I wanted something different. I was tired of the old stand by's of new years resolutions that I could never quite stick to.  As I was doing some internet surfing I came across the 52 Hikes Challenge.

Hike, Cable Bridges and Skiff's Oh My

One of the things I love about the hiking community is the excitement to share trail information. Recently, a friend sent me a list of local hiking trails that neither of us had heard of.  After reviewing the list, there was one trail that stood out to me. Hiroshi Hayashi Conservation Land Trail, which is part of the Sargent Camps in Hancock, NH.  The reason that it stood out to me was because of the pictures of a small pull along skiff that you can pull yourself across a stream on.  Of course I had to check it out.  

Why Hiking with Kids is Not Fun.

Over the years I have had people say to me, "your life looks so great by the posts I see on Facebook," or "I can’t believe how much you and your family do.”  Yes, I always post the positives on social media as I feel it should be used for happy events, not for complaining or drama.  I know, this is not reality, but I try to make it my reality, plus no one wants to hear about my drama.  It is also important to my husband and I to raise an outdoor child, as the outdoors was and is a huge part of our lives.  We make it a point to spend as much free time as we can in the outdoors, constantly picking new places to explore. I also enjoy sharing our adventures with others, with the goal of inspiring others to get outside more