Saturday, February 23, 2013

"What if We Get Lost Overnight?"

We’ve been training Boo for a couple years now that if she’s lost, she should stay put and blow her whistle. 

Last fall, she started asking what we would do if we got lost. And she was very intrigued about how to shelter overnight with no gear. 

So when we raked the yard, I burrowed us in and we felt how toasty warm it was compared to the chilly air. And of course she noticed that leaves blow away.

Since then, when she starts to get fidgety, we’ve added into the mix “where would you spend the night?” As we walk, we look for sheltered areas. We discuss which side of a fallen log would provide the most shelter. How to keep the leaves from blowing away. How that hollow would be great if there was no rain, but “Never sleep in a hole if it’s going to rain.” 

Fallen Log

 This does eventually end with her wanting to try out all these locations, and climb trees off trail, so we have to have another distraction ready. 

Her last words of advice? “Sleep close to where you get lost.”

Do your kids enjoy learning survival stuff?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 Planning (or Jealousy)

Even though it has been an unsatisfying winter here (snow? What snow?), I’m getting antsy to get some trips planned. So I asked Boo what we should do. She wants to through hike the Superior Hiking Trail. While I am not against this, I suggested that perhaps we should wait until she’s a teenager. She didn’t seem convinced, but was willing to accept it. 

Here are the “close” overnight trails I’ve found.

Since I started this list, she’s gotten beyond the <1 mile hike-in camp sites. 

We’ve done the first two, and she enjoyed them. We’re planning on taking her best friend to one of them as an introduction.

But she’s interested in slightly longer trips (miles or days or both) this year. Following the rule-of-thumb that a kid can hike about one mile per year of age, the 11-12 mile loops are too long. 

I haven’t determined her current daily hiking range recently, so she may be up to a 6+ mile day depending on terrain. We’ll figure it out. But all the bloggers out there posting about traveling an hour to one of the myriad of choices they have… I am so envious. 

I suspect we'll end up in Iowa at least once, and I am seriously considering Shawnee National Forest. One of my precious vacation weeks will be in NC, and I'm hoping to squeeze in an overnight there.

 What are you planning for the coming year? What is the biggest challenge you're working around?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Playing Outside

Running Snowball Fight by virithos
Running Snowball Fight, a photo by virithos on Flickr.
Boo and I took a little hike while Lee was out of town. There was maybe half an inch of snow on the ground. But it was just enough to scrape together some snowballs.

We ended up having a running snowball fight through this prairie trail. It was awesome.

How do you play outside in the winter?