1. Scout says...

    My best friend and I grew up on the same block in BK before it became blog worthy lmao but our parents tried to acquaint us with nature and we re-wrote the Oompa Loompa song, every care giver’s dream, “Oompa Loompa doompity dent I wish we were back in the tent, Oompa Loompa doompity doda I wish we were drinking a soda” etc…total joys

  2. Sara says...

    hahahaha the “video games 4 eva” shirt. no matching stripey french t-shirts over here, either. xo

  3. Jojo says...

    I haven’t attempted a “hike” for a couple months, but I had good luck with letting each kid bring her own Pez dispenser. I’d set a timer on my phone and if they could go 10 or 15 minutes without whining, they’d get a Pez candy.

  4. rachel says...

    also can i make the point that I never realized how many DAMN sheer cliff drop offs there are on hikes that lead to imminent DEATH and/ or dismemberment?! ugh, mom anxiety. that one keeps me up at night. flat trails from here on out for this mom of 2!

  5. Sadie says...

    A tip is to do the same hike over and over while creating traditions, naming silly land marks, and celebrating going a little further the next time. Make sure it is play and not just a march. Bonus if there are wild berries!

  6. Sarah says...

    I love that in the dream scenario everyone has matching shirts and mom isn’t carrying a huge backpack haha.

    My next level mom game has come down to how thick I slice the apples. On a hike where they need to get to a certain landmark to earn the next slices, the slices are thin! But in the car when I don’t want to be reaching back continually, they are basically cut into fourths.

    Also next level apple tip: someone showed me that you just cut *around* the core four times instead of cutting through it, and then there is no core to awkwardly cut out of each hunk! 🤯

  7. Joie says...

    So much hiking with kids this past year ….and so much complaining/ whining, and so much bribing/cajoling/ threatening. Wins: Surprised them with little squirt guns during a desert hike. Surprised them with a can of whip cream in my backpack….squirted them straight in the mouth after reaching each distance goal. Low point: They were annoying me so much with the whining, I said: “Well you guys are going to be real easy pickings when the zombie apocalypse comes.” They were mad at me for quite some time after that.

  8. Martha says...

    If it’s any consolation to you young parents, we took our kids hiking often here in WA state. They moaned and groaned but we always had snacks and candy and a good lunch, with a lake destination for swimming. My daughter was so stubborn that sometimes she’d wear flip flops – we got many concerned comments from other hikers., but she hiked unscathed! Both girls are in their 20s now and regularly hike with their friends. So sometimes encouraging kids to do things they don’t think they’ll like can pay off in the end.

  9. K says...

    Hahaha this is us every time we try to hike! Taking serious notes from the comments on how to up my hiking game. I was thinking, what’s wrong…why does it seem like so many people with kids enjoy hiking and we can’t get it to work for us?! I miss it from my pre-kid days. Candy stash here we come!

  10. Sarah says...

    This is spot on!! My husband and I are/were both outdoorsy with dreams of raising crunchy granola kids who lived for hikes and days spent appreciating the natural environment around us. At 9 and 12, not so much. We carried them in baby backpacks, we introduced them to the woods early, we packed special snacks and backpacks…..now the suggestion of a walk in the woods is met with shoulder shrugs. It is a bit disheartening, but I am confident their love for the great outdoors will return. We live in very flat mid-Michigan and a few years back, while vacationing and hiking along the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, an older woman, sprinted past us on the trail while we took our 10000th break and my kids were slumped over in apparent agony. She looked at them, laughed, and then at us and said, “Don’t worry, they’ll come back to you and be beating you to the summit in no time!” I hang on to that thought, when they try to convince me “Animal Crossing” counts as outside time.

  11. Rebekah says...

    One of my favorite things Grace has ever posted was (I think) a sketch of a similar vein in an IG story, where her kid is just standing there and says, “ I hate nay-cha.” Makes me laugh every time I remember it – so spot on!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

  12. Emily says...

    I feel like I leveled up as a mom when I decided to always have an apple cut up with lime juice on top for my kids when we go on an outdoor adventure. It makes the whole experience like 50% more pleasant for all of us.

  13. Kim says...

    I hiked SO much with my two small kids when we were all on lock down last year. I had no idea what else to do. I loved it and it was a new discovery for me personally, but my kids now REFUSE. I think I overdid it, ha. Hopefully they will come around :)

  14. Silver says...

    I live close to a national park and often take my son and his friend for walks and swims in the ocean. These walks take hours, eventually after who only knows how many of these trips my kid’s friend laughing said “I don’t think we like trees as much as you think we like trees”. It was then that I noticed how often I name a tree, or excitedly try to sell where we are going by describing the trees “boys, you’ll love Garie beach, the trees look like they’re out of a terrifying fairy tale”. I still make them come, and I still talk to them about the trees – one day they’ll be middle aged and they’ll be glad to know these things. I make sure to stop off for a milkshake afterwards though.

    But on a more serious side, I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I really struggle with the glorious beauty of bush walks and the dangerous side of them . it’s so amazing for our own spirit to walk deep in nature however I live in Australia, it’s also pretty dangerous. Snakes, spiders, ticks (I have an anaphylaxis allergy to our paralysis tick, let alone the meat allergy and the diseases they carry). My kid has really bad anxiety. I find it hard to balance the caution we need to exercise, with the spirit of adventure. I need to explain to my kid and his friend how to use my epipen for example. But I really want my child to understand how great nature is for his own spirit. For now we only bush walk in winter, leaving summer for ocean walks – but I want to find a different way to talk about precautions… any tips?

    • Bec says...

      Also a nature lover based on the stolen land of the Yugambeh speaking people (so called Gold Coast), I always make sure I carry anti-histamines and a snake bite kit. I’d say you’d want an epi-pen. But other wise watching out for the wildlife and being respectful of it is the best approach. I very rarely come across poisonous animals and most aren’t out to get you so can be easily avoided. Good luck!

    • Anita says...

      You might consider reading the author Tristan Gooley. Along the lines of the reply above, he advocates for being really aware of the environment and “reading” the signs of nature and seeing signs potential dangers when wandering in the wilderness (related to topography, weather, wildlife etc.). I think Gooley can really inspire confidence for adventure, not based on a foolhardy throw-caution-to-the wind attitude, but based on wisdom and knowledge that most human beings don’t take the time to learn. I do think there is a strong sense of empowerment that comes from being able to immerse yourself in the “glorious beauty” of nature without having those feelings of anxiety. As an anxious person myself, I’ve had to revisit the same places over and over again so I can get to that feeling of belonging, and not like an intruder bound to be attacked – and I don’t live in Australia so I know I would really have to level up to do something like a bush walk there :)

    • Angela says...

      I’m not sure about your Aussie ticks, but I heard and find peace of mind in knowing that ticks don’t transmit disease immediately. I think I’ve read that finding and removing ticks within 24 hours is key. We are in the rural Ohio River valley (US) and tick covered regularly. We love watching the deer and turkeys in our yard and with them come the ticks.

  15. Q says...

    I have two young boys and here are some things I have learned during our hikes (the only activity we can do during the pandemic):

    1) have them carry their own small but “cool for them” backpack filled with a few fave treats
    2) a good and airy hat with wide brim
    3) give them an activity: pre-made scavenger hunt, trash picking with a grabber stick, binoculars, cameras for budding photographers, rock collecting
    4) find trail with plenty of shade, a river or stream of some kind to play in, or rock climbing (a view at the end is not enough)
    5) their favorite restaurant or takeout afterwards

    Happy hiking!

  16. agnes says...

    YES! my partner and i took his kid camping pre-the-plague and it was frame two all the way every minute all the time. i was SO tired by the end of it! but on the ride home, the kiddo said, “this was the best time i’ve ever had in my whole life!” !! i was very surprised! i couldn’t tell at all! haha proof that a new experience can be uncomfortable (loud protests) but ultimately okay (happy memories)? maybe?

    • Grace Farris says...

      Ahhh this is so classic Agnes!

  17. Rue says...

    Oh man, I’m a professional field geologist, so hiking, camping, and backpacking are literally my job. But my family didn’t do anything like that when I was growing up, and people usually marvel when they learn that — the idea that you can have an outdoorsy career having grown up in a distinctly “non-outdoorsy” kind of family.

    But the way I see it now is that my family was outdoorsy, just not in an American cultural/REI kind of way. We spent plenty of time outside. And I got to explore and just wander around, without the forced structure hikes must seem to have for little kids. The most we’d do was “beach walks,” since I grew up on the coast, but it was more about ambling along the beach (in fall through spring weather) until we felt like turning back for the car. You could stop to poke at rocks or shells, stare at the waves, but there was no designated lookout spot or end goal, except maybe that if you went far enough it was faster to loop all the way around this inlet rather than double back to the car.

    And now that I hike professionally with all kinds of strict structure and goals in mind, I think my childhood “non-outdoorsy” outside time was the best preparation possible for a career like mine.

    Okay I also understand this was a cartoon! And I love it. I just also think maybe parents don’t need to be so hard on themselves about creating the “right” experiences from an adult viewpoint.

    • Grace Farris says...

      I do think this is comforting! Thank you

    • AN says...

      love this point of view!

    • Agnès says...

      Rue i love your comment. We go outside a lot but i have learned not to call these outings “hikes” or not even “walks”. We re just going and we discretly prepare a small backpack with water and bread ans maybe a knife or binoculars just in case outside turns into an adventure.

  18. A hard relate. Also, “So we’re just gonna walk around outside?” and “If I get stung by a bee, it’s gonna be your fault.”

  19. Melodie says...

    As a kid I whined and cried and dragged my feet about hiking, partially because I insisted on dressing entirely wrong for the hike and partially because I just hated bugs, heat, and exercise. The only thing that motivated me to hike was the promise of ice cream at the end. That being said, I’m so grateful for all the weekends my parents dragged me on hikes as a kid, because while I don’t hike often now, when I do I really love it – and I think part of that has to be because they prepared me.

    • Kimberly says...

      Ha! I love that. My three daughters also dress unusually for hikes: fancy dresses all the time! I used to fight it, but gave up in favor of just getting out the door, and it is honestly such a bright spot of the journey. It totally delights me when a fellow hiker gasps at the amount of sparkle in our little party.

  20. Ramona says...

    😂😂😂🌿💚

  21. Marisa says...

    I’ll never forget hiking in a state park with our son to a trail called “Inspiration Point”. When we got there, he said he was inspired to never go there again!

  22. Kelsey says...

    I did this Wednesday morning!! Except opposite–it turned out too cold and rainy. We lasted 45 minutes.

    Also, cool book for creating these overambitious expectations: Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman!!! They will keep me attempting these hikes again and again.

  23. rachel in berkeley says...

    Ha! So many of us have lived that wishful thinking v. reality. Here’s what my friend Greg taught me is key to hiking with children (what would we do without friends who have children a few years ahead of our own?): starburst candies. They don’t melt in a hot backpack. They’re a discrete size. And there are flavor choices so everyone can find a favorite. It’s a nostalgic hit when I remember to pack them for a hike with the now-17 year olds.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea! my dad used to give us little pieces of a skor bar when we were hiking.

    • Sage says...

      Snacks are crucial to a well-functioning “family fun day” of any kind, haha.

    • Michaela says...

      My aunt would always give me a wethers original candy on hikes. Such a great mood lifter! I now pack them for myself on long backpacking trips. Candy for the win!

    • Angela says...

      Essential packing space in my hiking bag is devoted to candy! My kids know now, not to even ask before we are “on our way back” or on in the second half of the hike. Candy is for encouragement.

      And yes, I have an “emergency candy stash” in my car console and previously in my diaper bag/stroller. I felt like such a pro when I passed some to my SIL during a family funeral when my niece was starting to lose her patience. It was years ago and it’s still something I remember. A well-timed sucker or pack of gummies is clutch!