Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Run Like a Girl. New Gear. Spring 2017

Photographer's STORY: How giddy do we get when a new piece of gear shows up at the front door? Kiss the terrified package-delivery-guy inappropriately giddy, yup #epicStory #trailRunning #gearPorn  -a

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Balanced Rock at Sunset. Arches National Park. Utah USA

Photographer's STORY: Sunset comes and the rocks start to glow and we feel as if we've been transported to an otherworldly planet like Mars or beyond. Massive, odd, towering shapes defy gravity and jut out of the earth in random, awesome weirdness. The rock "balancing" on top is the size of 3 school buses. Just wow #epicStory -a

Monday, April 17, 2017

Delicate Arch. Arches National Park. Utah USA

Photographer's STORY: Even bad-arse adventure photographers have occasional squishy hearts. And our hearts crack on this gorgeous, giant-blue-sky day in Utah as we watch this sweet family of six gather themselves underneath one of the most iconic landmarks in America's national park system....It's a hot, uphill hike and a strain for the younger kiddos out there on the trail today and we can just feel their collective positive energy -- together bursting with pride at making it to their goal -- as they link their hands and throw their arms into the air to celebrate. Our hearts grew three sizes today...wink! I love this moment. I love this #epicStory #believe -a

Saturday, April 15, 2017

After Sunrise Mesa Arch. Canyonlands National Park. Utah

Photographer's STORY: We meant to wake up before the rest of the world 4:30am for sunrise shots but deep sleep cycle said otherwise so we wing it and are still blown away by the colors. Huge winds are blowing through Utah today so the skies are whipped up frothy latte color. Continued gasping at national park geological, magical formations. wow #springBreak #roadTrip #epicStory -a

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spontaneous Road Trip. Moab, Utah. USA

Photographer's STORY: It's the end of ski season in the Colorado ski mountains. So in a spontaneous moment, we jump in the wagon and head to Moab for a 24 hour road trip. Only 4 hours away and worth every single gorgeous mile #springBreak #lovetheWest #epicStory #giddyap -a

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

10 Ways to Celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20th!

Kiddos hiking & leaping with joy in one of our nation's spectacular State Parks.
Mt Tamalpais State Park, California.

Running, jumping, climbing, flinging their arms wide and laughing with glee. Kids who get outside and into the fresh air and nature are happier, healthier kids. We all know it and it’s why almost a million kids and parents will rally together on May 20th this year to celebrate Kids To Parks Day in honor of making it happen every single day for kiddos from all corners of the USA. 

"This year's Kids to Parks Day looks to be the biggest one ever...our goal is to get 1 million kids and their families celebrating this national day of outdoor play," said Grace Lee, National Park Trust's executive director. And I believe it will happen, the spirit is contagious. 

Getting my own family out into the parks is sometimes a challenge however, even for an outdoorsy type mama, what with the loaded schedules and gear prices for the never ending growing feet and bodies and noggins to protect and keep warm. Good news is that with decent planning and sometimes a spontaneous spark for a micro-adventure and an eye for a good deal when we see one, we make time in the outdoors happen.

And what a difference it makes in our lives!

Here are 10 favorite things to do to celebrate Kids to Parks Day and get outside:

1 - Build gigantic sand castles on the beach.

2 - Scramble up a steep hill using your hands and feet.

3 - Fly through the air on a secret rope swing.

4 - Then fling yourself off of a secret rope swing into a chilly watering hole.

5 - Climb a tree and hang out on the branches like the king of the world!

6 - Boogie board in the cold California surf brrrrrrrrr.

7 - Reach the summit of a peak and enjoy the amazing view.

8 - Play pick-up whiffle ball in the park down the street during sunset.

9 - Romp with your best friend, your family dog, who likes parks even more than you do!

10 - Hike through gorgeous forests in the springtime with green, green leaves.

The list goes on and on………

My growing kiddos who once used to revel in investigating every single bug and pebble in a square foot along the trail for an hour are now skilled mountain goats, comfortable in nature, leading the charge up the switchbacks and to the peaks of our local hills. My heart bursts with pride. 

And my heart bursts with pride with the honor of helping get almost a million kids and adults outside and into parks on May 20th by sharing affordable gear to take that pocketbook stress off of families. 

Kids To Parks partner Northside is offering a GIVEAWAY for a pair of their hiking boots. Sturdy. Solid. Less expensive.

Whoop! Win a pair of hiking boots like these from Northside!

So go for it. Get your kids and family outside on May 20th and every day. And win a pair of hiking boots to boot. You can enter to win in the form below! Giveaway is OVER we have a winner :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more fun photos, chats, news follow @OutdoorsyMama on  Instagram   Facebook and twitter.

-Annie @OutdoorsyMama

Disclaimer Giveaway: Giveaway is open to US Residents only and starts on March 15 12am and ends on March 23 12am. The winner of one pair of hiking boots will be chosen and a response within 48 hours is required. 

Disclaimer Gear: Northside provided gear for me and my kids to field test and for this giveaway. All opinions are formed, thought over, mulled, churned and are 100% my own.

Give back. Do good. Get kids into nature.
Photo: National Park Trust
Check out these other great articles about Kids To Parks:
5 Perfect Spring Day Ideas to Get Kids Outside
Get Ready for Kids to Parks Day 2017 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

North Face Global Athletes and Partners Connect Kids with the Outdoors in “Every Kid in a Park” Event

Celebrating "Every Kid in a Park" granting free National Park Passes to all 4th graders nationwide!
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Photo: National Park Trust

The super-tall, super-lean, super-endurance runner Dylan Bowman is bent over a bunch of outdoor gear - warm jacket, rain layer, etc - rolling up each item as tightly as possible and stuffing them into a backpack, demonstrating to a group of wide-eyed 4th graders how to pack a backpack for a day hike.

He leans in and asks this small group of eight or so kids from Hoover Elementary School in Oakland, California: how many of you have ever gone hiking? Two of the eight kids raise their hands. Just two.

North Face global athlete Dylan Bowman teaching about packing a backpack.
Photo: National Park Trust

I don’t know why I find that number surprising. I suppose it’s because I live and breathe the outdoors and I’m surrounded by like minded enthusiasts both in my community and online. But once I reach out of my comfort-bubble-zone, I remember the stark reality that most kids in the United States don’t have my kind of access to the outdoors and don’t get to go to parks beyond their local, neighborhood park. 

That’s why last week’s event at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, which brought together 60 students from Oakland to enjoy a day of outdoor games and exploring and was sponsored by a powerful partnership of outdoor-kid-evangelist players, is so vital and touching. 

The official 4th Grade Pass to all U.S. National Parks.

Each and every one of these 60 - 4th graders was proudly given a National Parks Pass to hang around their necks, as if receiving an Olympic Medal, for their entire family to have free access to all of America’s public lands and waters for the entire year, an initiative funded by “Every Kid in a Park” which launched out of the White House last year. And to support and celebrate that initiative, The North Face Explore Fund, The Outdoor Alliance for Kids, The National Park Service and The National Park Trust have all banded together to create this event and similar events around the nation.

Teaching a group of eager 4th graders how to set up a tent.
Photo: National Park Trust

Why is this so important? 

“Too few children have opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural world and programs like this are critical to ensuring all kids can visit their public lands,” explains OAK Co-Founder and Chair, Jackie Ostfeld. And she’s right. By providing free access to our nation’s great and treasured parks, this initiative helps alleviate a piece of one the barriers, a financial one, and allows more families to play in the outdoors which in turn brings about a healthier, more active population overall. 

Senior Director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face, Ann Krcik aptly adds, “through the Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.” This is key. This is vital. By introducing this giant population of 4th graders and their families to the Parks every year, we are creating stewards for wild places and green spaces for generations to come.

North Face athletes mixing it up in the backpack relay race with some giddy 4th graders.
Photo: National Park Trust

So now we circle back to our super-athlete Dylan Bowman and this diverse group of wide-eyed kids hanging onto his every word. The “backpack relay race” starts and each kid is gleefully rolling up gear and smashing it into the backpack as fast as possible to beat the other team of classmates next to them, racing back and forth, gear and bodies flying everywhere. 

It’s this kind of giddy joy that helps tells the story of why getting these kids access to the outdoors is so important and why so many groups are making this their mission.

Let’s all grab our backpacks and jump on board. To the summit!

For more conversation about the outdoors find me on twitter, facebook and instagram.

-Annie @OutdoorsyMama 


For more information about these groups making a difference for kids:

About The North Face®: The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 413 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About National Park Trust: National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, NPT has completed more than 100 land projects benefiting 40 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C.  Since 2009, our Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 2,000,000 students across the country with our nation’s parks, public lands and waters (ParkTrust.org).

About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK): OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together more than eighty businesses and organizations, led by a steering committee which includes representatives from the Alliance for Childhood, American Heart Association, Children & Nature Network, Latino Outdoors, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, NatureBridge, The North Face, Public Lands Service Coalition (a program of The Corps Network), REI, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the YMCA of the USA to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. For more information: www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org