Who to Follow 2017: Instagram Outdoor Families Pt. 2
I met Melissa from Chasqui Mom on Instagram after following her adventures outside with her big bunch and immediately felt like we had lots in common–since then we’ve gone on several outings together with our kids and have shared stories with each other from mommy blunders, traditions, potty training, sleepless nights and occasional texts of encouragement. Maybe you’ve had the same experience with someone you met on Social Media? Getting to know another family outdoors has made me realize how little I know about other people doing the same thing. Meeting them through likes, shares, and comments has inspired us–diverse families outdoors are thriving. Rounding out our 2-part series, here a few more families to get to know and follow on Instagram
The Thornley Family
Salt Lake Valley, Wasatch Front
Sachi, a Hawaiian native and her husband who is from Utah, are the opposite of helicopter parents. Besides finding activities not only right for their two kids, they constantly encourage them to go beyond their abilities and to take risks outside during activities like rappelling or rock climbing. In 2016 they were so proud of their 3-yo for carrying her own gear on their first backpacking trip.
Future aspirations: Finding more time to climb more and learn how to kite board. Obstacles: Money and buying gear for current activities.
Next adventure: Camping at Bryce National Park
Follow on Instagram: @thorneeesachi
Sachi is a contributor on the Adventure Mamas website and you can read more from her there.
The Eppard Family
Phoenix AZ, relocating to Olympia WA in March 2017
This multicultural desert family of four prove that being outdoors sometimes take more than a few times to master. After attempting to hike the Horton Creek Trail in Payson with some difficult weather the first two times, they faced their fears the third time proving that persistence together conquers even the most challenging conditions–a trait that they will appreciate when they move to the Pacific Northwest in the Spring. They especially want to make sure they don’t limit themselves to just hiking when they get to their new digs.
Future aspirations: Learning how to rock climb. Obstacles: Time and resources (finding a skilled instructor.)
Next adventure: Moving to a new state! Other goals include hiking 500 miles, snow shoeing, and fat biking.
Trip around with Erica, Denny, and family on Instagram: @eppardsbetrippin
The Hanks Family
North Central California
As an avid runner and hiker, Sharon, her two boys, and husband know a thing or two about overcoming challenges outdoors. A recent trip to Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe gave them plenty of strong winds, sleepless nights, and a water taxi that cancelled due to weather which led to some unplanned mileage on the trail. While sports (basketball and soccer) takes up most of their free time, in 2016 they managed to hike an impressive 24 hikes with a total of 125.4 miles!
Future aspirations: Being able to identify edible flowers and plants seen on the trail. Obstacles: Time to do it
Next adventure: Hiking up Mt. Lassen as a family
Follow Sharon and her family on Instagram: @runhikenplay
Read her blog for some run/hiking inspo: run-hike-play.com
The Nguyen Family
Orange County, CA
Cuong and his family of four did the unimaginable and completed a “bucket list” road trip consisting of four states, two National Parks, eight hikes totaling more than 30 miles and they did it with two toddlers in tow in 100 degree weather. Travelling that much distance and staying in hotels throughout the trip was a learning experience and something that will definitely need tweaking for future trips–but that doesn’t keep the Nguyen family from trying new hikes and food when they are able.
Future aspirations: Would love to learn rock climbing. Obstacles: Time and money
Next adventure: Going on a road trip to Sequoia and Yosemite or up the Coast and visit family in Oregon
Follow foodies Cuong, his wife, and kids on Instagram: @hikebbqrepeat
The Hellewell Family
Los Angeles, CA
Mariela and her multi-cultural crew (Mom is from Argentina and Dad is White) are most known for their height-defying trips and adventurous spirit. Last year they camped, snorkeled, hiked, and explored the Channel Islands. From figuring out weight limits for food to seeing wild foxes on the trail, The Hellewells remind us parents that instead of leaving our kids with babysitters, we should take them along for the crazy (and sometimes tough) ride. They try and sleep at least 30 nights outside and find that connecting with other outdoor families makes for the best #destinationplaydates.
Future aspirations: River water rafting. Obstacles: age limit for learning how to river raft (their boys are 3 and 4).
Next adventure: Begin overnight backpacking with toddlers
Follow Mariela and her climbing bunch on Instagram: @The_bodhi_tree
The Hambrick Family
If only we could all make traveling look this easy. Monet and her family are the epitome of what traveling with kids should be. Her motto is “If kids live there, then kids can visit” which is why they’ve seen Santorini, Venice as a family–adulting is way more fun with kids! They don’t limit their adventures to parent-friendly destinations and last year during their trip to Barbados they all learned to snorkel, including their youngest who was just shy of her 2nd birthday.
Future aspirations: Learning how to ski. Obstacles: Age limit to learning how to ski together as a family (youngest is 10 months).
Next adventure: Thailand!
Follow Monet and her family on Instagram: @thetravelingchild
If you think traveling with kids is impossible, read Monet’s blog The Traveling Child for ways to make it realistic.
The Avery Family
San Francisco, Bay Area
Last but not least, is Melissa of Chasqui Mom and her multiracial, bilingual family of five. Paying homage to her ancestors is not only ingrained in the fabric of her family values but also in her adventures. She loves how outdoor adventuring is a canvas for learning other things such as math, Spanish, reading, and even bible stories. Besides hiking, her family loves to bike especially now since her kids are getting more comfortable riding. Last year during their trip to Maui, they learned to snorkel “under the sea”, putting good use to all those hours of swim practice.
Future aspirations: Better climbing, kayaking, and road/mountain biking as a family. Obstacles: Cost and time–whether buying or renting, it is very expensive for a family of five, and finding the time to practice with each child is hard to do.
Next adventure: A longer multi-day backpacking trip on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail in the San Francisco East Bay
If you haven’t already, be sure to read the first post in this two-part series from Chasqui Mom here. We’ve had some great feed back and we’d love to share more families with you in the future. If you or someone you know would like to be inlcuded in our next series you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.