How To Tell If You're An Outdoor Mama

Happy Mother's Day!

By: Kaitlin Glines-Barnhart
May 8, 2016

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Anyone can become an Outdoor Mama, but it takes guts, courage, and the willingness to look a bit crazy. When you arrive at the place of being able to call yourself an Outdoor Mama, you will know; it looks something like this:

Your car is always packed with extra clothes, food storages, water, and your car floors resemble a sort of treasure box, filled with random heart rocks, feathers, and sticks that little ones refuse to leave behind. The one time you cleaned your car out, you regretted it and if you are an Outdoor Mama, you’ll understand why.

Outdoor Mamas will be headed to the store after school with their kids and end up at the river, without noticing their brain knew what it needed the most. They have learned that planning is a ridiculous notion when things tend to not work out accordingly, and life is better spent on a random adventure. Outdoor Mamas just know that they don’t have to have it all figured out to go- they just need to get in the car and roll with it. Her kids admire her adventurous spirit, but she does make her normal friends nervous sometimes.

You’ll know you have reached the ‘Outdoor Mama’ status when you feel yourself asking the questions of: “Should I really have my kids here?” and, “Am I the only one doing this?” or, “I wonder how many trips I have to take to carry everyone across the river.”

5 Reasons Why I'm Raising My Kids On Adventure | Photo: Shannon Robertson

You look wild to those who refuse to think outside the box, or out side of the city. You’re kids will bring shells and fly fishing flies they tied on their own to Show and Tell. The school may call a few times to let you know they found a tick in your daughter’s jacket or because your son brought his bug collection to class again. You will have some stories that you can laugh at now, but in the moment you wondered why you ever would have thought what you did was a good idea. But then you went again the next day, at the right time, and it was blissful.

Outdoor Mamas arrive when they are no longer afraid to use the mountains, forests, and rivers as their playgrounds. They long to get to those special places throughout the week, to have time to just be a family without interruptions. But most of the time, they don’t wait for the weather to be perfect, or for the weekend to come at all- every day with an Outdoor Mama is a chance to explore.

But what makes you an Outdoor Mama more than anything else, is your willingness to lower your bar of expectations, turn your phone off, and take a risk. It’s not always pretty, or easy, or maybe worth the drive, but with each time you haul your little pack of kiddos out, you, my friend, are doing something amazing for your family and for your soul.

To the moms who hit the trails, with kids in tow, or walk the rivers with babies strapped to their front packs, I salute you. Cheers to the Outdoor mamas, who aren’t afraid to look crazy, get filthy, and just go!

Be free, raise wild ones, and play hard. Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers!

Cover photo: Jennie Sprigings

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.