If you have not yet picked up Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids, Eugene Buchanan’s excellent tome for surviving active parenthood, do so now. The book is the 0utdoor addict’s answer to Dr. Sears. Last week, Eugene, who is a frequent contributor here at Elevation Outdoors, read from the book at REI in Boulder and Denver. Here’s a bit of what Eugene has to say:
Your rec life doesn’t have to be a wreck just because you have kids. It changes, sure. But tricks of the trade ease the learning curve to involving your kids in your outdoor endeavors. When rock climbers and other adrenaline junkies go through withdrawals, they say they need to “feed the rat.” This book shows parents how to do just that, while including the rugrats, too.. When asked about his appearance on the cover of Outside magazine along such outdoor recreation legends as Lance Armstrong, Kelly Slater and Ed Viesturs, musician Ben Harper had only this to say: “To the people who say what the #$%& is he doing on the cover of Outsidemagazine, let me just say this: I’ve got four kids. Four kids is an extreme sport, period.” It certainly is. Many of you already indulge your children’s other, more conventional active pastimes——shuttling them, as all parents do, to gymnastics, baseball, dance, soccer, football, swim lessons, tennis, piano, play dates, playgrounds, and other time-, gas- and money-consuming activities, sometimes all on the same day. Throw in the inevitable potty breaks and tantrums before, during and after, and it’s a schedule as full as your daughter’s stuffed animal shelf. Painful as all this shuttling is, keep doing it; it shows you’re on the right track toward keeping your children busy with activities. My purpose is to help you add the wonderful world of outdoor recreation into the mix. I’m no expert, exercise physiologist, or Dr. Ruth of Recreation. There are no fancy Recreating with Kids diplomas or similar recreation accreditation hanging on my walls. Just a few ribbons from my kids’ swim meets and soccer matches. I’m an average Joe Schmoe who happens to enjoy recreating outside with my kids, both for my own selfish sake and theirs. This outlook was instilled at an early age.
Don’t just take our word for it. The book is being promoted by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, which is on a mission to fight childhood obesity by getting kids outdoors. And it won the Gold Medal in the Family (Parenting/Health/Safety) category from the 2010 Living Now Book Awards, recognizing Books for Better Living.