Adventuring with a Kid
I’m hardly an expert here, but Zoe and I have had our share of adventures together over the years. Sometimes with Mom, sometimes without. And pre-Zoe, her Mom and I had our share of wacky and half-baked adventures that usually revolved around hang gliding and whichever way the wind was blowing. Cycling isn’t dictated by the wind but our adventures still have an aspect of spontaneity. They tend to be influenced more by the environment and situations we’re in rather than us trying to drive a particular agenda. With that, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned about adventures with a kid.
- Don’t over plan.
Could have predicted that, eh? I’m a planner when it
comes to trips like this. I do it because I enjoy the process of planning, which is generally way more fun than what I’m doing at work. It keeps me sane. But when the trip starts, the plan mostly gets tossed. Of course you keep the critical stuff– no planning during a long isolated stretch through the desert, for example, is just dumb. But you don’t sweat the details unless they truly matter, and you change the plan constantly. As they say, it’s about the
planning, not the plan.
- Involve your kid
One of my favorite examples of this was during a cycling trip to Givens Hot Springs a couple of years ago. We camp enough that we
we have a pretty streamlined system for gathering our stuff and putting it in whatever vehicle we’re using. We can be ready to go on very short notice. This
is handy but not without it’s problems. This was the first trip of the season
and the ease with which I packed for the trip made me sloppy– I didn’t check to
see if all the necessary parts were in the tent bag. When we got to Givens after
a gruelling 50 mile ride, just ahead of a big storm, frantically setting up the
tent, we discovered that we had no stakes. I lost it. Not because we needed the
stakes to survive– it was a free standing tent– but because Why the stakes
weren’t in the bag is still a mystery. The investigation has gone cold.
- Roll with the punches