Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My WIFE Outdoors - How One Woman Came to Love the Outdoors

This is the first of several posts contributed by my wife. As she states below, we hope for this to become a regular segment on MyLifeOutdoors. A valuable resource to women (and their husbands) who love the outdoors (or who, at least, wish to love the outdoors). This is My Wife Outdoors. 

The other day I was recounting my life changing experience backpacking in Glacier National Park to a coworker. I just finished telling her about our five day, nearly thirty mile, mostly Grizzly free backcountry trip when I looked up expecting to have inspired my friend. She looked horrified. That is when I realized, in the land of big hair and weekly manicures…I am an oddity.
My Husband and I at Thunderbird Pond in Glacier National Park
I don’t know many “outdoorsy” females and I don’t know any moms that go traipsing through the wilderness with their two daughters. I am sure you are out there. I am convinced I can’t be that much of a freak. However, when I tell my gal pals about my weekend hike or inner desire to spend a year backpacking most of them make a joke about how they would love to join me…if they can stay at the Holiday Inn and spend the day at the spa instead of hitting a trail.

 I can’t say that I have always loved adventure. I like control and comfort, something you don’t always have when you are holding onto huckleberry bushes, lost in an avalanche field, being eaten alive by mosquitos, soaked by rain, with your toenails falling off (now how does that not sound like fun?).
Hiking through an Avalanche Field.
My journey to becoming a lover of hiking/backpacking/camping/kayaking has been slowly taken. It didn’t happen over night, in fact it all started because my family and I loved vacations but we could never afford to stay in hotels. I am so thankful that this frugality forced us outdoors. Thinking about this apparently astonishing obsession my husband, daughters, and I share made me decide that I would like to start writing about my life outdoors, from the wife/mother/woman perspective. I want to answer some of the questions I get asked, combat some myths that I frequently hear, and simply invite you to read my account of the trips and travels that we love. My husband jokingly calls this My Wife Outdoors….so that title has stuck. I hope you all enjoy!

-Celeste

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29 comments:

  1. Awesome Celeste! Glad to see more outdoorsy women! Looking forward to your contributions!

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  2. Welcome! I can certainly appreciate outdoor travel as an alternative to spending money on hotels. I started backpacking a couple years ago, and now I find hotel vacations a bit boring (and expensive, of course). I'm looking forward to your posts!

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  3. I love seeing women getting outdoors and doing adventurous things! Welcome to the club!

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  4. I've always been a lover of the outdoors. Yes, and just like you, sometimes it's hard to relate to other "girly" women who just don't understand. Like the title of your post - maybe you need to start your own blog! :)

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  5. Celeste. Great Post. My Wife Robin traipses through the woods any chance she gets. As a matter of fact, she's showed me more about nature than I have her. I guess being raised in the woods by her outdoor loving parents and living in the country helped with that. I however was a city boy raised in suburbia. We used to drag our one daughter out all the time. Now we're dragging both daughters out too. :D Looking forward to more My Wife Outdoors posts. Keep Steven in line will ya. :P

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  6. Glad to meet another outdoorsy woman blogger. Do you think Steven will be able to handle it if your posts get more views than his? OR he may decide you need to blog with him full-time. It's a slippery slope. But, seriously, it's a lot of fun. I can't wait to read your posts:)

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  7. There are a few of us, freaks or not! I don't have kids so I don't have that experience, but I'm planning to start dragging out my nieces who are 4 years old. How old are your girls? I would love to see a blog post about how much you can expect children at different ages to do. I'm planning on taking my nieces hiking and I'm not sure how much I should be planning for as I don't know how long they can take it or how far they can walk.

    Looking forward to seeing more posts from you!

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  8. I'm a outdoorsy girl in New York City -- how's that for an oxymoron? I love learning new ways to make the outdoors less scary for other women, so I really look forward to your posts.

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  9. Always great to see more women getting out and enjoying the outdoors! It is critical for the continued preservation of parks, campground, hiking trails and all we cherish. If these endeavors (hiking, backpacking, camping) are not supported and enjoyed by both men and women, we are truly doing ourselves a disservice. Great job Celeste, I look forward to reading about your adventures!

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  10. You aren't alone. I too am an outdoors girl... I'd much rather be on the trail than in a mall! When my son came along, we just adapted our lifestyle (and continue to adapt) to meet his needs but we certainly didn't change it... he went on his first hike at 2 weeks and his first camping trip at 3 weeks. At not quite three he thought last weekend was "the bestest" because he got to go downhill skiing and hiking!

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  11. I am so glad to hear this! Many people would think there is no way you could hike with a 3 week old! What type of carrier did you use? I love that you are building some of the bestest memories by taking him outdoors! Our (almost) eleven year old is constantly telling us "this was my favorite weekend ever!" I hope they grow up to love being outside too!

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  12. I completely agree! I hope to see more families visiting all of those places as well! Way cheaper, less crowded, and so much more enjoyable than Disneyworld!

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  13. Me too! So far I haven't been super convincing to most of my friends but I hope to change that!

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  14. I hope to blog about this in the future. "Training" our girls is still a learning process and all children are different. The biggest advice I could give is to start small (and short) and make sure you are prepared with snacks and other comforts. I would highly recommend doing some short walks around your town with your nieces and see how far they can go before the whining sets in! If they could walk two miles on flat city ground I wouldn't push them past a short mile to start with. It seems small but they will build up to bigger hikes!

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  15. Thanks Tiffany! I am enjoying brainstorming new posts and thinking about future blogs! Steven is loving it! He has been wanting me to do this for a year now and has been amazingly supportive. I don't know how he will feel if I get more posts though...might just have to get my own blog if it comes to that!

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  16. Tim, I don't know if it is possible to keep Steven in line! I have been trying for nearly 12 years...hasn't worked yet! I am so glad that you are raising your girls to love being outdoors and I am also thrilled to hear that your wife Robin has taught you too love getting out in nature too! Thanks so much for your comment!

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  17. Thanks Linda! It is so nice to know I am not alone!

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  18. Thank you! I love getting out and doing adventurous things.

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  19. They are definitely boring! Occasionally we have to fork out the money for a shower but other than that I much prefer sleeping under the stars!

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  20. Thanks so much Paul! Looks like I am not alone after all!

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  21. As my blog says, if you told me 6 months ago that I'd be hiking/backpacking for a week+ solo, I'd say you were nuts. I live in stilettos (except on trail). My friends are dumbfounded when they hear there is no shower or blowdryers on the trail.

    I insist on being comfortable - that means GOOD coffee, clean socks/undies & wipedown before getting in sleeping bag, and none of that crappy trail food. I'm happy to carry a little more if it makes the experience enjoyable for me.

    And I believe in dual-purpose products - like tinted lip balm & moisturizer (spf 50). Nothing wrong with looking presentable.

    The more experienced hikers clearly think I'm "high trail maintenance". I made a joke about the campsite not having enough sunlight for my solar hairdryer. They thought I was serious...

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  22. You are very lucky. That's a lot of bonding time with your wife. I envy you. Are your daughters not tagging around?

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  23. In my family it's me, Mom, who leads our excursions into the great outdoors! I took my kids camping and hiking many times even though their Dad had to work many of those weekends. Now that the kids have grown up, I've formed a little hiking group of ladies from work. Our goal is to hike all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. I even talked my husband into doing a three day excursion on the Appalachian Trail last summer and hope to squeeze in another section this summer. I'm enjoying your blog, and look forward to reding more.

    http://hikingtotheheights.blogspot.com/

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  24. Happy to be able to read your blog. Particularly this post. Would want my four kids to go with me on a hike. Am just so concerned about safety and all since they're all very young except my eldest who's 13.

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  25. Wonderful blogsite you both have here. Recommended by some friends.
    Always great to catch up with fellow wanderers.
    DSD

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  26. I love your blog and it's content.this is such a nice post Thanks for posting!!
    Camp Stoves

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  27. That is great! I hope to do more blogging about hiking with children in the near future!

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  28. We think so too! Our girls tag along most of the time!

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  29. To have a good relationship it helps to enjoy the same activities. For our honeymoon 15 years ago my wife and I spent 3 weeks backpacking in Alaska. We still continue to spend as much time as possible backpacking and camping with the animals and bugs. Great post.

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