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Who gets credit for getting YOU into the outdoors?

As I find myself trying navigate the uncertainty of right now, I've been stepping up my time running and riding my bike solo. On a ride yesterday, I began thinking about where my love of the outdoors started, and who gets credit for. For me, it was definitely my parents - my dad taught me to ski and rode the 5-boro bike trip in NYC repeatedly with me, my mom took me camping and skiing. In a moment like this, I am ever so grateful to both of them for instilling this love in me, as I find myself falling back on the outdoors for comfort and a dose of sanity.

How about you? Maybe it was your parents, a friend, a relative, a teacher...maybe it was yourself...but who do you give credit to for instilling in you a love of the outdoors? We'd love to hear about them. Share a picture or maybe even invite them to join this community!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
28 Replies

Boy Scouts!  I owe so much to scouting.  This helped shape my entire outlook on life, but especially my love for the outdoors.  It continues to this day, as I'm ready to embark on a week-long paddle trip with my Eagle Scout pals in June.  They continue to inspire me to get outside. 

Keep Calm and Paddle On

My parents taught me, who were taught by their parents, who were taught by their parents, etc.  Kind of a family tradition in that way really.  Mom and dad both had summers off, so they would take me and my siblings in the camper for weeks on end.  Usually in Western Montana (Yellowstone to Glacier) or the upper peninsula of Michigan, but we also made our way as far as Maine and South Carolina.  Because my family mostly live in the west to midwest, we rarely would ever go to the southwest or south in the summer (also because we are all fairly heat averse).

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Definitely my parents! They had me and my younger sisters out on family camping trips, hikes, and other outdoor adventures at young ages!


Get outdoors, stay safe, and happy trails!
Todd the Hiker

@Todd_the_Hiker such a great picture!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you! Those were my budding photographer days with my Kodak 110 Instamatic back in the 1970s.

Get outdoors, stay safe, and happy trails!
Todd the Hiker

Thanks for posting this question, JenK! In my case, it wasn't my parents or anybody else. I'm a sort of a self-motivated outdoorsman.

I was born in a small mining town in Chile. Not much to do over there, so I spent as much time as I could playing outdoors and running away to our "backyard", the Atacama Desert, climbing hills, following old miners trails, and swimming in the one small creek we had some 20 miles away, until I joined the Scouts when I was 11 years old. Eventually I'd backpack most of the country and climb several of its highest mountains in college.

The interesting thing is that I got my younger siblings and parents into hiking and camping, and they love it now. Every time I take my parents camping I tell them that it's my "revenge" for them not taking me camping when I was little 🙂

Farther. Higher. Longer.

@DavidM sounds like pretty sweet revenge! Have any pictures to share of your Atacama Desert "backyard"?!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Here are a few images of the places I call home:

Road to San Pedro de AtacamaRoad to San Pedro de AtacamaValle de la LunaValle de la LunaTrail to Ojos del SaladoTrail to Ojos del SaladoLaguna Miscanti areaLaguna Miscanti areaMount Paniri (most likely)Mount Paniri (most likely)

Farther. Higher. Longer.

My son,


Summer breaks, otherwise i'm all school

A friend in seventh grade named Brian who was kind enough to talk to a very shy introverted young boy. He invited me to join the local boy scout troop. I went on a few camp outs and fell in love. I've been camping and enjoying outside adventures in the US and Multiple countries ever since. Just got back from Zion and Angels Landing. BTW I'm 62. 

My dad wasn't a camping kinda guy but he was into long distance cycling back in the mid 70s before it was popular. He took me along for the ride where I developed a love for road bikes hills and long distance rides.

I have been very fortunate to have done many “things” in my life and lived to talk about them. My adventures moving forward won’t be as elaborate but just as fun. I value every day that I’m on two feet and look forward to every new adventure.