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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


This is a great story, thanks for sharing!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
  • My parents got me started in the outdoors with our family camping and fishing trip.  What fun we had as we covered our home state of Arizona 

Four+ shared concepts/"notions" :

"Who?  You mean 'Where?'"

"I never left the outdoors."

And, " into. Out.". ?!

"Out-of-doors. Now, That is awkward."

"Mother nature and father time." (and the multicultural rainbow of variance of that, brother eagle sister sky, etc)

The pied piper, back in the crusades.

Personally though, my mom was from the outback and I was born near a river in drought clime New Old California.  I' m closer to

"I never left the outdoors" and

"Who?  You mean 'Where?'"

My dog! 😂

@explorer126 have a picture to share?!

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

Growing up, the family was always outside camping, hiking, canoeing and skiing. I credit my father for setting the pace for all our outdoor activities.  I never knew anything different and thought everyone lived this way.....

My father picked up his love of the outdoors from his father. He grew up every summer on the water and in the winter on snow. The skis they used in 1950 were absolutely scary. 

My grandfather spent every summer fishing and every fall in the deep bush of northern Canada hunting. The skills were passed on through the generations; until now.  My boys were not taught how to hunt; their mother is anti-gun/anti-hunting. 



I realize this is an old post, but I'm monitoring a boring conference call.

My parents and extended family got me into the outdoors. My Dad was taking summer school classes to get his Masters, and we spent my toddler years in a KOA campground, my earliest memories are of an Apache camper. Both sets of grandparents were outdoorsy people. My Mom's Father gave his new wife a new 16 ft Thompson canvas on wood canoe in 1932 (Christened the GLADJO for Grandma Gladys and Grandpa Joe) and they spent their honeymoon canoeing all over the Adirondacks. My favorite Uncle claims this canoe was his cradle and playpen. This canoe is now in my garage. I don't get out in it often enough, but it is a solid connection to my past and the outdoors. Our favorite family recipes are often based on what we ate camping.

Dad's and Granddad's fav recipe - Potatoes and Onions:

Peel and slice onions until you think you have enough - then double the amount. (Now add one or two more.)

Par boil less than half as many potatoes as onions.

Start onions cooking in bacon fat on a cast iron pan, add potatoes when onions are half done.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, add sliced or diced garlic cloves.

May need to add some water as it likes to stick to the pan.

I grew up on two acres in the country, gardening and building forts. Every vacation (save one) that I remember was camping, family get togethers happened in the many Finger Lake State Parks in Upstate New York, (Watkins Glen was a particular favorite) where once the children were old enough, we ran amok in age groups.

I drifted away from camping after college, but we still did a camping trip every couple of years. My wife and I started hiking for exercise, and did a 17 mile section of the AT (out and back for 34 miles) back in 2017. My wife finds that she has less back pain when we are out hiking than she does in every day life despite carrying a (probably too heavy) backpack.

I found the REI community pages because I'm researching gear for my collage age daughter who is now discovering that she enjoys camping even more now that she can go without lame ol' Mom and Dad. (But seems very happy to ask for advice.)

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

My mother was a New Mexico farm girl who grew up in a small town riding horses. My father was a state park ranger before he joined the Air Force. I'd say a certain appreciation for the outdoors from both sides, but it was my father who usually was responsible for the family hiking and fishing trips and who decided I should learn to use a map & compass when I was in the third grade or thereabouts. My mother did take us out camping a time or two though and is responsible for teaching me to roast marshmallows. 


A bird - Roseate Spoonbill.   ( ).  My wife and I went to Ding Darling NWR ( ) on Sanibel Island, FL and saw Spoonbills and thought we should start keeping track of the birds we see.   20+ years later still birding and getting outside to see birds, and now butterflies, native bees, dragonflies, etc. 

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