A note from Maman on the Trail:
Meet Catherine, a human of the outdoors. Catherine lives in Kingston, Ontario and gets outdoors with her husband and their 2-year old son, Andy. Here is her story…
On her time outdoors…
Despite choosing to live in the suburbs, we get outdoors at least once or twice a week in the winter. In the summer, that jumps to virtually every day. It might be something simple like going for a stroll at the conservation area or in the woods near where we live, but other times we go for longer hikes and bike rides on the trails around Kingston and beyond.
Growing up, I loved “hiking”. As I got older, I realized that what we were really doing was walking through various parks in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). My dad grew up doing Boy Scouts and instilled a love for adventure and the outdoors in us. We didn’t get too many opportunities to really explore outdoors as children, as our downtime was pretty jam-packed. However, when I moved to Kingston for school, and later to settle down, I made it a point to take advantage of all the wonderful outdoor space we have here. It’s something that my husband and I are excited to share now with our 2-year old son.
Our son now actively asks to be outside all the time. Having to go inside has been the source of many meltdowns. Andy likes going on walks, playing with bubbles and water, and climbing things. We also got him his own trunk shovel this winter, and shovelling is definitely a favourite activity. When the snow melted from our driveway, we brought him to the deck in the backyard so he could continue to shovel there.
On getting the right gear…
I didn’t have a single pair of rain boots growing up. After moving to Kingston and having to walk to school, it didn’t take me long to realize that they were a necessity. From hiding under trees on my way home during flash torrential downpours to clearing fallen leaves from the storm drains, my rain boots have seen it all. Now I realize that regardless of the weather, you can still go outside as long as you have the right gear 🙂
Our enjoyment of the outdoors increases exponentially when we are dressed appropriately for the weather. Spring and fall tend to be damp, so rain boots are a must. Andy also has a Muddy Buddy* for outdoor play that currently lives at daycare. Summer calls for copious amounts of sunscreen, flip flops for visits to the splash pad, our Go-Throw beach towel and our bike helmets! Everything goes into our little MEC backpack (which I don’t think they sell anymore!). Andy also loves his sunglasses. We were unwilling to spend $25 for a pair of generic baby sunglasses, but were thrilled when we stumbled upon a pair from Children’s Place for $5. He sometimes wears them around the house! In the winter, we dress for warmth. We also always pack our Ultra Light Down jackets from Uniqlo when we travel.
On gear for all seasons…
- Our rain boots! My husband and I both have Hunters*, and Andy has a pair of bright yellow Stonz rain boots*
- Our carrier! We’ve used a Tula Baby since Andy was little, but bought an Onya Baby Pure before Christmas, which we love.
- Our stroller! We have a Bumbleride Indie*, which cuts through snow like a boss.
- Our water bottles! We use Nalgene* and Klean Kanteen*
A little Q & A…
Q: What is your go-to adventure snack?
A: Fruit, water, crackers (and cheese if it’s just a short trip).
Q: What piece of gear do you never leave the house without?
A: Rain boots. And our soft-structured carrier.
Q: What is your favourite nature quote, and who said it first?
A: “There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ John Ruskin
Q: What one piece of advice would you share with someone who is wary of or new to the outdoors?
A: Have someone share their favourite spots with you. New things are always easier when done with people you love and trust!
For more of Catherine’s stories and adventures, you can follow her on Twitter, @eduscribblings.
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