The 9 Essentials of

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I think it's about time we raise our glass and extend a very heart-felt thanks to you. The world of blogging is getting larger by the minute, and we're very grateful that you choose to put ours on your regular reading list. Thank you for reading our posts, being kind with with your commentary and coming back from time to time to check things out. We hope you do one of the following: add our RSS feed to your blog reader, connect with us on Facebook, comment on our stories and pictures, and share the joy with your friends. But mostly we hope you enjoy yourself while you're here. We hope that when you click in you go, "I'm glad I did this today."

Over the years, a small number of folks have mistaken us for a guide service, a children's day camp, utter fools, and, well, something of a panel of experts with concrete answers. All of those are quite a distance from the truth. Primarily, I started this blog because I have a fascination with the concept of trying to be a person who maintains an active, sweaty, well-traveled dirtbagger's life amid the complexities, nuances, joys, and frustrations of being a spouse, parent or both at the same time. So I do hope it's clear that the driving force behind this blog is wonder and exploration of how we interact with our kids and spouses, grow, and hopefully become better people because of it. It's not always about how to make outdoor adventure as a family easier. Truth is, it's just a lot of work. So we like to write about and promote the positive sides of dirtbagging with the kids. That's what Adventure Parents the website is all about.

Now would be as good a time as any to outline the things that make what it is today. I think we owe it to you to state simply what it is you can expect from us. So when you come by for a visit, you can find any of the following to provoke your thoughts:

Photo Galleries - These are things with a lot of pictures, sometimes a story. Galleries encompass either an experience or a perspective.

Photo of The Day - A single picture that, for one reason or another, we think holds a fun, interesting, or hilarious story to be told. Not to be mistaken for a photo every day. Some days you get one, some days you don't. Hey, you get what you pay for. Guaranteed 100%. Ah, and sometimes the picture is mine, sometimes it is submitted.

Blog - The broadest column of our website is broken into two parts, Dad's Blog and Mom's Blog. I'm more active with writing than my wife, which is why I like to supplement the Mom's Blog column with guest blogs and republished blogs from time to time (like this, and this). I enjoy sharing personal narratives, fascinating videos and timelapses, stories about ordinary kids and/or parents pulling off neat adventures, outdoor related news, and so on. It's a melting pot, but still a focused one. For the record I like writing that knows how to invoke drama without the use of exclamation points, uses em dashes and colons with caution, and knows that snark is overused.

Cool Find - This is typically reserved for product reviews, previews, or overviews, but that's a loose definition. Often this is something right out of our own gear stash, or sometimes it's a discussion about a product that we don't own but it may have a fascinating story or angle. We hold ourselves to these editorial ethics.

Cool Families - There are a number of parents and families who are undertaking great trips, writing their own unique blogs, or who have some combination of those two things. Like the Rehm family. I think it's fun, useful, and inspiring to share these stories. If you think you have a story that fits here, speak up. Admittedly, I have a few of these stories in the hopper now. These take some time to assemble the facts and photos.

Recipes - Food. We're kind of into adventure road trips, and what's a good adventure road trip without tasty grub? I'll tell you what it is: an adventure road trip likely on the edge of becoming a miserable one. While we're not opposed to stories like "5 Simple Camping Recipes for Picky Eaters," we're most often interested in pleasing the parent's palette. And we have little experience with picky eaters, and therefore no expertise with it. We've published margaritas, stuffed jalapeños, and seafood dishes. Just a fair warning. If you have a suggestion, or have some picky-eater recipes, speak up.

Tips - The most loosey-goosey category we have. Tips and advice is a difficult segment because kids and spouses are people, not gadgets with instruction manuals. We're all winging it anyway. I prefer to pose questions to the readers for input, like a "how do you..." type of question. Then discuss the possibilities. I like the concept of a village of like minded folks with whom we form connections. When you're in search of advice, pose it to us and we'll pose it to the readers. We'll all learn something.

The Sunday Morning Chillax - Every Most Many Sunday mornings we post an inspiring, touching, infectious, tantalizing, compelling, thrilling or otherwise awesome short video scooped up from somewhere on the web. It'll always be tied to outdoor adventure and always fun to watch while you enjoy the week's most relaxing morning.

Daily Deal - Visit the Daily Deals page any time to peek at a pretty sweet deal on gear. They change every day at midnight and are delivered by three cool outdoor retailers. When you buy something through that page, we earn a small commission. Very small.

Among, within, and throughout all of that you'll often find that I like photography, art, music, culture, style, campervans, dirt roads, Mexico, and good stories. Doses of each, guaranteed.

Welcome to Enjoy it, dig it, and feel free to tell us what you think, what you've done, or where you're going next.


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# Jed 2011-10-18 12:50
Well, because you like dirt roads and campervans I guess its only fair I share our trip round Europe in our VW Syncro 4x4 Campervan last summer. I have added five parts of the six part series to if you fancy taking a look some time.

Keep up the good work Jed
Mark Stephens
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# Mark Stephens 2011-10-18 14:20
That is very fair. Thanks Jed! Great story you have there...
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# Jed 2011-10-18 23:42
Quoting Mark Stephens:
That is very fair. Thanks Jed! Great story you have there...

I just added part six so now the series is complete :-)

+2 / 0
# Kirstie 2011-10-19 10:20
"I started this blog because I have a fascination with the concept of trying to be a person who maintains an active, sweaty, well-traveled dirtbagger's life amid the complexities, nuances, joys, and frustrations of being a spouse, parent or both at the same time."

You sound like a kindred spirit. Although we started our adventures to escape routine and the sometimes overpowering intimacy of village life. Your post is very well written.

Keep up the mission!
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# Mark 2011-10-21 20:18
Thanks, Kristie. I appreciate that.
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# Amanda 2011-10-19 17:30
I started a blog on blogger to keep a record of all the adventures my husband and I do. Reading your blog has inspired me to keep up with it, in hopes that if anyone (other than family) reads it, they will be inspired to go on adventures. We don't have kids yet, but still hop on the motorcycle, or truck camp with the dogs now and again.
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# Mark 2011-10-21 20:25
Amanda, that's a very, very nice compliment. Thanks.
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# Danielle 2012-07-03 16:28
Found your site through Go Explore Nature. I love it! I love to travel with my children, and you have such inspiring content here!
# Guest 2014-02-21 17:35
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