March 18, 2022


10 y/o daughter said a boy named, Bryan, was trying to roast her at recess so she told him, “This has been fun, Brad,
but I have to go.” I said I thought his name was Bryan and she smiled and said, “It is.”She’ll do just fine with bullies.

--NicholasG, @Dad_At_Law

weekly tip

Take a nap—it’s good for you! Don’t believe us? Read this. You’re welcome.

trail talk

March is women’s history month and it has been since 1987 when Congress passed a joint resolution declaring it so. But it wouldn’t have if not for the work of—yup, you guessed it—some determined, hard-working and trailblazing women historians. These women were intent on rewriting a more inclusive, more accurate, American history that would recognize the achievements and contributions of women. Their path to Congressional action was not easy, and in many ways their work to better tell women’s history continues today. You can read all about them and their efforts in this informative piece from National Geographic. A fitting way, we think, to celebrate this month.

As a further tribute to the month of March and women everywhere, how about this story from The Guardian about inspirational women adventurers. Not gonna lie, it’s a topic we get pretty pumped about over here… There are hikers, runners, cyclists, skiers, sailors and more among the impressive women profiled here. It’s a quick read and highly likely to provide some motivation for your own adventures, too.

But even if that story doesn’t do the trick (hard to believe), maybe Cheryl Strayed will. It’s been 10 years now since “Wild” was published, her raw, moving and bravely honest memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone as a novice, naïve, outdoorswoman. To celebrate, Outside Magazine has chosen the book as its March pick for the Outside Book Club. Members will discuss it on the club’s Facebook page all month and on April 5th they will host a Zoom Q&A with Strayed herself. That, we think, is an opportunity not to be missed.

Now, have you ever heard of Lusia “Lucy” Harris? Probably not, which is precisely what makes the new documentary, “The Queen of Basketball,” such an absolute treasure. The film, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject, tells Harris’s remarkable story. Born in a small town in south Mississippi to parents who were sharecroppers, she went on to become a college basketball phenomenon who led her team to three straight national championships, she brought home a silver medal in the Olympics after scoring the first ever basket in women’s Olympic history and is the only woman ever to be officially drafted by the NBA. She turned them down. Harris was later inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the first Black woman to receive such an honor. But what makes this beautiful film particularly joyful to watch is Harris herself: her smile, both cheeky and warm; her immense modesty about her skills; and hearing her tell her too-long-forgotten story in her own words. The effect may just bring you to tears.

Women are just so cool, no?

Finally, although we wanted to bring you some happy news during these difficult days, the war in Ukraine still rages and it’s simply impossible to ignore. If you are able, and inclined, here’s a helpful guide of some charities you can support that are directly assisting the Ukrainian people both those still inside the country and the now roughly 3 million refugees who have fled.

trail matters

The headline on this one pretty much says it all: the war in Ukraine would not be happening were it not for the power Putin has accrued from his nation’s production and sale of oil and gas. The question now is, what is the rest of the world going to do about it? And, is this the push the world needs to start making a serious transition to renewable energy? Perhaps, and environmental advocates are hoping that is, in fact, what will happen. But, like anything, it’s complicated and the simultaneous calls by some in the US to pick up the slack created by bans on Russian oil with an increase in US exports, is not exactly an environment-saving solution. It’s too early to know whether Putin’s war will become a boon or a bust for the fossil fuel industry. What’s already clear is that conversation about what comes next for our global energy needs is a must.

trail treasures

For most of us, spring break is on the horizon. And, also for most of us, spring break means family travel, which, with children in tow, can be both wonderful and very, very, hard. But this lovely piece about a nearly 300-mile thru-hike a family of four (with children aged 8 and 12) completed last summer reminds us that adventure is almost always worth the effort. “When we set out, we didn’t know what was in store for us,” the author writes. “In the end, we learned that anyone, even without experience, even with kids and a dog, can accomplish the extraordinary.”

It's with that spirit in mind that we hope we can approach this traveling season. But we also want to be as prepared as we can be. So, we searched for the pro tips that would help, like those in this story from REI about how to successfully go backpacking with kids. Key here is flexibility—on your part—and a willingness to take on your child’s perspective. Also, don’t make them carry too much. Yes, your new name is Sherpa. For those who will be venturing out via airplane, we found this story with a useful round-up of packing tips from other traveling families. For one, packing cubes are your new best friend. Number two, invest in a good travel stroller. Three, keep the toys to a minimum. There’s more, but we’ll let you read it yourself. And, if you’re not sure about taking your kids anywhere at all, have a look at this article, which explains why travel is so important for their development. In short, it teaches empathy for differences, adaptability, curiosity, it can boost their language skills and, really, so much more.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t plug the ultimate travel essential: iksplor gear. Our layers—for your children and even for you moms—are just about the most versatile pieces you will fold into those packing cubes you’ve so diligently organized. Perfect in hot and cold climates alike, for the plane, the trail, the beach and bedtime, too, you’ll be amazed at how much less you need to bring with these in the mix.