Taking Your Kids Outside (Mostly) Without Whining (Holly Horch, mom and adventure kit creator)

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Holly Horch Humans Outside

Taking kids outside? Then you know the struggle. No matter how fun the thing you’re planning is likely to be, getting the crew out the door with all of the necessary belongings and good attitudes intact is a real challenge. So what are some strategies to get kids out into nature all year long without the fun unraveling into a fight?

In this episode of Humans Outside mom and creator of the All Weather Adventure kit line joins the podcast to talk about her best tips and tricks for getting h

Some of the good stuff:

[3:52] Holly Horch’s favorite outdoor space

[4:32] How Holly became someone who likes to go outside

[5:30] How nature became a part of their family culture

[8:49] Yes, the struggle is real

[9:26] How they’ve built outdoor time into their daily schedule

[11:04] Why we like nature so much as parents

[13:41] All about Holly’s All Weather Adventuring kits

[19:44] The secret art of marketing

[21:03] A philosophical pondering about kids and understanding fun

[22:06] Why group suffering matters

[25:00] The best way to make everyone happy

[29:04] The art of taking care of parental overwhelm 

[37:07] Holly’s favorite outdoor moment


Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.

Amy Bushatz: No matter who you are or where you go, heading outside even for a few minutes is always worth it. I’m your host, Amy Bushatz, and here at Humans Outside we’re using the Humans Outside 365 Challenge to build a life around spending time in nature while hearing from fascinating outdoor minded guests. As a journalist for 19 years, I’ve let curiosity be my guide. After my husband’s injuries from military service, we started looking for a better way to live. That’s why we moved sight unseen to Alaska to see if an outdoor focused life was the answer. Since September, 2017, I’ve personally spent at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every single day no matter what to explore, how nature can change my life. Ready to hear from experts and outdoor lovers who make heading into nature just a part of who they are while we work to do the same? Let’s go.

If you have kids or have spent time with kids, you know it’s not always exactly easy to get them willingly involved in the things you think are important or a good idea. Even if all the adults know that those things are fun, if you just give them a chance, and that’s definitely true when it comes to motivating your kids to spend time outside.

You might have memories of your parents kicking you outside in the summer and telling you to come back at dinner. We know we made our own fun, and the memories we have of those times are probably good ones. But at the time I’m positive I did not always go out willingly. In my house summer, outdoor time tends to be something I want to participate in too, so our time outside can look like me wanting to go on adventures, spend time at a campground, sleeping in a tent, hanging out at the lake, hiking and exploring. And while I’m getting excited about the summer just listing those things out, I can already hear my kids asking if we have to go and complaining that the things I wanna do sound boring. They might even act like hanging out around a campfire and eating s’mores is somehow cruel and unusual punishment. I know it boggles my mind too, but here we are. I know that I make us go outside anyway, and there two things will absolutely happen. We’ll have fun just as I’ve predicted, and there will be a lot of whining, possibly intermittent, possibly continuous, and definitely maddening along the way.

In short, getting kids outside for even the stuff we all know is fun, can be exhausting and feel not worth it, especially when you’re in the planning and motivation stage for making it happen. So how do you overcome that? What can you do to make it more pleasant or at least reduce the whining? What tips, tricks, and tools help to make it not just easier, but the magical adventure you know, heading outside can be?

Today’s guest, Holly Horch, is gonna help us with that. An outdoor enthusiast space in Idaho. Holly works to get her own four kids outside as much as possible, and she created a set of interactive outdoor kits to make it just a little bit easier for other families too. Today Holly is gonna share her best tips for getting kids outside for summer fun that everyone can enjoy.

Holly, welcome to Humans Outside.

Holly Horch: Thanks so much for having me, Amy. I’m happy to be here.

Amy Bushatz: Well, I am very excited to have you here. As I said, you’re coming to us from Idaho and here in Alaska, spring is still, shall we say, springing, but I think it’s probably almost summertime ish there.

Holly Horch: Actually this spring has been a little bit late. We’ve had a really, really late winter, so I mean, it’s definitely not still winter, but it’s, yeah, it’s been a long one for us in idaho.

Amy Bushatz: Hopefully by the time people hear this, everybody’s happy and warm and in summer, like qualities, that is the dream in my heart.

We start our episodes with our guests, imagining ourselves in one of their favorite outdoor spaces, like we’re hanging out, chatting somewhere. You love to hang out outside. So if that were true, where are we with you today?

Holly Horch: It’s hard for me to narrow it down, but I would say anywhere by the water. So I love being by water where the, whether that’s like at the ocean with the nice salty breeze and your toes in the sand and hearing the crash of the waves, or up in the mountains at an alpine lake, just like basking in the sun. Or even just like by a little creek in the middle of town, or like off of, like off a trail. That’s just somewhere by water.

Amy Bushatz: Yes. I too love water. So I’m excited to hang out there with you. So why don’t you start by telling us how you became someone who likes to go outside. What is your story?

Holly Horch: So I was raised to be connected with nature. My family, we definitely had like a nature centered atmosphere. We would go camping growing up, and we would go on trips to the coast to go surfing. We went on bike rides all the time, played tennis, basically just a lot of things to get us outside. And there were some years where we had a couple acres and me and my little brothers and my older sister would just go out and play for hours on end. And it was just kind of always part of my family culture to just enjoy being outside whenever we could. So, kind of was born into it, I guess?

Amy Bushatz: But how did spending time outside like that become a part of your family’s story now? So it’s one thing to grow up doing that. It is an entirely different thing to translate that into. I married, I got these kids, man, as I always tell my friends. And now this is part of our own family culture. How did that come across?

Holly Horch: So, my husband and I were both raised outdoorsy, and then after we got married, we still continued doing those things, getting outside, backpacking, camping, hiking, all the things. And after we had our kids it got to be a little bit less. I just, you know, I was pretty strict with my oldest. Like, oh, she needs to nap at this certain time, so we can’t go on a hike and like things like that, which I think is kind of a normal thing. But then in January of 2018, I read Linda McGurk’s book There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather, which I highly recommend to everybody. And it just kind of helped me, like it solidified in me that’s how I wanted to live my life. That it was okay that I had this nagging feeling almost like, it was almost like a nagging feeling that I just wanted to be outside all the time.

And I thought that wasn’t normal and that wasn’t like, okay. But it kind of just helped me realize that was all right for our family and that the fact that like, yeah, I wanna take my laundry outside and do my laundry outside instead of sitting inside and watching a show, like for me, that’s what worked and that’s what felt right.

And so reading that book kind of solidified that for me. And also I just kind of gave me the extra push I needed to get outside more. Especially we were living in Washington State at the time where it rains a lot. So reading a book called There’s no Such thing as Bad weather, really helped my mindset and just realizing that, yeah, I can get outside whenever and however, so.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. It’s almost like it gave you permission to do what you wanted to do to start with.

Holly Horch: Yes, absolutely. And it, yeah, gave me permission. It also made me feel like, not alone in it too, that like, oh, there’s other people who feel this way. I was like, oh, maybe I’m like, just so closely related to Scandinavian people, like, you know, they’re Swedes or whatever.

Amy Bushatz: Right, right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, you know, it is a cultural thing, right? I’ve had some in indigenous guests on the show in the last season, talk about indigenous and cultural connection to the land and how for their culture, that is part of what they do too. And so I don’t think the Scandinavians have a lock on it. I also think it’s a human nature thing, right? That we want to be outside, but our culture has taught us to be inside.

Holly Horch: Mmmm-hmm. And also that there’s like better things to do inside, or more productive things, or all these things, and it’s like, no I feel like I’m right that I wanna just be outside. So, yeah, I love that.

Amy Bushatz: Okay, so tell me if there’s something that you experience. People ask me all the time if my kids do my outdoor time with me, if it’s a family time thing and the answer is yes sometimes, but not all the time. Like they don’t always do my outdoor time with me, so I’m often doing my outdoor time in the mid-afternoon, for example. And part of the reason that’s true is that insisting my kids get outside with me as mandatory fun is just, you know, not fun. So while I have this drive to be outside, I don’t make them come with me every time because I want my time to be fun, not full of, you know, them struggling. So is am I alone on that? Is the struggle real?

Holly Horch: The struggle is definitely real. I think it absolutely depends on the day, your kids’ attitudes, and especially when you have multiple kids involved. It’s like not everybody’s always gonna be like, oh yeah, that’s gonna be fun. And I love that you kind of reserve that time for yourself and happiness instead of fighting it so much. So that’s, that’s cool.

Amy Bushatz: So I understand that you have managed to build outdoor time into really your whole family’s daily schedule. How did you make that happen for you? If the struggle is real, how do you make this be a part of just what your family does? Who your family is?

Holly Horch: Yeah. So, it started like, like I said, in 2018 I would work it in, I had three little kids at home. Nobody was in school yet. And so I would work in park time when I was out running errands. I would take ’em to the park and then we would meet with friends at the park. And then I started riding bikes to the park as opposed to just driving there, riding our bikes to the library. Just like little things.

And we used to go on family walk like almost every evening when we lived in Washington. After dinner we would go for a family walk. And so it just kind of, just those little habit. And then now that they’re older, so my oldest is 10, which isn’t super old, but it’s older. So my older three are in school. They go to public school. And we live close enough to the school that I walk them to school every day. So every morning they know we’re gonna walk to school regardless of the weather. You know, they need to dress for the weather anyways. And so we walk to school and then I walk and pick them up at the end of the day.

So we always make sure that we get that time outside. And then still after dinner or whatever we usually try to either go out back, like today we were out back playing volleyball with the girls for a little bit, and then we were out front and I was folding laundry and just getting outside in little ways.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. So you’ve, what I hear you saying is you’ve built this into your family culture and the expectation which is within the culture of your family, is that if it can be done outside, we’re doing it outside and that this is just a part of a daily part of who we are and what we do. It’s not a chore, it’s just what we do.

Holly Horch: Yeah, for sure. And part of it stems from part of my reason for being outside so much. I’m happier outside and my kids seem to be more well behaved outside. Maybe it’s because it, their voices don’t echo as much. I don’t know what it is. But they’re very active children. All of my kids are very active and so when we’re outside, they’re able to get their energy out more and it just feels more calm and peaceful to me. So, it was kind of out of necessity. Like, my kids are so active. Let’s get their energy out.

Amy Bushatz: I think there’s something to be said though for something you just alluded to, which is that they seem more well behaved. Okay. So I’m sure that going outside is benefiting them. No question. But I notice for me that when I’m happy everybody is more, I don’t wanna say tolerable cuz they’re not intolerable, but my perception of what other people are doing is friendlier. Let’s say that it’s like,

Holly Horch: That’s a great way to put it.

Amy Bushatz: Right? If I’m, it’s just like if I’m hungry. Okay. My, my people are very irritating. Everyone’s very irritating. I’m hungry. It has nothing to do with them. It’s, I’m just hungry.

Holly Horch: Yep. For sure. I totally get that. Like when you’re hangry, right?

Amy Bushatz: Yes. In fact, I caught myself the other day saying something to my kind of snapping at my son, my, my now 14 year old. He was in just in my way. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was just, In the way, and he’s huge. So being in the way for him is not very hard right now because he’s just so big and he doesn’t have a lot of body awareness. But the real problem was that I really needed a snack. And so I snapped at him a little bit and I, I said, You know what? I think I’m just hungry. I’m so sorry. And, but that’s how I, when I go outside, I feel better too. Right? I, you know, I’m so sorry. I just need, I need to take a beat. I need a brain break. I just need my own personal recess. Gretchen Rubin joined me on this podcast a couple weeks ago, and listeners can go back and listen to that episode, but one of the things she talked about was recess. And that’s a concept that I just love, like grownup recess and I need that. I don’t know about you.

Holly Horch: No, I love that so much. That’s amazing. I love too, that you said like when you snapped at your son, you’re like, I just need a snack. Like, being able to admit that and just be like, this is what’s going on. And like also seeing when you’re outside, when I’m outside, I’m happier. So everything seemed happier, totally makes sense.

Amy Bushatz: But it does.

Holly Horch: Totally does.

Amy Bushatz: So you make and sell these outdoor adventure kits for families. Tell us how you got the idea for these and what they include.

Holly Horch: Okay, so I actually started my business in April of 2021, so I just hit my two year mark, which is exciting. But the idea actually stemmed from us just loving, taking our kids on hikes, taking them outside, all of these things that we just naturally do. And I wanted to help inspire other families to make those outdoor memories and also to show them that it’s possible with young kids and with and or with a lot of kids. Like these things are possible.

So that’s kind of what the idea stemmed from, is just trying to help other families get outside more, giving them another tool in their toolbox to get out more.

So the Adventure Guide kit is the first thing I created, and it comes with a cute little magnifying glass. And then a carabiner, so you can clip it onto your backpack or your clothes or whatever.

And it has four front and back cards. So on each of the cards there’s different, like, helpful information and activities to do. So the first card has the Leave No Trace principles because those are so important for us and for our kids to learn. And then the backside of that has animal tracks, so just some common animal tracks to look for.

The next sheet has a nature scavenger hunt so they can look for something slimy and something tall and all these different things that they can look for. My kids actually like doing that one in the car on road trips too, so it’s a fun little activity. And then it also has adventure essentials, so it what to pack so when your kids are old enough to like read or look at the picture and be like, oh, I have my backpack and I have my water and my snacks, and kind of help them be responsible for getting themselves out. And then I have on the Adventure Guide kit, there’s some regional sheets as well. So I’ve done so much research and created regional sheets for every region in the United States, so Alaska, Hawaii, and then the West coast, Rocky Mountain, all the way across.

A lot of research went into those and I reached out to locals. Like I would find a local contact in the area and just fact check and be like, this is what I found online. How accurate is this? So those regional sheets include like common wildflowers, common animals and common birds that you would see in that region. So it’s just kind of a fun thing that kids can use to look when they’re out on a hike or just exploring a new area or whatever.

Amy Bushatz: Cool. And where can people find these?

Holly Horch: So I sell, currently my selling platform is Etsy. But if you go to my Instagram @allweatheradventuring and click the link in my bio, it’s there.

You can also type in allweatheradventuring.com and it gets pulled up cause I have that domain. So yeah. And then there’s so that’s just one of the things. And then I also have seasonal kits. So for winter, spring, summer, and fall, I have different kits that just have different ways to connect with nature in that specific season. And there’s like a spring adventures checklist. So you have like all these different ideas of what to do in the springtime and for each season. So, yeah.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. I think that it just can feel so hard to know what to do outside sometimes, especially in those dragging seasons. Like , as winter gets just long, you know, you’re like, okay, we’ve already done the same things a million times and I don’t wanna do anything anymore. But here we are. Or in the fall when, you know, you’ve seen the pretty leaves check, now they’re gone. It’s still fall, you know, and it’s just, you come to a point where you just need a little bit of inspiration and those sound like they could be really helpful for that.

Holly Horch: Yeah, for sure. And that was kind of the intention behind them is just giving you ideas of what to do, like different activities and ideas to do. Yeah. And then I also have a fun little sticker pack. So it has four, I’ll show you. No, not that anybody else can see, but it has four cute stickers that kids can earn by doing different things. So there’s like a planet protector sticker that they earn by picking up 25 pieces of trash outside, adventure seeker they earned by visiting 10 new places. An animal tracker when they find five different animal tracks, they can earn that one. And then an all-weather adventurer and they have to get outside in all kinds of weather to earn that. So that’s just another thing that I added just in within the last couple months. It’s been kind of fun.

Amy Bushatz: I myself enjoy earning stickers, so yeah, I totally understand that. And that’s one of the things we have as part of the Humans Outside 365 challenge kits. If people want to get one of those, and those are really adult aimed.

Holly Horch: That’s so fun

Amy Bushatz: To be just, if you are somebody who just needs a little bit of structure, just a little bit of help understanding the tools for getting outside and what to wear and just that little bit of a push, those kits help do that. But the idea is that you’re doing this for a year and at the end of the year you have earned your decal. And um, I created that because I like, earning decals, so.

Holly Horch: I love that so much. Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.

Amy Bushatz: Hey humans, just a quick break to remind you that if you wanna build your own outdoor habit, the humans Outside 365 Challenge is a great way to get started. Cool and exclusive Challenge swag, including a finisher, metal, and decal is waiting for you. All you need to do is visit HumansOutside.com/challenge. Don’t get left out. Go to HumansOutside.com/Challenge to learn more now. Okay, back to the show.

So we talked a little bit earlier about how real the struggle is for getting outside. How do you create outdoor mojo for kids who would prefer to stay inside for whatever reason? Like what are some tips for just getting out the door, hopefully with a good attitude?

Holly Horch: Yeah, so, one thing that works well in my house is wording. If I use the right wording, instead of saying, Hey, let’s go on a five mile hike. I say, Hey, let’s go and climb those rocks at that really fun trail. Different wording can just be magical.

Amy Bushatz: So it’s like you’re changing the way you’re marketing what you’re doing to your kids.

Holly Horch: Yes, yes. Marketing. That’s great. I market very well to my children. Yes. I never thought of it as marketing, but it totally is.

Amy Bushatz: Do they ever see through the veil of your, your thinly veiled attempts? To, to for spin.

Holly Horch: For sure. Yeah, for sure. But it still works. Yeah. Most of the time. And then another thing that has helped our, like outdoor mojo, like getting them outside, is just having like, Items on hand that are like, good to take outside. So we made a mud kitchen for my three-year-old, for his birthday. So we have a mud kitchen outside right now. So we’re like, Hey, let’s go play out in the mud kitchen. My girls love playing volleyball, so we’ll hit the volleyball around outside. Just having like different items like that. And then also that’s another reason I created my adventure kit is just to have a little extra, like I said earlier, an extra tool in your toolbox to motivate kids outside.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. yeah, yeah. I feel like yes, the marketing works, but then I still get these moments where they don’t want to do it, and the reason is they don’t see past what I see. So, you and I know like it’s gonna be a pain in the butt. We’re gonna get dressed, we’re gonna not wanna be there, and then we’ll be happy to be there.

And we also know that when we make our kids go outside, even if they don’t want to, within moments, they’re sprinting down a trail, they’re hugging a tree. You know they’re spinning. Like it’s their best day ever. And two seconds ago they were definitely crying. So. You and I. No, that’s true. And we know that we might be crying internally cuz we don’t wanna be in the rain with a whiny kid and then we’ll be glad that we’re there anyway. But they don’t understand that and I just wonder what the point is or how you teach your kids to develop, like that brain maturity where they understand that there is a reward on the other side of discomfort. I don’t expect you to have an answer. It’s just an answer to the universe.

Holly Horch: I don’t know. I would love to know because. Yeah, but I will say we’ve had experiences that my kids remember, like we went on a yurt trip, we snowshoed into a backcountry yurt. And like it was miserable, like it was snowing the whole time. It took us four hours to go two miles. It was rough, like really bad. The trail was not wide enough for the sled that we had, so we had to kind of break trail. It was rough. And my six-year-old boy was just like crying and miserable. And so I finally, I’m usually very positive on adventures. I’m like, oh, it’s okay. We’re great. Everything’s good. You know, I have to keep spirits high.

And I was just like, dude, you’re right. This sucks. I was like, this totally sucks, but we’re in it together and we like, we just have to get there. We can’t turn back now it’s getting dark. Like we need to keep going. And then after we got there, we had a great couple days, like we stayed for two nights, which was so worth it to stay two nights cuz I would’ve gone insane if we had to hike out the next day.

But yeah, so we stayed two nights. We had a great time. They played in the snow, we went sledding all the things. And then at the end of last year, we always talk about like our favorite things from the year, our favorite trips or whatever. And my six-year-old, guess what his favorite trip was? The yurt trip. So they’re already starting to see that. Yeah,. sometimes it sucks. And then it’s really great. But I mean, I’m not saying that he’s emotionally mature and can like realize that every time. But I’m just saying the more they’re exposed to it, the more they see it and witness it for themselves, maybe the more. They’ll come to understand it maybe?

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that’s true because the reason you and I understand that is cuz we’ve practiced it. Nobody notices that right away. You notice that through repeat experiences and you learn that type two fun is in fact fun in its own type two way. Also, I think what you described is the power of group suffering.

Holly Horch: Mm-hmm. Totally. Yeah. And like to know like we’re in this together, it really sucks, but like, nobody is having fun, so we just gotta keep going. And that really helped everybody’s attitude. Like he wasn’t crying as much after that cuz he knew we all wanted to cry, group suffering. Like, we’re in this together.

Amy Bushatz: Okay. So maybe good attitudes from the get-go are like a pipe dr eam. Do you have any tips for, we’re gonna call this experience improvement, right? Like you’re out there. You’re still feeling positive, you’re convincing your people to have a good time. What can we do? You said, you know, like just acknowledge the pain. Good. Yes. Yes. Sometimes. What are other experience improvement mechanisms?

Holly Horch: Yeah. Um, Snacks. Food, always helps. Yes. I mean, it helps me. Helps you, helps kids, helps everybody. And then, for the ages that my kids are, especially like the six year old, making up a silly game or being silly or, you know, he loves playing pretend dragons right now. So like, I’ll be like, oh, hash out of your dragon egg, and then you can go and do this. And kind of bringing their interests outside too. So it, and that’s just so specific to your, to children. Every parent knows their kid best, so whatever works inside is gonna work outside too. So I don’t know if that makes sense.

Amy Bushatz: Now, do you have a favorite snack that you like to take?

Holly Horch: We shop at Costco and so we just have the packs of goldfish, the granola bars, the fruit leather always works. If we’re like doing a harder hike, I usually try to have some sort of candy on hand that they can get at the top of the hike. But yeah, just, yeah. Basic snacks.

Amy Bushatz: I am not afraid of Bri bribery at all.

Holly Horch: Uhhuh. Yeah, me neither.

Amy Bushatz: And if that’s what you gotta do, and let’s be honest, like when you’re out there and it’s, maybe it’s a little hot, you are burning through calories and a Swedish fish, my preference or Sour patch, kids not gonna kill anybody. It’s fine. I have noticed one mistake, which is that people think that a cho -chocolate’s a good idea and that it’s all melty and now it’s on your family. That’s not good.

Holly Horch: No. The only chocolate that works with like M&Ms. M&Ms don’t get too melty, but yeah.

Amy Bushatz: My other favorite, hike – I actually use this for long running, so. I think it’s great because it’s a snack that I eat when I’m really hungry. But I also think that it’s great for hiking with kids is Uncrustables and, yes you can totally make PBJ at home. The reason I run with the Uncrustable and not homemade pbj isn’t become as I’m boujee. It’s because they hold up really well. Like when they get squished, they’re not, you know, good and squished. They’re not everywhere in the package. They’re just, they hold up really well. And so if you’re in like a super squishing situation, which trail running tends to be, but so can like carrying all of your stuff on your back while your kids don’t carry anything. Those are, I think those are spectacular. Feed me, Swedish fish and Uncrustables and send me on my way. I’m a happy cat.

Holly Horch: Sounds like you have like your best snacks there.

Amy Bushatz: I do. I’m like really looking forward to my next run when I can eat those. I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s possible. I’m hungry right now. Who can say the other thing I want, like, do you do any electrolytes or anything in your, in your water? Do you worry about that at all?

Holly Horch: I don’t really I don’t know. Should I, Should I be worried about that?

Amy Bushatz: You know, I think it can be it can be tricky to get kids to drink enough water. Like not all kids are water drinkers. Like, are you like, how are you not dead? You know, my, when we’re out on a hike, my children might drink enough water possibly, but they come home from school. I’m like, did you drink any water today? Are like, how are you still alive? I don’t know. Maybe this is just at our house,

Holly Horch: I, it’s probably a common problem, but my kids are, they drink a lot of water, so I.

Amy Bushatz: Not a problem in your house, fair enough.

Holly Horch: I don’t have that problem. Yes. but I mean, electrolyte drinks would be great.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Yeah. Just like those little powders or whatever. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Just like. add a little boost of flavor and get everyone chowing down on water. Although, although the danger is then everyone wants a lot of water, but nobody wants to carry their water. And now you have people who think you’re a camel for their needs. And you’re not

Holly Horch: speaking from experience here, Amy.

Amy Bushatz: It’s possible. I dunno. See, I’m like a little twitchy, a little scarred. I don’t know. I don’t know. My people are big enough that they carry their own stuff now. In fact, when we did our most recent cabin trip, my family giant, my 14 year old, carried the big bag all by stuff.

Holly Horch: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.

Amy Bushatz: Speaking of, parental overwhelm you know, we kind of alluded to this earlier when we were talking about how I like to go outside by myself cuz it makes me happy and I don’t wanna have to deal with these winey kids.

But if it’s a priority for your family, right? Like if this is something that you wanna do. You are gonna push through that. We both have done that. But it can still be very overwhelming for a parent. So in the winter, for example, so much gear that you need to have to simply have a good time.

And in the summer that can be just as true, especially if you’re going out for like a big camping adventure or something like that, you know? So how do you reduce the . Total overwhelm? For the parent and just like logistically speaking, what are some things that you found to help you make this like not crazy?

Holly Horch: Yeah. So for us, what we do is we have our stuff in bins in the garage. So we have our snow bin, all our snow clothes stay in our snow bin. So when we are going on a snowing, sledding adventure, whatever, we can just grab the snow bin and know that everything’s in there. And same goes for camping. We have camping bins. So just having things organized in the garage. I mean, not that our garage is organized, but the bins have what they should have in them. So yeah, we have like camping bins and then we also have like a big tub for all of our like water toys and things like that. So that’s one thing that has helped us is just keeping it keeping designated bins for the designated items makes it easier. And then something else that helps is prepping as much as I can the night before.

Amy Bushatz: And that’s for anything.

Holly Horch: Yes. For anything. Yes. And especially with little kids involved, if I’m trying to, I’m not a morning person, so if I’m trying to get stuff ready to go in the morning and the kids are needing anything, I just lose my mind.

And I hate starting adventure days like that. So over the years, I’ve tried to get as much packed as I can the night before. Like the food and the gear and whatever we need. Just get it as ready as I can the night before kind of helps me not feel as overwhelmed. And it’s also, I do it after they’re in bed, so it’s like I have time to think and I don’t feel overwhelmed or overloaded with stuff.

Amy Bushatz: So, I find that the power of a checklist is underappreciated for this, and it’s just something. So I just like, I have a checklist as app on my phone. We use AnyList because it shares with my husband and I, I have no idea if this is the best app. It’s just the one I’ve used the longest. So it’s what we use. Anyway. And I can just add things to the list as they come into my brain, which means that when I’m just doing something completely unrelated and I think, oh, pillows. I write down, you know, and then later I can go off of that list to make sure that all the things right, because while bins are certainly helpful, not everything I need is in the bin. In fact, the things that aren’t in bin are the things that are gonna get forgotten. And then I’ll be sad cuz they’re probably the things I regularly use, like my pillow.

Holly Horch: Yes. Yeah. The toothbrush, pillow, all those little camping necessities. Yes. But you don’t keep in a bin. Totally get that. I love that you used that list, like, and you can share it. What’s that? AnyList?

Amy Bushatz: AnyList is the app. Now what would be even better is if I had a list that I made that if only I was disorganized guys. If I had a list that I made, that I put all of the things that I usually take with us on the list and then just reuse the list later. But I, no, I don’t do that, so.

Holly Horch: I’ve tried to do that. I, my kids pack their own bags now, like for camping or overnighters or whatever. My, my girls do at least, 10 and eight year old, and so I make a list for them, and I’ve thought so many times like, oh, I should just , make a nice list and laminate it and then they can check it off and I haven’t. I’ve thought about it for like a year and a half.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. So everybody, don’t be us. Make a list. Keep it handy. Pro tip. Everyone here thinks that’s a good idea and nobody’s done it. So now you could be the person who does it.

But I’ll tell you what. Letting your kids pack for their own adventures is living on the edge. And the reason I know that is that when we went to our family, we take a family cruise almost every year. We went to our family cruise this year. And I had my 13 year old, then 13 year old, pack his own bag, and we went over all of the things and I had him put them all on his dresser.

And then I had like, I watched them put them all in their little cubes for this duffle bag, and he still forgot all of his underwear, all of it. So , it’s the night before our cruise and I am out walking to some store at some strip mall and some place in Florida trying to buy my family giant new underwear so that it won’t be disgusting on our trip because you and I both know, he would probably wear the same pair every day and not even care cuz he’s 13. Yeah. But I care.

Holly Horch: For sure that’s funny. Yeah.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. So, you know, be word to the wise, proceed with caution on empowering your children to help themselves or like just be willing to live with the consequences. That’s the other thing because at some point they do have to pack themselves and if I’m not willing to live with the consequences of him wearing the same pair of underwear for six days, but yeah.

Holly Horch: But you’re willing to live with the consequence of buying new underwear.

Amy Bushatz: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, but I mean, I think what we’re talking about here is this idea of reducing overwhelm. So part of reducing overwhelm is trying things and finding something that works for you, you know, like my my Uncrustables might be too fancy or like, they are not for cheap, but like, if you’re in a hurry and you need something fast, that might just be the hack that saves your outdoor time from the insanity, you know. And so that might work for you or having a bin of stuff might work for you or having a list that you actually keep and, you know, make us a copy, please. Works for you. Yeah, send it to us. We need it. Yes. Yeah, just like you can just email me guys. You’ve got the contact info on HumansOutside.com Okay? So like, if you have such a list, share it with your friends. That’s the message.

All of these things are hacks and not all of them might work for each person, and that’s okay. Because if something like, if that’s existed, we would all have cracked the code on this and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Holly Horch: Totally. And that’s the thing too, like different personalities, different life circumstances, depending on , I don’t know, I always try to let people know, like, I don’t know. We need to have appropriate expectations. Like if you have four kids under the age of six, it’s gonna take you a lot longer to get them all in their snow gear and all these things. So you might not want to go out in the snow every day if your kids are those ages. So having those appropriate expectations, and I think that kind of goes along with what you were saying, just that like different things work for different people, whether that’s because of their personalities or because of just their family life, whatever it is like. So yeah, finding the things that work for you and feel good.

Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Yeah. And I I think that you made a really important point, which is there’s no shame in that. It’s okay for you to want to have this be a part of your family culture, to say it is really hard to get little kids under any age, all in snow stuff or all in summer stuff, or with all of their actual stuff in the car at once. Heck it could be really hard to just do that with one kid and, that’s true and it’s okay to say that. And then it’s okay to find a way to work through it too. And if that means that you make it outside every day, awesome. If it means you make it outside regularly enough to say it’s regular, whatever that looks like for you, fantastic. The point is, is that it’s something that you can do if you want to make it a part of your life, but you will benefit from taking a beat to say, yeah, this is really hard. Okay, so now let’s conquer it.

Holly Horch: Yep. Totally. Absolutely.

Amy Bushatz: So as a final thing, Holly, would you mind describing for us one of your favorite outdoor moments? Like if you can just sort of take us back to a moment outside that you just love, can you describe what you are doing and take us there?

Holly Horch: Yeah, absolutely. So my husband and I went to Kauai Hawaiian Island in April of 2019, so four years ago now for our anniversary, and we hiked to the bottom of this beautiful waterfall.

And I was swimming around in the pool below the waterfall, and I remember laying on my back in the water, like floating on my back, and I just looked up and I could see the waterfall above me and the beautiful blue sky and the palm trees. And I just had this moment of just feeling so small but so significant, and I will forever remember that it was just such a peaceful connection to nature. And I, yeah. I think back to that moment quite a lot. It’s just one of the times that just made me feel seen and whole. So.

Amy Bushatz: Beautiful. Holly, thank you so much for joining us on Humans Outside to commiserate and share your tips and tricks. We sure appreciate you.

Holly Horch: Thanks so much, Amy.

Amy Bushatz: Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode of Humans Outside. Help me out by leaving a five star rating or review wherever you get your podcasts. It really does help other listeners find the podcast too. Now go get outside. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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