Going to the Woods

When life is most crazy that is often the point we most need to "check out". To go to those places that restore, refresh and recharge our batteries. Nice in theory, hard in practice.

We make a point of being outdoors and unplugged once a week together and that hasn't changed while preparing to move. The idea is catching on and we're thrilled that others are discovering the joys of a family day together outdoors.

But that's not really why we're going backpacking this weekend.

Backpacking with only 29 days left (but who's counting) till we move. Backpacking when we "should" be scraping wall paper and packing boxes. Backpacking when we have an apartment still to rent out and friends we're hoping to see one last time before we leave. Backpacking when (it seems) we have hundreds of details to take care of.

We're not going because we need to get away from it all, though in fact getting away from it all will be very, very nice.

We're going backpacking because being outdoors is integral to who we are and it's a big part of our future family livelihood.

You see, we have this little dream called "let's earn money doing the things we love". It's why we're moving.

We love being outdoors. So what if we could support our family while pursuing adventure together?

That's why we're going backpacking this weekend. Because we're working towards that very goal. We have gear to test, photos to take, reviews to write. A publication that is depending on us. A partnership, one of many we are forming, to help us move closer to earning money doing what we love.

Since we're talking outdoors and pursuing our dreams I want to point you in a couple directions.

Firstly, we published a book review this week at our adventure blog that's worth a read.  As Damien says, the book Hike Your Own Hike is a "definitive guide on how to, as the author puts it, "squeeze the most out of life"". We found it very encouraging to read.

Do you know about our other website, Toe Salad? I introduced it a couple months ago.

Toesalad is one of Damien's projects, a online community for minimalist footwear. This is a creative venture we plan to monetize to help support our family. It's in its infancy and will get some much needed attention once we move but there are some good things happening already.

We've got a great group of people contributing there and this recent guest post Healthy, Active, Barefoot Kids might interest some of you. Dr. Steven Gangemi, who wrote the article states, "raising a healthy and fit kid isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s well worth your time, and I’m going to suggest you proceed from the ground up." Click over to read the rest.

Lots happening. Lots to be excited about.

But right now, we're in the woods because that's where we love to be. "Working" to make this dream a reality.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace on April 22, 2011, 11:55 a.m.

    I LOVE that you guys are pursuing this around the same time I am. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, and struggle beside, should make things a bit easier. Nice to see your names up in lights on BPL as well. Congrats!


  • Spalva

    Spalva on April 22, 2011, 2:21 p.m.

    It must be a wonderful feeling to follow your dreams -- and, even, to be married to someone who shares a common one!

    We unplug most weekends and bike or hike.


    • renee

      renee on April 25, 2011, 12:48 p.m.

      Damien and I have grown our dreams together. It hasn't been so much "these are my dreams, I hope you'll come along" but "this is who I am, this is who you are - how do we meld these together, become one (old fashioned marriage vow language but it's how we really feel) and follow a common vision".

      We have spent a lot of time figuring this out. Listening to each other, making compromises and supporting each other so we are on the same path, not simply parallel journeys. 

      I hasn't always been easy. We've both made compromises in areas that were difficult for us but the result of that has been a closer, more intimate and "together" relationship because of it. 

      But hey, I'm not trying to turn this into a marriage counsellor post...


  • Rana

    Rana on April 23, 2011, 3:04 a.m.

    Lot's of good things are happening for your family. I'm really excited for you all. Have a great weekend! I'm going to check out that article.


  • kyndale

    kyndale on April 23, 2011, 3:31 a.m.

    You're making time for what's important to your family. Some families hang out indoors all weekend and watch sports. Hey, that's important to them I guess. I don't quite understand it but who am I to judge.

    Hope you have a wonderful time out there!


  • Rambling Heather

    Rambling Heather on April 27, 2011, 11:23 a.m.

    WoW such fun! I would love to chat with you more about this family outing. My husband and I are going to start backpacking/hiking the Appalachian trail with the kiddos so I could learn a few things from you. I need to pick your brain before our trip begins :)


    • renee

      renee on April 27, 2011, 11:54 a.m.

      Shoot me an e-mail. In our family Damien does all the planning (smile). We have a whole blog dedicated to families outdoors. It has been neglected as of late (due to moving and other ventures) but will get more attention one of these days. We have big plans for teaching and sharing our experiences with others. Just gotta get this move underway so we actually have the freedom to do that!

      I am reading a book right now you'll want to check out if you are new to hiking with your family. Kids in the Wild: A Family Guide to Outdoor Recreation. We've figured out a lot of the hiking stuff in this book ourselves through research, trial and error - Damien loves that process. 

      Good luck and have fun. How long of a trip are you planning? How long have you been hiking as a family?


      • Rambling Heather

        Rambling Heather on April 27, 2011, 3:05 p.m.

        I am going to email you later today!

        Currently we have done limited hikes (all day but not overnight) our plan is to spend the weekends hiking different parts of the trail and camping out, in hopes to complete it someday. We just started researching our gear so I have many questions for ya :)


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