I met Dave on one of my first adventures, to Switzerland with Dogtag when I was just getting my outdoorsy ‘wings’ and taste of getting out and living life to the full. Since then he has been on one big adventure himself, getting married and having a beautiful baby girl, Agnes. this is their story.
“Becoming a parent was the single most awesome adventure of my life. Those first moments, nights, days and weeks can’t be matched.
Myself and Alice, both have a keen love of the outdoors, we knew from the offset Agnes was in for an adventurous start to life. We wanted to work out the magic mix of getting outside, doing the things we love, whilst keeping family fun at the centre. Step one. We left the house within the first three days… At three weeks old we packed up Agnes and headed for canal life, staying on a boat for a week cruising our way along the Kennet and Avon Canal. Despite the limited use she had at the lock gates, we made it 10km along the canal. That might not seem far, but canal boats go very slowly especially when interrupted with frequent milk and poo stops. However we tested the formula of baby + outdoors = a lot of fun, despite the added challenge!
We tested this formula more and more, going away at weekends to see different friends and family, although these trips were all slightly easier than the canal boat trip, they built our confidence for the next big challenge! This came in the form of camping… Agnes was 7 months old, the trip was to Guernsey and involved a medium length drive, with a baby who hates car seats and a trip on a ferry!
Camping was easy and made much simpler with co sleeping, which we had done from the start. We didn’t need to worry about a travel cot, she just snuggled down with us at night, (please look into the risks of doing this yourself, do so at your own discretion). She loved being that close to Nature and to us! The weekend away was a success!
The next big challenge, A 21 hour drive with an 8-month-old who still hated the car seat.
A few of us die hard adventurers decided we wanted to spend a week in the Alps together. Bring the mountain bikes, bring the hiking boots and definitely bring the kayaks, just like the good ol’days, but this time we were also taking the babies… What could possibly go wrong?! Really, we wanted to test and strike a balance of family fun and the gnarr of old.
Agnes still hates her car seat, despite sleeping in it all the way to the Alps and all the way back, with no problems. Check out how the trip went here!
Our next adventure involved a relatively short 12 hour drive to Islay. Islay is a truly beautiful island. An inner Hebridean gem, just off the coast of West Scotland with Jura a stone’s throw away. It’s really hard to put my thumb on exactly where Islay reminded me of. In fact, the scenery changes so quickly in such a small space, you could be on a white sandy beach one minute and a bog the next. One road I ran along looked like Dartmoor on one side and the lake district on the other!
The tone of the trip was a little different to the one in the summer sun. It was crisp and cold, filled with hikes, swims, runs and family fun. I did manage to get out in some 9 ft surf though in my kayak…
Take a look at my video to get a real feel of the beauty of this place!
So, does it actually make much difference travelling and adventuring with a baby? Not really, it just needs more planning, nappy changes and stops. Adventuring this year helped us understand that having a baby actually enhances experiences in so many ways, you see things you wouldn’t stop to notice before, pretty little flowers, wood ant nests, little warbling streams! Now I’m not saying go out and proliferate… adventures are still fun without babies, but what I am saying is that the pre-determined belief that your life as you know its ends in all forms when you have a baby, just isn’t true. In fact, you can do everything you did before, just with more planning and sleep deprivation. Who knows what else we will do with the poor gal. All I know is that plenty more adventures await!