Samuel’s Corner: Get Outside

Hello, my name is Samuel and I am a mountaineer…well more so a mini-mountaineer as I am only 2 years old.   My mom and dad have been taking me out in the wild since I was very little. My first backpacking trip at 6 months old.  Now some of you might think that is crazy, but my mom is an ambassador for Adventure Mama’s Initiative and my dad is retired from the Army and works as a park ranger. 


Sure, sure I protest, but they smile and think it’s cute and take me anyway.  I mean have you ever had to ride in a backpack thing for 6 hours…ehh so tiresome.   They do let me nap along the way and play some music for me, so it’s cool.  I have to admit there are really neat things I get to see, touch and smell.   Sometimes my mom lets me out and I get to hike all on my own.  I even have my own hiking boots and trekking pole.  I am up to about 4 miles on my own. Of course I do stop a lot and check things out.   Mom is always trying to get me to move along.  I have to give her a cute look while I check out the worms, bugs and plants so she lets me do it longer…I have her wrapped around my finger of course.  


On one of my last trips into the Enchantments my dad and I very quietly watched a mountain goat family. It was a mom and her kids.  Now I of course thought that they were just very poorly groomed schnauzer’s…but my dad assures me they were not. I just wanted to pet them, but he was raving about how they are wild and should not be fussed with.  He is a little harder on me then mom about being in the wild…I think cause I’m a boy…or maybe cause he was in the Army so long.


I have been adventuring a lot this past summer.  I have my own pack and gear, which is in the picture below  My dad makes sure I have all the essentials, but mom knows what’s important…snacks!   Not sure what you do with an emergency blanket or whistle.  I can barely blow kisses and bubbles, let alone a whistle. I do have a compass, but it’s useless as I know there are only two directions…Up and Down.   I have mom and dad trained on that part too.  When I get tired I yell “up” and when I see something cool I yell “down”.  Trained I tell you.  I have learned that having lots of clothes is important and I have many of them with me.  My dad is always spewing on about a hole in my lip and spilling things.  Also what’s the deal with trying to not get stuff on your shirt when eating? Hello mom, saving it for later.   Recently I was introduced to water…not the kind you drink out of a sippy cup, but stuff you can watch and play in.  My dad and mom watch me like a chicken hawk…something about how I don’t float and stuff.   They do let me jump in the hotel pools when we get out of the backcountry, which is almost like a lake…just with chlorine and pee in it.  I’m learning to swim…so I can keep up with the fishes I see.



In addition to now having a whole summer of backpacking and hiking…I am almost ready to ride a bike.  Yes, a real bike and without training wheels.  Those are for little toddlers.   I think by the time I am three, hopefully sooner I will have it down.  I am starting to see the greatness in being outside.  TV and movies are great, but nothing is better than being with my mom and dad in the great outdoors.  So, if you are thinking about sitting around watching TV or playing video games, maybe you should consider a trip out…not that kind.  One in to the woods or mountains.   Ok, see you out there….outside.

Samuel Finley


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