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The Backyard and Beyond

CHANGING TIMES, ADJUSTING EXPECTATIONS

As the global pandemic continues to unfold, all our lives have been affected in some way or another. Outdoor lovers everywhere have been forced to rethink how they can work, play and otherwise safely embrace the activities they normally seek out. It’s especially hard for parents, with many states officially closing schools for the rest of the academic year, forcing families to embrace new routines and adjust plans.

All of this has been taking shape in the Utah home of Nate and Candice Leavitt as well. The Leavitts, and their four boys, live a life focused on getting outside as much as possible. Weekends are spent fishing in the spring and fall, hiking and camping in the summer, and skiing the winter. Weekdays are maximized, so they can hit the road when the week is up. “We pack a lot into the week, so we can pack even more into the weekend,” says Nate Leavitt. Not right now, though. “We’ve sort of landed on an organic narrative,” says Nate, “And that’s simply: Our plans have changed!”.

NEW IDEAS

“We knew coming into this year that fly fishing was a big focus,” says Nate, “The spring and fall are the best times for this, and there are only so many windows. We had each weekend mapped out, but we can adapt. We’re limited to our own county. So, we need to shift our activities,” he says, “Now it’s: Let’s go lizard hunting! It doesn’t matter how far we go, as long we can be outside.” 

Candice is taking a similar perspective, “I see this as an opportunity to explore a different routine,” she says, “I’m trying to embrace some stuff we don’t normally make time for. More cooking with the kids, more attention to food.”

Despite some big plans having to go on hold, the Leavitt family is not letting the situation derail them. “For me as a parent, this is different from what I like to do,” says Candice, “But I’ve been able to slow things down and have learning experiences.”

Being open to new lessons is what the Leavitt’s have always been about. Now, though, the teacher is different. “That’s what I get from the outdoors—new perspectives and experiences. And this is allowing for that in a different way,” says Candice, “We all love to ski and fish and hike, but when we’re out in the yard together playing, the stoke level is exactly the same.”

GEARED UP

Despite the limitations, the Leavitt’s are still making plans to get outside safely. With four boys, their approach to fishing is focused on lakes. And with six different rods, getting everyone rigged up can be time-consuming. “The Yakima DoubleHaul is super nice for us!” says Nate, “Even with an organized program, we end up getting out later than we want sometimes. The DoubleHaul lets me keep our rods rigged, and just load them all in. When we arrive, I don’t have to spend time rigging and we can just get on the water.” When you’re rolling six-deep in waders and gear, every little bit helps.
Yakima DoubleHaul Fly Rod Carrier

THE BIGGER PICTURE

The spirit of the Leavitt family isn’t going to change just because their plans have to. “I love to create,” says Nate, “Wild Roots grew out of the desire to build something together, for me to share photos and for Candice to have a voice.” Both Nate and Candice have worked hard to create a home and lifestyle that merges their passions, and new challenges will be faced with the same attitude. “We wanted to help motivate people to get outside,” says Nate, “Family is important, and getting outside with our family matters a lot to us. That’s not changing.” 

In the end, it will be positive attitudes and good choices that carry everyone through. “We know a lot of other people are in the same boat,” says Candice, “Trying to stay healthy, trying to keep their kids engaged and entertained, and still being productive for work. But we’re having some seriously epic kickball games right now.”

@wildrootoutdoors

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