SHARING THE ROAD
Nate and Candice are the adult portion of WildRoots, an outdoor-loving, Utah-based family with jobs, school, and four boys – Zev who just turned 10, seven year old Kai, five year old Liam, and Shem. He’s three. Before Candice and Nate got married, the outdoors was a big part of their lives. Now it’s part of the kids’ lives, too.
“It’s pretty natural to enjoy sharing things you love with the people you care about,” says Nate. “I find on the rare occasions when I go out on a solo fly fishing trip, I end up seeing rad stuff that I can’t wait to get back and tell my family about. We get pumped about the same types of things, so it’s fun to experience them together.”
ADVENTURE IN AN INSTANT
Team WildRoots is pretty good at adventuring anytime, anywhere. Prepacking, keeping it close to home, and – of course – playing a little hooky are all strategies. “We definitely do all of the above,” says Nate. “And don’t be narrow-minded. Adventure can be in the backyard catching bugs, running amok at the city park, or an evening drive looking for snakes. And, yes, we will duck out of school and work early when that has to happen.”
And, adds Nate, it’s not all about time out of the car. “Even for a quick overnighter, we’re not afraid to drive three and a half hours to go somewhere rad. We’d prefer to have less time out if it means going somewhere more awesome.”
Box It Up
Part of Nate and Candice’s packing system is their beloved SkyBox 21. “The SkyBox is our lifesaver,” says Candice. “There’s no way that we could fit all our gear without it. Having a place for everything is huge for a worry-free trip. With the bulk of our gear up top, we have enough room left inside the Sequoia for the stuff we want easy access to.”
Adds Nate, “We have a system for packing the SkyBox – bags. We have a large bag with all the pads, chairs, tables, stove, headlamps, purifiers, hatchet, and other things. We stuff all six sleeping bags into another bag, plus a bag for all the clothes, and one for tents and backpacks and other et cetera.” Nate likes bags.
Candice adds that having a prepacking system helps. “The gear and the bags are all organized in our gear room. In the winter, we leave all the skis in the SkyBox,” she says. “And we’re sure to make – and use – checklists.”
The SkyBox does a lot, but it wrangling four wound-up, impatient boys is not in its job description. So, Candice and Nate, how do you keep the peace with four boys in the back? “You don’t. There is no peace,” sighs Nate.
But they do try. “One thing that really helps – and this is obvious – is the car’s DVD player,” Candice explains. “We use it as the last resort, and only on trips of three hours and more. We have them start with paper to draw on, coloring books, lizard books – things like that – and then bust out the movie when they get unbearable.”
Asked if they have ever employed the I’m-stopping-this-car-right-now option, Nate admits that it’s happened. “We’ve definitely pulled over a time or too. It’s seriously a waste of time. It doesn’t work at all.”
FIVE TIPS FOR FAMILY TRIPS
The trick to making kids happy to be outside – Just open the car door.
Don’t leave home without – Water and snacks.
The must-play in-car game – the Quiet Game
Awesome packing hack – Use bags. Things are much easier to manage if you have a lot of bags.
Budgeting time to get outside – Make it a priority to spend your time off outside together.