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Equipping Families to Enrich Their Children's Lives

Photo by Maximilian Manavi-Huber

Read This: 11/14/2018

Photo by Maximilian Manavi-Huber

What we’re reading (the things other people wrote) tells you just as much about us as our own words. For that reason, this first edition of “Read This” is a bit of a first date. Hey, I just met you and this is crazy but how do I convey timeless and intellectual but enough pop culture and on-trend references to have perspective and make relevant jokes that play off of hilarious sarcasm and contrast? Emerging research literate with a degree in the classics. We’re an intriguing contradiction. But we also want you to trust us with your kids’ wilderness skills and safety. Hello!

“Read This” won’t just be an attempt to send you links before you organically stumble upon them from their original sources. What we consider relevant this week could be antique. We want to shore up our own research, methods, and philosophy without having to plagiarize. Basically.

Sometimes the reaction we’re seeking is the priority. Sometimes it’s the facts. Sometimes it’s just funny. No memes though. Not yet. That’s like 3rd date stuff.

But I want to test you a bit. I want to make sure we’re not wasting our time with each other. So I’m going to put it out there. Ahead of our big launch, here’s what I read this week to remind me why I do this:

Let’s start with an easy one.

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
There’s no link. It’s literally just a sentence. Sometimes it’s not more complicated than that and any attempt to explain this feeling would do the instinct an injustice. Just go. If they don’t understand, they never will (or, in the spirit of growth, just not yet). Sometimes a picture helps overcome inertia. Picture by @tetonjon.

The Science of Dad and the “Father Effect” by Joshua Krisch at Fatherly
I love being a dad and I love it more when my confirmation is biased. It’s helpful to have not just reminders but data and studies and evidence to say, PUSH ON. It’s worth it. It’s easy when it’s easy but, when it’s hard, here’s a picture of a lion. Heck yeah I want to be Mufasa. That’s why we started Chimney Trail and it’s why I constantly refer back to articles such as this one.

Your Baby Doesn’t Know How to Leave No Trace by Shanti Hodges at Outside Online
Look, we never said we invented this stuff. We’re just the best at it. Ha. So, like everyone else who enjoys awesome outdoor content, we read Outside Online. Their daily email is one of my few must-reads and never-instantly-deletes. I had a blast reading through this because, even though we get quite militant about being the best dang outdoorsy parents that ever made their kids cry from altitude sickness, we appreciate some flexibility when it comes to getting it right vs getting it perfect.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
It’s been too long. Read it again. It’s like 100 pages. The audiobook is less than 4 hours and those people read slower than grass grows. Wait a second… I’m sorry. After this moment I promise to never try to convince you that you should read something because it is easy or short. It’s a good book and it stands the test of time. Commit and invest. This masterpiece will make you feel good and it will inspire you. I picked it up again because last month, I was in a room with some people and the question was asked, “If you could have lunch with one person who would it be?” Terrible question? Yeah, not this time. One guy answered, “Jack London.” Holy crap.

That guy wrote this next essay…

Twitching with Twight by Mark Twight
Mark Twight used to climb mountains. Then he opened a gym and trained elite military units and Hollywood actors and actresses. But he’s always been an artist. A writer and a photographer. Always thinking above and deeper than the physical thing he’s doing. This essay is harsh but I read it whenever I start to wander too far from the objective. But this is where I ask for some latitude. It’s not for everyone. It’s not always for me. I would put enough stock in it to be filled with inspiration and to ensure complacency is snuffed out, but no more than that. The sometimes unglamorous work of tending to your tribe is worthy of celebration. But yeah, shave your head. Because it’s fun. Take what’s useful and leave the rest.

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