5 Tips for Easing Families into Outdoor Adventure


This story was written by Northside as advertising material.
SNEWS editors had no involvement in its creation.

We’ve all been there. That fun family adventure gone not-so-fun. Whether you were the parent, the kid, or the innocent bystander (pretending not to watch), you’ve seen the family adventure go from fun to failure…fast. Lack of planning and preparation can take just about any outing from good to bad, and venturing into the outdoors adds an element of unknown to even the most casual excursion.

But let’s face it. Today’s families are more time-starved than ever. Work, school, soccer games, piano recitals…the list goes on. The stresses of everyday life carry into the weekend and make getting away from it all harder than ever. Time is limited. Budgets are tight. And suddenly, the idea of a “fun family adventure” sounds more like hard work than, well, fun.

At Northside, we believe that getting outside and away from the stresses of the day-to-day doesn’t have to be hard work. We also know that for many, a few hours at the river or a weekend of car camping is an adventure in itself.

Because of this, we not only embrace, but celebrate the casual outdoor participant by doing our best to educate them on the accessibility of outdoor adventure. We encourage families to experience the outdoors any way, anywhere, and any time they’re able to fit it into their busy lives. Getting the family outside doesn’t have to be hard work. With just a little prep work, that “fun family adventure” really can be fun. By helping even the most reluctant family adventurers prepare for a great outing or camping trip, you’ll be making a customer for life. Here are some tips:

  1. Plan ahead: We’re not talking about helping them figure out where they want to go, how far they want to travel, or how much they want to spend, but by providing some resources for advanced planning, you can help alleviate some of the trepidation that many families feel about the process. Help them out by having your local area campsite reservation numbers or URLs handy and available as handouts. Information on required permits for parking or camping—and where they can be obtained—can also be a great help. Having this information before starting any adventure makes the outing more predictable and easier to manage.
  1. Help them prepare for the worst:In the outdoor industry, we know that preparing for the worst is the best preparation when planning an adventure. Make sure you’re carrying appropriate footwear, apparel and other gear that doesn’t cost a fortune, so families and casual outdoor participants can gear up easily with the things they may not have thought they needed.
  1. Make a list: Packing lists can be overwhelming. Make available copies of typical check lists for various outings, from hikes to rafting trips. Knowing what to bring is often half the battle when planning a trip outdoors, and providing families with a good place to start will be very useful and greatly appreciated by your customers.
  1. Share the wealth: Planning for a fun family adventure can be a lot of work, and doing it all without help can leave a person feeling less than, well, Giving everyone in the family their own responsibilities can help. If a family is buying a tent, for example, engage the whole family in a practice run of setting it up. The more people are involved in the process, the more excited they will be about the adventure.
  1. Don’t worry be happy: The most important thing to bring on any family adventure is the right attitude. Let your customers know that no matter how prepared they are, there will always be some surprises. Stuff happens. Things go wrong. Rolling with the punches can be hard to do, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a family adventure without the adventure. Encourage them to leave their worries behind them, hit the road in front of them, and plan for happy. Because this trip is going to be awesome!



Merchandising minds: Outdoor Research Jenn Dumas' top 5 tips

Visual merchandisers each have their own personal toolbox to draw upon, whether they are designing for a retail environment or a trade show booth. Sure, there are commonly accepted best practices or directives from the powers that be, but once the priorities are set, there is a ...read more

Family adventure

Editor's Note: Family adventure travel is big business

RIGHT NOW, AS YOU READ THIS, I’M CRUISING THROUGH THE TETONS with my husband and two boys in a 32-foot rented RV stuffed with a couple of tents, a pile of sleeping bags, packs, boots, a stove, a grill, a big cooler and four chairs. I’ve been dreaming of this classic family ...read more

5 tips for battling "showroomers"

Retail how-to: 5 tips for battling "showroomers"

Sure, price-shopping consumers can save a few dollars by buying from big e-tailing sites, but brick and mortar specialty shops can do more to capture those sales and create a long-term, loyal customers in the process. IT HAPPENS PRACTICALLY EVERY DAY IN OUTDOOR SHOPS AROUND THE ...read more


Outdoor Reads: One family's avoid-Black-Friday tradition, and another's year in adventures

What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out! While many Americans were battling it out for low-priced material goods on Black Friday, one California family was busy taking in the spectacular views from atop Mount ...read more

Alexandre Poussin Begins Family Trek Through Madagascar

Portland, OR (November 19, 2014) – Hi-Tec Sports sponsored travel writer and Global Walking Brand Ambassador, Alexandre Poussin, his wife Sonia and their two kids have begun their 16-month trek through Madagascar, covering 100km over ridges and steep slopes in the first week. ...read more

OIALogoColor_For WEB

Ten Tips for Retailers in the New Year

While 2014 may be in full swing, it’s not too late to make that New Year’s resolution for your store or company. To help spark some inventive, beneficial and effective ways to make 2014 your best year, SNEWS and the Outdoor Industry Association partnered to bring you the Ten Tips ...read more


Gregory Miller Q&A: Find out how to get outdoors more with the entire family

Think back to your earliest outdoor memories — those images that have stuck with you and encouraged you to keep heading out in the rain, snow or shine. They likely involve parents, grandparents, siblings or cousins. They introduced you to nature, educated you about the land and ...read more

Tapping into adventure travel: tips for outdoor retailers from ATTA President Shannon Stowell

In the fall, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) in conjunction with the George Washington University released its 2013 market study, the Adventure Travel Trends Report. It shows the $263 billion adventure market has grown 63 percent since 2009. Tapping into that revenue ...read more

The Continental Divide Trail Alliance and Coleman Team Up To Show Volunteering Can Be a Family Adventure

Pine, Colo. – The Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA) and The Coleman Company, Inc. are launching a new family-based component to the successful CDTA volunteer program. The CDTA Family Volunteer Adventures program, funded by Coleman, provides a wonderful opportunity for ...read more