The genre of nature kids and outdoor families is ever-expanding. Today you can find blogs and Instagrammers specializing in hiking with your baby, forest kindergarten for your tot, or homeschooling with nature. This is fantastic news and means that more kids will experience childhood with nature. But the truth is that most of the bloggers and Instagrammers you're following today are moms.
That needs to change. Dads have great ideas and impressive outdoor skills to share with kids, both their own and others! And we know that kids need to spend quality time with their dads. In fact, both parents should be modeling a comfort level with the outdoors if a child is to follow their example.
We've compiled this list of our favorite outdoor dad bloggers and influencers. These dads are setting great examples for their kids, helping them spend more time outdoors, be at ease outside, and, most importantly, spending the highest level of quality time with them. These dads have caught our attention with their great writing, excellent ideas, and amazing experiences, but we know there are more out there! Feel free to let us know your favorite outdoor dad bloggers so we might add them to the list.
If you are interested in taking your kids on a several-day hiking trip or want to start scaling mountains with them, Mike Lanza's, The Big Outside, is the place for you. After many years as the Northwest Editor and primary gear reviewer at Backpacker magazine, Mike created The Big Outside with a simple mission: to offer stories, images, and expert trip-planning and gear advice on America’s and the world’s best hiking, backpacking and other outdoor adventures.
Many of Mike's stories are about outdoor adventures with his wife, son and daughter. As Mike explains, "A primary goal of mine with The Big Outside is to inspire and inform other parents to take their own kids on outdoor adventures—and especially to believe that their family is capable of stepping out a little beyond their comfort zone. As I have done with my kids, I want other families to discover the powerful emotional payoff and bond achieved through sharing outdoor experiences. Some of Mike's top posts include “The 10 Best Family Outdoor Adventure Trips," “10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids” and “10 Tips For Getting Your Teenager Outdoors With You.
Rob Pilley is one of those dads who just knows what kids like. He posts the absolute most kid-irresistible videos to his Facebook page, Rob's Wild Adventures. Go on a hunt with Rob for beasts in his garden, seek out creatures in his backyard pond, or take a look at the grossest thing on earth (or inside of a fish's mouth at least). Rob has a fun and playful style but kids just won't be able to resist his authentic love of all things wild— cute and gross alike.
While not necessarily nature-oriented, the Dad Gang is on a mission to get dads and their kids outside, changing the way the world views black fathers and empowering them to be better dads in the process.
Founded by Sean Williams in 2016, the Dad Gang started as an Instagram page focused exclusively on reflecting positive images of active black dads, in an effort to shatter the negative stereotypes that has marred the image of black fathers for years. It has since grown into a conscious social community of dads on a mission to change the way the world views black fatherhood by hosting fun, socially impactful events centered around celebrating active dads and their children.
“We love being dads and we are very active and involved in raising our children,” says Sean. “It’s sad that even today people are still shocked at the sight of black dads out here doing our daddy thing.”
Oli, a UK dad and blogger behind The Outdoor Dad, describes himself as "a mostly clueless dad enjoying the biggest adventure of my life." Oli was obsessed by the outdoors as a kid, but working a 9-5 job helped him appreciate the value of the outdoors for him.
"I want our kids to have a childhood filled with adventure, excitement and exploration. I want to ride bikes with them, walk up mountains with them, sleep in tents with them, watch sunsets with them, swim in the sea with them, and climb trees with them – and there’s so much to see in the big wide world that I want them to get started early," writes Oli.
We love his "Dad Knowledge" blog posts which share Oli's experience and expertise on such practical topics as canoeing with toddlers, building an outdoor toddler playhouse and gardening activities to do with your kids. Oli keeps his blog down to earth and attainable so anyone can feel inspired to take their kids outdoors. Be sure to check out his post, WHY FAMILY ADVENTURES DON’T HAVE TO BE EPIC.
The Wilder Dad blog describes itself as the new generation of dad, "a collective of real dads who love our kids, our families, and the outdoors"
Steve Lemig is the founder of Wilderdad and has been a skateboarder, mountain biker, climber, snowboarder, bike mechanic, forest firefighter, woodworker. He brings this experience and more to Wilder Dad and he writes stories to empower dads and encourage them to share outdoor adventures with their kids as a tool to strengthen families and build respect for the environment. A few pieces you should check out include 20 Best Camping Games For Kids… Illustrated! and 5 Ways To Master RV Living With Family.
Like most of the dad bloggers profiled here, the life event that pushed Nathan Beard to want to share his love for this outdoors was becoming a dad. "Becoming a Dad in 2008 crystallized for me the importance of access to the wild as a key part of helping my children grow up to be daring, resilient, and well-rounded characters. I also realized that access to natural spaces where we could light fires, carve wood and explore, was very rare in the UK, without access to private land."
But Nathan Beard doesn't just share his enthusiasm for the outdoors, he shared some pretty impressive skills. Nathan is passionate about bushcraft and is trained in bushcraft and survival. We love the father/son & father/daughter events he offers. If we're ever in Australia, we'll check them out!
"I firmly believe that the great outdoors is an inexhaustible playground of interesting, adventurous, beautiful, hilarious and life enriching possibilities, writes Nathan. "On that basis, I try and spend as much time as possible doing fun stuff outside with my kids." Well said Nathan!