Did you have an "OUTDOOR UPBRINGING" ?


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Alan Rubin

Jan 25, 2010 - 02:44pm PT
My family wasn't the least bit outdoorsy, liked to travel but picnics with friends were the closest we ever got to outdoor activities. But maybe that was enough, since as far back as I can remember I was attracted by the outdoors despite an urban/suburban upbringing. I remember as a very young child driving through northern Westchester, NY past reservoirs(Croton, for those from the area) surrounded by low, forested hills, thinking that it was just incredibly wild and wanting to get out there and wander. No one in the family could figure out where in the "genes" this came from. Probably Moses and that Mt. Sinai thing...!!!!
seth kovar

Bay Area
Jan 25, 2010 - 05:02pm PT
Credit: seth kovar

Me and my Great Uncle, Dave Craft, in the Badlands in '78 or '79...

At this part of the trip I took on the role of Lawman (much to the dismay of Dave, I'm sure), and searched the campground for the notorious and elusive Black Bart...

My memories of the trip are vague, but the awe of it all still lingers.

Much thanks to Dave for opening my eyes and heart to the beauty of this country and instilling in me a love and respect for nature...

note: survival, thanks for the redirection

Mountain climber
hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Jan 25, 2010 - 06:42pm PT
To the horror of my parents, I was a six year old with a knack for wandering into the Sespe Wilderness. That tracked enough dirt into my life to keep it permanent.


Boulder climber
Twin Peaks ,CA
Jan 26, 2010 - 12:12am PT
Brutus of Wyde brother here.
Army brats raised in alaska. OUR mother was the inspiration. Moose creek camping with mom & her friend (also female) while the army officer husbands worked. Mom also worked at the alaska native hospital as an RN. Winter survival camp for us while in alsska.
She had me & my next younger brother in a scout troop that hiked 50miles of John Muir trail ea summer. Mt whitney, Mt san gregonio (greyback) Slushy medows. joshua tree/ zion / She became a desert lover in her last years!
The user formerly known as stzzo

Sneaking up behind you
Jan 26, 2010 - 02:08am PT
Somewhat. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts at first, then summer camp. Climbed a lot of trees. Learned to rappel at 14. Now I smile about it. At the time, the objective was simply to rappel - no climbing or caving involved. I suppose it had something to do with the camp being owned by a former SEAL ;-). I suppose it's also why I just kinda dig rapping instead of walking off :D

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 26, 2010 - 03:24am PT
11ish, I got the intro to Josh rock toproping. not sure if we had backpacked san gorgonio by then or not with the scouts, but regular outdoor trips with the scouts was definitely part of my upbringing...

backpack san gorgonio

canoe Colorado flat water sections

road bike to oceanside

backpack to New Army Pass

car camping to Oneill regional park with capture the flag night sessions

but all that was couched in what I thot was a suburban hell and disneylandification of every day living, so not so off the grid. as a teenager, I would exploit this urban environment by bouldering on the traverses on underpasses of freeways.

Allen Hill

Social climber
Jan 26, 2010 - 04:51am PT
Summit of Ypsilon, RMNP, age thirteen. My fifth ascent of it. Lucky ki...
Summit of Ypsilon, RMNP, age thirteen. My fifth ascent of it. Lucky kid. What a fun thread idea.
Credit: Allen Hill

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 4, 2010 - 02:50pm PT
Started apline skiing between my dads legs when I was 3. I did a fair bit of tree climbing in my folks yard up pine trees. My folks had a condo in Squaw Valley in the 80's and it seemed we'd be up there a couple weekends a month year round, and for most of Christmas break. I got in alot of downhill skiing in my adolescent and teen years. In the spring and summer I'd hike up to the various peaks. The granite cliffs below the first tram tower always captivated me.

My dad was pretty active in outdoor activities after he got out of the Navy post WW II and before settling down with family, he climbed, hiked, skied and scuba dove.

When I was interested in climbing, my folks took me to Tuolumne to take some Yosemite Mountaineering classes, I learned the basics of ropecraft, belaying, self arrest and moving over stone.

Then they got a cabin by Royal Gorge (sick of the drive from the bay area to squaw) and I got into x-c skiing in my college years, so I'd ski the trails in the winter, and mountain bike them in the summer.

I guess that qualifies as an outdoor upbringing.

Trad climber
Mar 4, 2010 - 03:04pm PT
I don't remember not being able to ski. It was just part of life. And I thought naively that all people had a ski background like I did, not only were we rope tow/kicker groms but we were a kick-and-glide-pine tar wax family too. Silent New England woods.

My grandfather put a fly rod in my hand and took away the spinner and KastMaster when I was 8, a heavy bamboo rod that wore me out within an hour, but I'd still swing it all day. Sunnies and bass in Ohio on his pond led to bonefish, tarpon and permit with him stalking the flats at his place in the keys. You could see tailing fish from the porch, put down your iced tea and sneak out and have a go. He'd glass them with his old WW2 navy binocs and say "Why don't you go out and show those fish who's boss."

Summer camp was all hiking and white water for a month every July. Frame packs and steep White Mountain trails. Saco and Androscoggin floats.

I'm not sure if they knew what they were doing to me as a child, but somehow they peeled me away from pop-culture and instilled a sense of wonder in me from day 1. And it led me to peaks, waves, reefs, powder, cliffs, rivers, deserts views and memories and a collection of rugged, wonderful friends, and a headful of realized dreams that make up my life.

I recently took my daughter down to Florida, to the same flats I walked with my grandfather 30 years ago, and I felt a profound sense of attachment and connectivity while standing out in that impossibly turquoise water. One of those rare moments when all that has been and all that will be are perfectly displayed, with me right there where I was supposed to be. A moment of clarity.

Looking down I hoped that I was doing the same for her.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Mar 4, 2010 - 03:39pm PT
nice Pate

totally understand, as I suspect most here feel that ring of truth in it.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 4, 2010 - 04:46pm PT

It's a amazing what kids pick up, and how much experiences mean to them.

For his 4th birthday I took my oldest boy, now 13, on a "hunting" trip. It was a 3 day canoe/camping trip. We paddled out two the second of a long string of lakes, set up camp, and spent the time portaging and exploring the other lakes in the system. We did some fishing for rainbow trout, I don't recall if we caught any, and enjoyed warming our fingers in the frozen morning by the campfire.

Literally for the next 6 months that trip was the only thing he'd talk about.


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 17, 2010 - 10:38am PT
Credit: drljefe

All the old slides have been scanned.
A treasure trove of images I've never seen, but remember.
Experiences like this helped shape the man I would become.

Sport climber
California originally, Old Pueblo presently..
Dec 17, 2010 - 11:03am PT
I like the man you've become...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Dec 17, 2010 - 11:04am PT

Yes I was blessed to be the 2nd son of an engineer and outdoorsman who grew up during the depression. Like many of his generation my pop loved doing things with his hands and being self-sufficient.

He taught me to hunt, fish, use a chain saw, split wood, build fences, build spring houses, build houses, travel, camp, take care of equipment (a man takes care of the tools that take care of him, son).

He was also an engineer and metallurgist; an acknowledged pioneer of robotic welding techniques and in his later years in custom 'micro-welding' for medical equipment and other specialized tasks where tiny welds and exotic materials were involved (like welding aluminum to graphite....).

A man with one foot in the last century and one in the next.

He was of the kind, well, an old Aerosmith song may describe it best:

We all live on the edge of town
Where we all live ain't a soul around
People start a coming all we do is just grin
and say we gotta move out cause city's moving in
I say we gotta move out before city moves in.

He took us from rural New Jersey to even more rural Tennessee in 1973. The remainder of my childhood was spent on 30 acres of woods fields and hills, with a limestone cliff just down the bluff at Turnbull Creek. A thousand acre homestead ranch belonging to the Spicer clan backed my pop's land and I had the run of that place.

Had my own horse, chickens, cows, and learned how to take care of all of those critters too.

Now I am not my Pop. I roll a bit differently then he did. But I carry him and the skills he taught me in my heart, everywhere, all the time.


Sport climber
California originally, Old Pueblo presently..
Dec 18, 2010 - 10:16pm PT
I grew up with parents who loved the outdoors. I can't recall even one family vacation that involved a hotel/motel room. We spent all vacations traveling up and down my home state of California, into the Pacific Northwest and Canada, camping and hiking all along the way...
When mom passed at the age of 35, her ashes were scattered over Lake Tahoe from a small plane, as she'd requested... beautiful.

I started teaching my own son how to climb when he was three, and have followed in my parents footsteps as I expose him to the beauty and power of being outdoors and enjoying all it has to offer...

I should take advise posted earlier about scanning slides, as all my childhood photos are still in that format... my father took some amazing photos...

Here is a photo or two of my son...
photo not found
Missing photo ID#182699
photo not found
Missing photo ID#182700
photo not found
Missing photo ID#182702


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2011 - 05:22pm PT
Sea of Cortez
Sea of Cortez
Credit: drljefe

Backroads wrenchin'
Backroads wrenchin'
Credit: drljefe

Credit: drljefe

Take your kids when you go.

The Granite State.
Jul 17, 2011 - 05:36pm PT
I did.

This is my Grandpa, he was the co-founder of Sugarbush. It's a ski area in Vermont. He did this after his time in the Tenth Mountain Division in WWII.

This is me at 12. My Grandpa took me to France every summer to train for ski racing. It worked, and I did well at ski racing.

This is my Dad. In this picture we were backpacking, 15 years ago.

Another picture I took of the old man.

And a final one. On Mt Jefferson in NH, BITD.


Jan 31, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
Who is your Grandpa? My Grandfather was also in the Tenth, and from Vermont.

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 31, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
the family used to take road trips to visit relatives in Missouri, and Colorado, but didn't really take up the outdoor lifestyle until a senior in high school.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 31, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
Always played outdoors....team sports etc, also Huck Finned it building tree houses and fishing for crappies and bass. Went to boy scout camp in the Poconos, but no National Park visits or backpack trips in the wilderness.
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