Give the gift of adventure

Christmas is about giving so make this holiday season the one where you pass on something special to your kids – the gift of adventure.

Meet Bob

Bob McLachlan was brought up exploring the outdoors and learning how to have inspiring adventures with his dad in New Zealand’s South Island. Now he aims to pass on similar experiences to his daughters.

“It’s kind of exploring what you see from one perspective and making it 3D for me,” clarifies Bob. “As a kid you’re so pure, and everything’s interesting. There are just questions about everything that’s out there, from every tree to every bird, to every bee.”

Bob’s love for teaching his kids in the outdoors comes from what they get out of it, like:

  • Learning not to give up so easily
  • Finding confidence within themselves
  • Packing their own gear to understand organisational skills
  • Researching how the weather will be
A well earned rest
A well earned rest

The thrill of teaching in the outdoors

One of the great things about having kids is passing your knowledge and experience onto them – and opening up their young eyes to see what they can achieve.

Bob’s enjoying this challenge with his eldest daughter, Brooke. “She can look from an adult’s point of view, and I’m also trying to see it through her eyes. So the whole time she’s learning – and I’m learning as well. It’s hugely beneficial for both of us,” explains Bob.

“So it’s amazing for us to just pick up a rock, look at it and decipher what sort of rock it is, how it was formed and how it got there. What’s at the head of the river? Has the rock washed down the river? Has it come off the mountain? It keeps it really interesting.”

Learning by doing in the outdoors
Learning by doing in the outdoors

From parent to child

Outdoor adventure is in the DNA of Bob’s family and in a way, spending time with Brooke out amongst nature is helping him reconnect with his childhood.

As Bob says, you start looking at your own parents with a different perspective. “My parents had to give up a lot of what they could be doing to get me out in that environment. I’m probably learning a lot about what they did for me as a kid, and the time they took out of their schedule to get me out doing stuff.”

“I know that my dad passed on outdoor experiences because his dad was very outdoorsy. So it’s not just from me to Brooke, and it’s not just from my father to me – it was also from my grandad to my dad.”

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Campfires aren't campfires without marshmallows
Campfires aren't campfires without marshmallows

Why having the right gear is so important

Making sure both you and your kids have the gear they need to have fun enjoying your outdoor adventures (and to be safe) is vital.

Bob puts it like this, “When you buy new gear, you wear it for this and you wear it for that, and soon you realise it’s your go-to item. Your gear gets a personality – it takes a while to get that trust in clothing.”

With adventure comes time

Both Bob and Brooke get a lot out of the personal challenges of adventuring into the outdoors – but spending time together is one of their biggest rewards.

“It’s great when you can have silent times together and you can talk about the moments you had during the day.”

As Bob eloquently puts it, “The best thing you can ever give your kids is time…I really believe that to be true.”


Need ideas? View some of our Christmas gifts for kids