Family fun outdoors | Xtreme Idaho

Today I want to talk about the use of the outdoors as a recreational leisure activity with the family. Everyone has a budget, some people may have a bigger budget than you, but everyone still has a budget. With that said, why save all year and take a trip to Mexico or Hawaii? Why not go outside right here in little old Idaho or at least some of our neighboring states?

It’s certainly a lot cheaper than buying plane tickets, motels, eating out three times a day, and paying outrageous prices for entertainment in a big, glitzy city. Think about some of the options:

1. Family camping trip.

2. Family fishing trip.

3. Visit cool places like Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone or go to the coast.

4. Hit up some of the dudes ranches. In two weeks Katy and I are going to visit the Silvies Ranch in Seneca, Oregon. At most ranches, you can ride horses, fish, hike, or just use as a base camp.

5. Float / raft on some of our rivers.

6. Camp and go on a four-wheeled trip. If you can’t afford four-wheeled vehicles for the whole family, you can rent some that can be cheaper if you only use them once or twice a year.

If you are the mom and dad of a growing family, I understand money is tight, but when kids are little it’s when you want to make memories. Here are some ways to get by on a low budget.

I remember one time me and the girls went to the coast. We camped one night and then the next we got a motel so everyone could clean up. We went down the coast camping on the beach and the next night we stayed in a small motel. One night we camped in the redwoods in a cool campground. Your three biggest expenses will be food, gas and accommodation. Cooking over a campfire cuts the food bill and camping is free.

Another time we did the same when we hit Yellowstone. We had a great time. We camped while driving and while we were there. Ditto on a trip to the Black Hills when we reached Mount Rushmore. Katy’s family used to go there every summer as a child, so she already knew all the hot spots. Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, of course Mount Rushmore has natural hot springs with a huge pool and we camped at Flintstones Bedrock City.

If you’re new to the area, Google it up for local attractions that might interest your family. If you are visiting a unique place, splurge a night or two and eat some local food. Especially if you are going fishing in southern Louisiana. You have to try the Cajun food.

So of course you might want to buy a boat for the family to fish and ski. I do not recommend buying a bass boat. They are only comfortable for two people. Get a 17-18 foot V-bottom boat that can comfortably hold the whole family.So as we begin to wrap up, I encourage you to make this summer a special one. There is something special about being outdoors with the people you love. We live in Idaho. All over America people would die so they could participate in what we have here at our fingertips.

I understand if you have a young family and you are trying to get by and make a living. I get up at 5 a.m. and usually work until 9 p.m. But life is short. Of course, as a parent you have to support your family, but recently I was reminded of how short life is. I got home late last night after burying mom.

We children cleaned the house after the funeral. There were a few items that I treasured, but the thing that took hours and hours to go through were her boxes of photos. If I died now and you walked through my earthly possessions, unfortunately you’d say hmm, looks like he was pretty self-centered. All of his photos were hunting and fishing photos.

Mom’s photos? Lots of pictures of her children and grandchildren. I already knew that she was living her life, but after sorting through her things, what was important to Mom was crystal clear. God and his family. Thinking back to my childhood, I literally couldn’t think of a single selfish thing mom had ever done. She did everything for us children. I need to redefine the priorities.

Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoor articles in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He also writes for various outdoor magazines and gives outdoor seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]


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