Leading the way in real food snacks.

Leading the
way in real
food snacks.

Leading the way in real food snacks.

Leading the
way in real
food snacks.

Springtime Family Adventures

Bailey Selland Adventure Mum

Today we hear from Bailey, an outdoor adventure mum to two little explorers who has gained an impressive following of 112k on Instagram since starting her journey.

Heya, I’m Bailey, the creator behind Spirit & Guts on Instagram. I’ve had an ever growing love for overnight hiking and epic adventures since I was a little kid. When I became a mom, though, I thought I was meant to stay home with my baby. Maybe go to the local playground or the library or the store if we needed an outing. Those were the examples I saw. But as I followed that example, I could feel the light in my eyes fading.

One day, pregnant with my second and quite sick as I tried to keep up with my high energy toddler, I decided it was sink or swim. I could either lay on the couch miserable, or I could get up and do something that would bring me a little joy.

I got my 2 year old and I out on a hike about 10 minutes from our home. With a lot of effort, I convinced her to get in the carrier. The trail turned out to be steep and we only made it about half a mile before I was huffing and puffing so much we turned around. My daughter was not a fan of the carrier. She just wanted to play wherever we were on the trail. So I took her out and we very slowly worked our way back down the trail.

On paper it seemed like a loss, but I actually felt so much better.

So we got out more and more. We started building a camper van to expand our adventures, and then we got the opportunity to move from the suburbs of San Francisco to New Zealand. We sold our house and moved halfway around the world. Our adventures continue to expand and it’s a joy to share them with my community of adventure families on Instagram.

What got you into becoming a ‘family adventures’ influencer? Any key moments you remember?

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I remember when I was deciding whether I was going to start posting about my little hikes with my toddler, which were very short and very close to home, and wondering if anyone would be impacted. I thought in that moment how I wished I’d seen more examples of moms taking their kids to places beyond the playground and the store. I decided if I could be that example that helped one, single person, it would be worth it. So I started.

It’s been an incredible ride since then as our adventures have gotten much more wild and my community has grown and grown. I get so many messages from women who are getting out with their kids and finding greater happiness in motherhood from it and it warms my heart so, and hearkens back to that moment I decided to go for it.

How do you and your family feel about, and approach winter?

I have to start by admitting that since we’ve had kids we have lived in some very temperate climates (San Francisco and Auckland) so we haven’t dealt with freezing temperatures or snow much at all. Even in those temperate climates, though, I find there is a general consensus that winter is too hard for adventures.

My mental health, however, greatly relies on adventures, on hiking and camping and playing outside, so even though it’s hard, we’ve just decided it’s a thing we do anyways. We’ve found activities we all like to do even in the cold (like overnight hikes, hot springing is a favorite, and mountain biking) and we’ve worked to gather appropriate clothing and off we go!

winter fam

Is there anything you and your family particularly look forward to once spring starts to poke its head out?

Mostly I am excited to have more sunshine! We live in the bush and in the winter we only get about one hour of direct sunlight on our house each day and only on the upper levels so I try to sit up there and soak it in. As spring has arrived we’re loving some sunshine in our yard so we can play and we’re enjoying the extra hours of sunshine in the evening so we can take a walk after dinner.

The extra hours of light also make travelling with kids easier.

baby with a view crop

Do you prefer heading out with the camper van or on foot with a tent? Any particular reason?

I really love both. I love novelty and variety and I try to build that into our adventures. Some camper van time and some overnight hikes. Some hiking and some posting up at the beach to explore one spot.

Overnight hikes feel easier to prepare for sometimes since I know exactly what I need to pack and I really can’t go over that. But the activity itself is more of a challenge with little ones and as I wean my youngest from breastfeeding I’m a little more nervous about staying overnight in a hut with other people. We’re heading out for our first no-breastfeeding hike in a couple weeks though and I’m excited!

Camper van trips are fun because we can bring more food and toys and it’s quite a bit less stressful with the kids and in the changing weather. We enjoy cozying in our van and the kids are quite used to our routines in there.

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beach run small
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Do you have any particular destinations or plans for this coming spring/ summer adventuring season? Any new challenges you want to tackle?

I just booked my first great walk for this summer which I am absolutely thrilled about. I’ll be doing Routeburn with a friend in late summer. I’m a bit of a last minute planner so I have mostly loose ideas about what I hope to do. I’m keen to spend more time around Taranaki and Taupo this summer. There are some epic swimming holes I have my eye on in both places and some great kid-friendly huts in Taranaki. In spring I love to hit hot springs with the kids like the hot water beaches and some spots in Rotorua. Shoulder seasons are great for hot or warm springs with kids since it’s cool enough to enjoy the warm water but not too painfully cold outside for the little ones.

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Are there any particular considerations you keep in mind as a mum for spring adventuring with your kids/ whole family?

In New Zealand I always bring rain gear no matter the weather report, as well as an extra layer or two. It’s come in handy more than once. I also am extra attentive to putting the kids and I in wool layers since they stay warm and dry-feeling even when wet. 

And of course, we always make sure to have great snacks like Crafty Weka bars stocked in all our bags and in the car to feed our hunger!

If you’d like to find out more about Bailey and her family’s adventures, head on over to her Instagram @spiritandguts for lots of great tips and insights into navigating the outdoors with little ones in tow.

Thanks for reading! And if this has inspired you to head outdoors with your family, let us know your camping/ tramping / hiking plans for this season in the comments below. Stay crafty!


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