Tanya Koob is an outdoor enthusiast who runs the blog Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. She is a fantastic mom to an energetic, young boy and a loving and supportive wife to her partner. Her family lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where some parts of the majestic Rocky Mountains reside.
Having a child never stopped Tanya from exploring the great outdoors. She always find the time to go on an adventure with the whole family. In fact, one of her goals is to inspire other families to go outside and be active together. They have gone hiking, paddling, biking, skiing, climbing, and camping with their kiddo. And even if family trips aren’t always rainbows and butterflies, moments like these are very precious for Tanya – she surely won’t exchange them for anything.
It is my hope that families will meet other families with similar interests and discover the best places to go in the Rocky Mountains and Kananaskis with kids. There are a lot of hiking books out there but very few focusing on family adventure.
1. How did your blog “Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies” start? What inspired you to write an adventure blog?
When my son was born we started taking him hiking, backpacking, and exploring our mountain parks. I realized quickly that the lifestyle we were creating for him was not the “norm,” and we didn’t have many friends who felt comfortable joining us on our adventures. I, therefore, started a blog to share our adventures (mostly with family initially) and I created a Facebook group in hopes of meeting other like-minded families. This eventually lead to the creation of the Calgary Outdoor Playgroup Community, now a vibrant group with 3000+ families.
2. Isn’t it difficult to go on adventure trips while taking care of your child? How were you able to balance your life as a parent and as an outdoor enthusiast?
My son just turned 9 and it’s becoming easier and easier to get out on adventurous trips as a family. My son bikes and skis on par with my abilities and he’s pretty much faster than me when climbing mountains. He is fearless and it’s a lot of fun taking him to the mountains. I’m still faster at cross-country skiing (and can log further distances in a day) so I try to get out with girlfriends a couple times a month for ski days, but other than that, we’re very happy to explore together as a family. We ski, hike, bike, and camp together. My husband schedules a few weekends a year for mountaineering trips or for backcountry ski weekends with his friends, but for the most part, we like to spend our weekends together as a family.
3. If you were to recommend 3 kid-friendly outdoor destinations, what places would they be and why?
For kid-friendly destinations, we love exploring Kananaskis Country near Calgary. It’s less busy and far less touristy than the national parks. We have a ski hill here that we love and we can be on ski or hiking trails within 45 minutes from our house. For a weekend away we love going to the Columbia Valley in BC and usually make our basecamp in the Town of Radium Hot Springs. We go here for skiing in the winter or mountain biking in the summer. Finally, we love making an annual road trip north to Jasper National Park where we ski in winter, hike, and bike in summer, and love camping.
4. What’s the most thrilling outdoor adventure you’ve ever tried as a family? Did your son like it?
Mountain biking is probably the most thrilling outdoor adventure we pursue and my son loves it. He kicks my butt at downhill biking in fact and I often have to play the role of “shuttle driver” as I take my son and husband to the tops of mountains so they can ride down.
5. What advice can you give to parents who want to introduce their kids to backpacking and other outdoor activities?
Start young. My son doesn’t realize that his outdoor life isn’t the norm. He doesn’t know that most kids stay in the city on weekends. He thinks it’s perfectly normal to go camping every weekend all summer long. And he never questions me on why we are climbing a mountain or going backpacking for a weekend. He thrives in the outdoors and loves every second we spend outside. This all started at a young age and we just work up to the bigger things, a little more each year.