Meet Sara Hageman, mom to Avery (two-and-a-half) and Avery's future sis (due in just eight weeks!), wife to Steve, and outdoor sporting goods expert.

1.     What has been your greatest adventure with kids?

The first was when we took our daughter, Avery, to Hawaii for her first birthday. “Hard” is not even a word to describe our first year with a baby. It was more like… survival mode. We needed to reconnect as a family and as a couple. Steve and I went from survival mode to beach mode, and it made the biggest difference in our relationship. We felt, for the first time in a year, that we could sit back and enjoy Avery. We watched her play, listened to her laugh, tried to just be. It made us be in the moment.

The second was when my sister and I took Avery backpacking when she was 11 months old. A lot of parents are afraid to travel or camp because you have to bring so much stuff, but you don’t really. Kids adapt. They’re creative. Avery played with pinecones and sticks and she loved it. Adventuring forces you to take a step back, bring less, and just enjoy each other.

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2.   What are your favorite everyday adventures together?

Hiking is our favorite, but going to the grocery is an adventure with a toddler too! When we hike, it’s not just about getting exercise. It’s being outside, appreciating the Earth. People don’t spend enough time outside – not just kids. All of us.

3.   Where do you find parenting inspiration, ideas and encouragement?

Mostly friends. With friends who have older kids, you can see the way they do things and feel more comfortable. I watched how one couple traded off skiing, and thought, “Wow, I can do that then.” 

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4.   What do you wish you had known or done before having kids?

You have to be flexible, learn as you go and show kids what you love most. I hate when people say, “…and then we had kids and stopped doing these things.” Show them! If you enjoy skiing or cycling or travel and love that, then show it to your kids. Some people get a day off of work and don’t know what to do. I learned from my mom how to do what you love and play hard. I want to teach Avery that too.

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"I learned from my mom how to do what you love and play hard. I want to teach Avery that too.

- Sara Hageman

5.   What advice do you have for other parents trying to explore more?

Keep it simple… pare down and be flexible. As a parent, know your kids are gonna pick up on whatever you’re stressed about or you feel is hard. If you say, “Hey! Now it’s raining. We’ll just put on a rain jacket and keep moving,” then a change in weather is not that big a deal to them.

6.   Which top two things can you not live without when out and about with kids?

A backpack or some kind of kid carrier (wrap, sling, framed pack) and snacks. Always snacks!

7.   What do you want your kids to learn about the world?

To respect Mother Earth and they can go on any adventure they want to… go and play, explore, meet new people, try new foods, be part of different cultures. I think it creates empathy and they’ll know they’re not the only people in this world. Hopefully our kids will be more caring and more thoughtful.

8.   What’s your parenting motto?

“Drink more coffee”?! And “if something is important to you and you love it, teach it to your kids.”

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