What's Your Best Outdoor Dad Story? We Share Ours

Our dads do a lot for us, but their time spent with us is one of the best things we can ask for. For many of us, dad was our ambassador for the outdoors, introducing us to wildlife, trails and the finer parts of nature.

Team Sierra bloggers and Sierra Trading Post employees took time to share some of their favorite memories of time spent outdoors with their dads.

Recipe for Adventure

Like most of us, basically all my early outdoor experiences were dad-based; there was only so far "into the wild" I could pedal my bike and still get home for dinner. My dad and I didn't have much of an outdoor pedigree, although he is an Eagle Scout and I became one, but we offset ignorance with enthusiasm.

We learned together and built a lot of character out there: cold and wet, hot and sunburned, bug-bit, blistered, footsore, hungry, thirsty, tired, slightly lost. Good stuff. Along the way, I think we discovered the recipe for adventures that I still follow today. It's all about the right blend of unsure and unafraid. When those two ingredients come together in the right way, it's easy to recognize, and it's something you'll try and cook up whenever you can.

-Josh Reese, Sierra Trading Post Copy Manager

Weekend Canoe Camping

Dad Stories Team Sierra blogger Paul Osborn (The Outdoor Adventure) and his dad.

When I first got my learner's license my dad took me out on a weekend camping- canoeing trip. We drove from lake to lake catching fish and cooking them over an older, one burner stove. We camped at little sites on the edge of the road, trying to get comfortable in my little "2-person" tent and trying to ignore the sound of trucks driving by only a few dozen feet from our tent.

That short trip is a touchstone event in my life. It came at just the right time and I've never forgotten that weekend... although I've almost forgotten how uncomfortable it was in that little hexagonal tent!

-Paul Osborn, blogger at The Outdoor Adventure

Losing Dinner

Dad Stories Front to back: Colleen Shassetz, dad, nephew Zak, sister Nichoel, and nephew Justin. All but Colleen's dad are Sierra Trading Post employees.

From an early age, my dad always brought us camping and fishing. When I was about 8 years old, I went stream fishing with my mom and dad. We had caught about half a dozen fish, and I was growing bored. Instead of throwing my pole in to catch more fish, I started playing with the fish we already had.

I accidentally let the fish stringer go, with all the fish attached. I cried and cried; I was so upset that I had let dinner go and those fish would die for no reason. My parents were very understanding and consoled me. Dad told me, "Someone else may find them down the way, and he'll cook them up for his own family." This didn't stop me from going on future fishing expeditions, either. In the photo above we are on the banks of Minnesota fishing for bullheads; we caught about a dozen that day.

-Colleen Shassetz, Sierra Trading Post Copy Specialist

Up North Awe

Dad Stories Lauren Seidl with her dad and older brother.

Trips to a family friend's lakeside cabin in Northern Wisconsin were a staple in my childhood summers. My brothers and I would practically jump out of the car and into the water, with fishing on top of our to-do list. My dad spent hours rowing us around the lake, diligently worming and de-fishing our lines while we hooked a steady flow of small pan fish. As we grew, he held us accountable for our own lines, teaching us to cast, bait hooks and release our catches.

The fishing was fun, but I could spend hours in the canoe without casting a line. Spying large-mouthed bass through clear water, guessing where diving loons would reappear, and searching for circling eagles above were all part of the Up North awe. I'm thankful to my dad for introducing me to the outdoors in this way, allowing me to observe, interact with and learn about nature all at once.

-Lauren Seidl, Sierra Trading Post Blogger

Just Hanging

Dad Stories Team Sierra blogger Scott Gauvin (Hiking Forward) with his daughters.

One my my favorite things to do with my girls (Grace and Gabby) is to go to the beautiful park just a block from our house and hang the Tentsile hammock and be together. We don't necessarily have to be doing the same thing while hanging out in the trees... but we are together.

What is awesome about this experience is the desire to go to the park and do this always comes from them. They love the looks we get as we sit and lay care-free in the big hammock while enjoying our quiet time or just catching up on our week. These are the moments us fathers cherish. Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.

-Scott Gauvin, blogger at Hiking Forward

What outdoor memories do you have with your dad? Share a story in the comments!
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
Join the Conversation