Who to Follow 2017: Instagram Outdoor Families Pt. 1

Thanks to the power of social media, I have been able to find lots of families, in particular diverse families like mine, who are hitting the trail.   Getting outdoors with your family can be a struggle but when you surround yourself with like-minded people, who understand your cultural and family dynamics, it's encouraging and makes getting outdoors easier. 

That's why Raising Kids Wild and myself, Chasqui Mom want to showcase this growing diverse, multi-cultural community in a two-part blog post series.  We will be featuring families who connect with the outdoors through small and big adventures!

I have personally met over half of these families and I'm truly blown away be their awesomeness!  The families who are featured, are REAL families who deal with normal day-to-day struggles and love to enjoy family time in the outdoors.  Here are my nine outdoor families (but there are definitely more) who you should be following on Instagram! 

Raising Kids Wild: Stephanie Harper

Asheville, North Carolina - USA

The Harper Family, a blended family of six, believes that being outdoors as a family is something they all value and hope that their kids do too when they get older. They understand that not every trip outside is going to be cake. They embrace the tough and look forward to taking what they learn from difficult situations and applying them to future experiences as a family. 

Future Aspirations: Family snow-shoeing. Obstacles: Cost on gear and planning a trip for a family of six.  

Next Adventure: With a recent move to Asheville, North Carolina, the Harper family has lots of new exploring to do in amazing parks, green space, waterfall hikes and local trails.

Follow on IG: @raisingkidswild

Read more about Stephanie's family adventure at Raising Kids Wild Blog.

Play Outside Guide: Karen Ung

Calgary, Alberta - Canada

A photo posted by Karen Ung (@playoutsidegal) on

Karen's family plays outside every day and seek adventures of all sizes from urban hikes to backpacking! When the snow is good, they want to ski; and in the summer, they hike and bike a lot.  This family of  four makes sure their focus of their trips is fun and safety, so if that means cutting a hike short to get back in time to roast marshmallows before bed, then they do it.  

Future Aspirations: Fat-biking and stand up paddle-boarding.  Obstacles: Time, priorities, gear/rental costs.

Next Adventure: The whole family is signed up for the Canadian Birkebiener - a Viking themed cross country ski race - in February 2017. 

Follow on IG: @playoutsidegal

Read more about Karen's family's adventure at Play Outside Guide blog.

Nailah Blades-Wylie

Salt Lake City, Utah- USA

Nailah's family of three are always up to try something new.  Their recent move to Utah is having them look forward to all the beautiful National Parks this state has to offer.

"It's important to me that we model to my daughter that the world is just one big adventure and that if she puts her mind to something, there's nothing that she can't do. I want her to know that she doesn't need to feel boxed out of a particular type of activity because of her race or her gender. The outdoors is for everyone." ~ Nailah

Future Aspirations: Learning how to ski.

Next Adventure: They are already planning for a trip to Arches National Park.

Follow on IG: @nailahblades

Fit Fun and: Josie Guitierrez

San Antonio, Texas - USA

A photo posted by Josie Gutierrez (@fitfunand) on

Josie's multi-generational family of Mom, Dad, adult daughters, granddaughter, a sweet dog and a grouch cat is an active family!  When their daughters were younger they camped in their favorite State park in Texas with a beautiful river going through it, which they continue this tradition to this day.  They love tubing down the river for hours taking in the beautiful scenery and Josie's husband loves the silence that Nature provides.

Future Aspirations: To build a fire with flint and a magnifying glass. Obstacle: Haven't had the opportunity to learn.

Next Adventure: A family trip to Lake Amistad in Texas, which is an oasis in the desert in Amistad National Recreation Area 

Follow on IG: @fitfunand

Read more about Josie's adventures at Fit Fun And blog.

Francis Mendoza

San Francisco Bay Area, California - USA

You will always find Francis and his two daughters exploring new places and investigating the flora and fauna of wild places. Francis likes to hike along with my girlfriend and her daughters too.  They like to go to the beach, look for animals and just play.  Francis is known as the "Roving Ranger" since he works in the East Bay outdoors as a Naturalist and works to engage diverse communities who visit East Bay parks. 

Future Aspirations: Rock climbing, snowshoeing.  Obstacles: Money, time and lack of skills.

Next Adventures: More family outings & road trips throughout California

Follow on IG: @roving_ranger


The Kooiman Team - Steve Kooiman

Inland Empire, California - USA

A photo posted by @adventurous_dad_of_5 on

The Kooiman family is a multicultural family with five children who haven't stopped their outdoor adventures.  Hiking up mountains to elevations of 8,000 ft, exploring deserts to the ocean, whatever the season is they are always looking for adventures as a family. A mixture of Dutch, English, German, and Mexican family culture with five kid children with ages ranging form 11-24, sure sounds like an adventure in itself.

"A lot of people can't believe we do this much with kids in the outdoors and now days this makes us unique because people allow there kids to sit and play video games all day instead of teaching them to connect to the outdoors which is a natural thing."-Steve 

Future Aspiration: Learning to become a survivalist. Obstacles: Nothing but time. 

Next Adventure: Hiking parts of Arizona and to complete the 52 HikeChallenge again.

Follow on IG: @adventurous_dad_of_5

Ruby Jean Garcia

Humbolt County, California - USA

A photo posted by Ruby Jean Garcia (@rvbyjean) on

Ruby's passionate words for her children and nature make me aspire to be more poetic in my Instagram posts!  Ruby and her three beautiful children enjoy exploring the absolute beautiful of Humbolt County.

"Spending time in nature is an important part of our daily routine, and I've noticed that the adventure arises naturally from the desire to explore outdoor spaces in a way that is uninhibited, wild, and free. It doesn't matter whether we're puddle jumping, crab fishing, or hiking; we just want to be outside, and Humboldt is a great place for that." - Ruby

Future Aspirations: Identifying edible plants and survival hunting.  Obstacle: High opportunity cost of my time.

Next Adventure: Hopes to take her children to Yellowstone National Park this year.

Follow on IG: @rvbyjean

Read more on her blog Ruby J. Garcia.

The Mariscal Family: Mariela Mariscal

Santa Clarita, California - USA

The Mariscal family lives in California's high desert, where water and trees are scarce.  They still have hills and mountains galore! Nature is all around them they see snakes, lizards, and bobcats but we do not fear them.  They respect these beautiful animals, learn about them.  Marisela, her husband, two sons and their pitbull continue to explore California's desert with much eagerness.

Future Aspirations: Learning how to rock climb.  Obstacles: Not knowing anyone who rock climbs and not know how to start learning.

Next Adventure: To visit as many California National Parks.

Follow on IG: @my.outdoor.adventures

Wandering Vero: Carlos and Veronica Miranda

San Francisco Bay Area, California - USA

Familía Miranda is a culturally diverse family of three wilderness explorers.   Carlos and Vero are of Ecuadoran, Salvadoran and Mexican cultures.  They make sure their son has a taste of the big city but more importantly of the outdoors!  They find balance and serenity in the outdoors. Camping, hiking and just taking off for the day to find new hidden gems in California is what they do best. As students the entire family enjoys learning about our natural spaces and the history of the parks. 

Future Aspiration: (Carlos) Extended backpacking, snowshoeing or Kayaking. (Veronica) Swimming.  Obstacles: Being full time students and work, time is limited and tend to focus on outings the whole family can participate in.

Next Adventure: An 8-10 day road trip to Zion National Park and The Narrows.

Follow on IG: @carlos_de_la_mission and @wandering_vero

Read more about Familia Miranda's adventures at Wandering Vero blog. 


More to Come!

I glad that I could introduce you to these vibrant diverse outdoor families.  I know they aren't the only ones in Instagram world.  Raising Kids Wild will be sharing more "families to follow" in a few days in our series, but until then enjoy her fantastic blog at RaisingKidsWild.com

Updated 1/23/17: The day has come, check out more awesome outdoor families in our second part of this serious on Raising Kids Wild's "Who to Follow 2017: Instagram Outdoor Families Pt. 2".

You can also join in on my Social Media, which is updated daily with outdoor activities. Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment below!