My family and I have lived in the Rogue Valley our whole lives. We enjoy the outdoors, like most Oregonians, and always try to get out and have fun. Camping was part of our own childhood, so like most parents we want to implement that for our kids. We have 2 beautiful daughters who are growing up far too fast. One is 11 and teaches us more than we can teach her, the other is 5 and has complex medical needs including being on the autism spectrum. On top of her complex medical needs she is without words and has no understanding of safety. This keeps us busy and acting as a team to make sure she is safe and ok while we make those memories.
We do not let those medical challenges slow us down when it comes to seeking adventure. Being closed in can honestly make it harder on anyone, so we get out and we go hiking, biking, camping and then some. We pre-plan any trip and ask questions ahead of time when renting homes or cabins. Those questions for me generally include asking about the door locks and the floor plan of the place itself.
There are many obstacles that we have had to find solutions for, the biggest was sitting around the fire. My little gal doesn’t like to sit still, so this was by far the hardest for us. She also doesn’t understand that fire is a danger, so keeping her secure was the only way. We eventually bought an instant screen house and modified it. She can now move around while playing with her toys and still see the fire, bonus is we can see her too.
Our favorite thing to do is to get out and go hiking. With so many close trails this is the first choice for us. Keeping her sensory needs met while hiking is easy—we bring music and her favorite chewy tube. We hike with her in a carrier to keep her safe since she can’t properly navigate the trails. Being outdoors and having those moments where it feels like there are no worries means the world to us, so does involving her in all those memories.
We try our best to make each adventure a good memory for our kids. We try to take advantage of those moments where we can get out and get away from it all. One day she will hopefully find her words and most likely be like her big sister telling us hiking is boring, but until then we will explore and find ways around the medical challenges.
Below is the site to our favorite hiking trails, sites for the child carriers we use, and booking sites for adventure planning.