What’s holding your family back from adventure in the great outdoors?

  • Contributor information: CNP

4 February 2019

Ordance Survey’s Get Outside Champion, Belinda Dixon shares her research into the obstacles facing many family’s between them and adventure in the great outdoors.

When we asked parents what got in the way of winter family adventures you could feel the angst. People who wanted desperately to do the right thing but felt frustrated by schedules and finances, access and safety – for a flavour of those concerns, see below. 

A magical family adventure

What’s stopping you from a family adventure in the great outdoors? Photo credit: Ordnance Survey.

But what if it’s possible to overcome some of these obstacles? We asked GetOutside Champions and ace family adventurers Jen and Sim Benson, and daughter Eva for their tips and tricks. Their answers feature in a fun, fresh-air filled 30 minute podcast – listen to it or download it here.

It covers things like maximising time, exploring closer to home, enjoying dark nights, spending less on kit, harnessing tech, firing up our imaginations and even, yes avoiding “I want to go home!”.

Listen in to hear how you can manage to have even more fab family mini adventures right through the winter months.

The cold is snow excuse!

Cold weather is snow excuse! Photo credit: Ordnance Survey.

Some common themes cropped up in answer to our question: parents, what makes it harder to enjoy awesome, winter family, mini-adventures outdoors?

One of the biggest was time, in relation to homework, school, dark nights and getting to adventures. Another big issue was money – spending on gear and kit, activities, transport and accommodation

Safety, confidence and skills loomed large too – not being sure enough of our own experience to keep youngsters safe, perhaps being a lone parent, or being worried about controlling little ones. Tech was another biggy, (those mobile phones!) as was wet weather, dark nights and the plaintive cry “I want to go home!”

But the good news is our podcast GetOutside – the Winter Family Adventure edition tackles all these issues. In it Jen and Sim Benson, and seven year-old daughter Eva detail tips and tricks that can really, really help. They outline ways to enjoy time-savvy, low-cost, close-to-home family winter adventures that harness creativity, imagination, dark nights and great tech.

They also reassure parents that in even being concerned about spending enough time outside as a family, you’re already doing great things. And it may be that a few simple changes mean you can do even more. To find out how listen in to or download the podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/getoutside/winter-family-adventures


Jen and Sim Benson are Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions, guidebook writers and photographers. Their books include: Amazing Family Adventures; The Adventurer’s Guide to Britain and Wild Running.

The podcast was recorded and edited by GetOutside Champion, Bel Dixon.

This blog was reproduced with the permission of Ordnance Survey and the original can be found here. 

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