By Roberto Gibbons
People have asked me if we ever considered not having children because of our adventure lifestyle? For us, that was never really a question. We knew we’d have kids and they would just become part of our adventure.
For us, the only thing that is different is we added an Airstream Sport to our family at almost the same time our little man entered the adventure scene, and that has made a huge difference. It’s a warm place for us to crash, and our home base while we get out and explore. Extreme adventures are still part of our daily life. We haven’t changed the places we desire to visit or the types of extreme sports we take part in since our son arrived.
To date, our little man Mikio has been on 44 flights. I know people who wouldn’t even consider an airline flight with a baby or toddler. We do it all the time. I think it’s all about the vibe you give to the child. If you’re comfortable and happy and relaxed then the child will be relaxed. We’ve learned that if we are chill, the little man will be chill too.
When we face extreme situations, part of our ability to be comfortable comes down to being prepared. We never want to get ourselves into a situation where we are pushing ourselves to go further or take on elements we aren’t equipped to handle.
Taking things we might not need and planning for surprises is part of our adventure.
Even though we have Happy (the name we’ve given to our Airstream), we always have a tent with us so we know – no matter what – if we need to take a break, we can call it an afternoon or evening and start fresh the next day when the weather is different, or after we’ve had a chance to regroup. Traveling like this, there are always situations that are less than ideal. Instead of freaking out and pushing through and risking causing an accident we just call it a day. We always have a contingency plan for a long trip.
We also tote a lot of gear. With our shiny aluminum travel trailer in tow, we have plenty of room for anything we would need. Fellow extreme adventurers look at us rather perplexed sometimes – like we ought to be traveling lighter. But having the gear enables us to continue our adventures and remain safe and comfortable. We even take our down coats to the beach with us when we kite surf. After a day of letting the wind catch your kite and tow you across the waves, you always end up coming out of the water onto a wind-swept beach. That same wind that lets you launch off these waves and fly through the air over the ocean is the same wind that makes you catch a chill on the beach. But if you have that down coat, you can just throw it on and you won’t be uncomfortable.
When we’re in extreme cold, having the right gear makes the adventure possible. We use lots of layers, down jackets, duck boots, proper wool and water proof mitts. I know if I have on the right gear and the little man is dressed the same as me, he’s good to go.
So, while some people see our adventures as risky, the decisions we make are very calculated. We always have backup plans, and we always carry a two-way satellite device, first-aid and medical kits in addition to the best gear for any situation. Sure – your preparedness reaches a certain point, and there are things you can’t be prepared for. But that can happen walking down a street in normal temperatures, too!
Even with all our preparation, though, we’ve ended up in our fair share of tricky situations.
Robert and Bella Gibbons are Airstream Ambassadors in their 16-foot Airstream Sport. Come back next week for Part 3 of their Endless Caravan adventure, where Roberto shares more about some of the tricky situations they’ve found themselves in while out adventuring.
Sign up for Endless Caravan updates so you never miss the next great adventure.