When Adventure Goes Bad (& What To Do About It)
If you have been following our adventures, I admit, most of our trips, we are having fun. (Otherwise why do it?) The pictures show you amazing views, what we did, and our happy family. Most of the time, this is the truthful reflection of our trip.
But other times, things just go bad.
Here are the notable examples of not-so great while camping lately:
Mr J got bit by several mosquitoes in Blue River, BC and his face swelled up to the point where his eye nearly shut. This was scary where we have family members who go into anaphylactic shock when stung by other insects.
Or this past weekend, when we did a throwback and tried to paddle Jarvis Creek and it was too shallow. We ended up stuck at Blue Lake with 90 lbs of kid & dog and couldn’t figure out how to get through to our destination. Eventually Meg & I made it through but portaged our canoe several times over many beaver dams before we gave up completely. (Yes the water is only ankle deep here).
It’s all … good??
I honestly believe that even when adventure goes bad there is still worthwhile lessons to be learnt, and memories to be made. One of the most important lessons that I was taught from a young age as a Girl Guide was —
Especially with family adventure trips, I find this to be my motto and maybe slightly overpack for the challenges we may face. Take the time before your adventure to consider what challenges you may face – whether it be naptime in a canoe, or the relentless sunshine, or getting lost. Do your best to provide yourself with the tools to be successful.
What To Do About It?
The key questions I ask myself if I feel like I’m on an adventure that is going bad:
- Is anyone unsafe or injured or uncomfortable?
- Is there any immediate way to fix the problem that has caused the adventure to go wrong?
- Will a break give us time to help find a solution?
- Is it time to bail on this adventure or idea of an adventure due to unforeseen circumstances? or Will this adventure continue to go wrong if we continue trying?
For young members of your excursion you could also try:
Ask them their input
Their answer about what their favourite part of the adventure might surprise you! Discuss the good parts & not-so good parts and what you can change about your next trip to make it better. Maybe it’s a simple solution like a pillow or a rain poncho, or perhaps it’s more complicated.
Reframe the experience
Change the adventure topic or think outside of the box on what you HAVE accomplished. Drank 3 juice boxes today and didn’t get a burn? That’s an accomplishment too.
Point out the nature surrounding you and educate your young friends about whatever comes to mind. Tell them about the types of trees, or wildflowers. Tell them why beavers make damns or interesting facts about moose. Sing a camp song or try and count the clouds.
If all else fails….
Know when to throw in the towel. I admit, this one is a tough one for me as I don’t easily give up. But when on your fourth tour of the lake, it’s time to call help. Write down important numbers of your local campground or people nearby that can help.
Have you had any adventures recently that have gone badly?
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.