096 | Family Explores all Wisconsin State Parks

Family adventure to explore all state parks
A dual-citizen 4-seasons adventure family completed their goal of camping, hiking & swimming in all 48 Wisconsin State Parks.

Tracy Philippi is a 4-seasons adventure enthusiast raising her 3 young, dual-citizens between Madison, Wisconsin and Canada. During COVID, Tracy and her family completed their goal of camping, hiking & swimming in all 48 Wisconsin State Parks. Tracy is a professional fundraiser, leading the charge to build a library in her community (the only place in Dane County without a library!) as a passionate volunteer. Currently on a gap year from paid employment, Tracy is focusing on slowing down, solo backpacking with her kids, expanding her vegetable & pollinator gardens and reading as much as humanly possible. Tracy has a Master’s in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto and is a Certified Cicerone (Beer Sommelier).

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Key Takeaways

  1. A cicerone is a fun way to dive deeper into beer culture and great inspiration to visit breweries on your travels

  2. A family goal to visit all 49 Wisconsin State Parks was a cost effective way to see the state, such as the Cape Cod equivalent in Door County, and allowing their oldest the space to thrive while exploring outdoors.  

  3. Hiking, Swimming, and Camping in State Parks have a very low barrier to entry. (Currently $28 for a resident State Park Sticker).  Park of the fun is discovering what is unique about each state park.  

  4. There were 5 state parks referenced in this episode.
    1. Straight Lakes State Park
    2. Kohler Andre State Park
    3. Big Bay State Park 
    4. Wyalusing State Park
    5. Devil’s Lake State Park

  5. Some tips for camping with kids started with lower your expectations.  It’s okay to leave early or go out to dinner.  

  6. Camp with a big group of friends or if you are a parent of multiples do a 1:1 experience.  Both options will take the pressure off the parent. 

  7. It takes 45 minutes of unstructured play for kids to start being creative and using their imaginations.  It takes time for kids to acclimate to surroundings. 

  8. Pack light and keep things easy.  Challenge yourself to leave “what if” items behind.  It will make you more resourceful in the moment.  

  9. Dress for every occasion.  They like to camp in spring and fall which means less bugs, but much cooler temps.  This makes wool base layers, rain coats and pants essential on the packing list.  

  10. Tailor your location based on your kids interested.  There is a state park with or near just about anything you could want to do.  

  11. State parks can be magical year round.  

  12. State Park Passes are a great gift. For $28 (resident sticker) you can support your staff, family or friends getting outside and exploring state parks.  

To connect with Tracy Phillippi come join the Ordinary Sherpa Facebook Group.

Where to Listen

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