Raising Kids Outside: Parenthood, Surfing, Thrills, and Balance

‘Unnur’ takes us behind the scenes of what it’s like to raise a kid while holding an outdoor industry career. Spoiler alert: It’s not all about being outside.

Film director and photographer Chris Burkard’s latest project is now complete. Burkard has produced over a dozen action-packed outdoor films on topics from crack climbing to arctic surfing. But his latest film has a more personal tone.

The main character, Elli Thor, is an Icelandic photographer, surfer, and former kayaker. A decade ago, Thor nearly drowned under a waterfall while kayaking an Icelandic river. He walked away from kayaking and took up surfing instead. Then he started a family. His priorities are clear — the film is named after the protagonist’s daughter, Unnur.

“Often, you make a film about the most important things going on in your life through someone else’s eyes,” said director Chris Burkard. “For me, the story of Thor raising his daughter as a single parent is something near and dear to me. This film is for everyone who hopes to raise kids and share with them the places and experiences they cherish most.”

“Unnur” debuted at the Mountainfilm Festival earlier this year. It’s a tribute to the outdoors, to parenthood, and to the struggle and experiences of marrying the two.

The full film short is 17 minutes long and premiered online this week.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over five years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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