Muk Mat founders, Tod and Suzanne Horton are an Aussie couple with a background in health and business. They have two very active boys and the whole family are keen surfers, mountain bikers, runners and campers.
Originally, Muk Mat came about as a solution to keep the sand, dirt and grass out of their car after a surf. Then they found it useful for cleaning their shoes after running, footy, golf, riding and camping. They’d pop their ‘patch of grass’ on the ground, clean their feet and complete strangers would and ask what it was, where they got it and where they could get one.
Outdoria caught up with Tod, the rad dad of the family, to get the lowdown on what he loves about getting outdoors.
“The outdoors energises and relaxes me all at the same time,” says Tod. “Getting outdoors and into nature is the perfect way to stay fit, healthy and happy. Our most memorable family experiences are when we are outdoors, be it hiking, surfing, mountain biking or just exploring new areas. Nature is the best remedy.”
What’s the biggest adventure you’ve taken your kids on?
“Last year we took the boys to Yosemite National Park and we did a seven-hour hike to the top of some spectacular waterfalls and loved how much they embraced it – and swimming in the icy cold water!”
What life skills do you feel your kids have learnt from being in the outdoors?
“They definitely have a respect for the power of the ocean as they surf whenever they can. They’re also very committed to training and not letting their teammates down in footy.”
What’s the best thing (for you) about getting outside with your kids?
“It is so good to have no other distractions (like work) and really focus on time with them. The outdoors is such a huge part of our lives – it’s a great way to catch up and share a laugh and an experience.”
What does your ideal weekend look like?
“Our weekends are always action packed. I will get up super early on Saturdays for a ride with my mates and Sue takes the boys for a surf (with their Muk Mats always in the car!). Then I’ll meet them and swim out or surf with them.
“We then all have an Acai bowl for late breakfast then chill out for a few hours before hitting a skate park with the boys and their mates usually until dark!”
What do you hope your kids will remember most about outdoor adventures with their dad?
“They already have the bug and not a day goes by without them doing some activity. I hope they feel like I’m the energetic Dad who always is doing some crazy event and enjoying everything life has to offer. I want them to be stoked to still hang out with Mum and Dad because we are able to keep up with them.”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other dads?
“Never say no to an opportunity to play with your kids. That work or housework can always wait … even a 10min kick of the footy or fun wrestle in the backyard will always be remembered and help keep your bond tight.”