By Michael Lanza

In the Digital Era, the idea of families spending sustained time outdoors—actually taking trips built around some outdoor adventure enjoyed together—can feel like a wonderful aspiration that’s awfully hard to achieve. But that lifestyle is a reality for many families—and always has been for mine—and one that brings parents and children together for long periods of time (hours or even days!) in beautiful places in nature for an activity that’s genuinely fun and, most importantly, unplugged.

How do you create that kind of lifestyle for your family? As the father of two young adults who are avid backpackers, skiers, climbers, paddlers, and intelligent, fine young people who make me proud, I believe this goal remains not only entirely feasible today, but all that much more critical—especially for kids.

And when it’s done right, you and your children will consider the time you spend together outdoors some of the best you share as a family.

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

For this story, I’ve synthesized the biggest lessons I’ve gleaned from two decades of parenting outdoors as often as possible—and four decades building my life around outdoor recreation, including formerly a field editor for Backpacker magazine for 10 years and
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