Manual for Staying Sane Through the Greatest Adventure of Your Life
By Michael Lanza
Raising children is a lot of work—any parent knows that. But for people who love the outdoors, combining parenting with their passion for hiking, backpacking, skiing, camping, climbing, kayaking, or other outdoor activities poses added challenges.
In many ways, at least when children are young, what you do outside with them is both easier than what you did outside before you had kids (you regress to beginner level) and exponentially harder (for all the cat herding and stuff-management involved). The rewards can seem elusive. You may wonder whether it’s worth the time and effort. The Complaint Department stays open 24-7 and you’re the embattled manager.
A family on a hike in Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve.
” data-image-caption=”My family on a hike in Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve. Click photo to read my “10 Tips for Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids.”
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Us-4-at-COR-June04.jpg?fit=244%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Us-4-at-COR-June04.jpg?fit=521%2C640&ssl=1″ width=”521″ height=”640″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Us-4-at-COR-June04.jpg?resize=521%2C640&ssl=1″ alt=”A family on a hike in Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve.” class=”wp-image-23944″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Us-4-at-COR-June04.jpg?w=521&ssl=1 521w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Us-4-at-COR-June04.jpg?resize=244%2C300&ssl=1 244w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Us-4-at-COR-June04.jpg?resize=200%2C246&ssl=1 200w” sizes=”(max-width: 521px) 100vw, 521px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />My family on a hike in Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve. Click photo to read my “10 Tips for Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids.”
Well, I have good news for you.
After two-plus decades as parents—including my 10 years as the Northwest Editor of Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog—my wife and I have taken our kids on more outdoors trips than we can count over the years. And those adventures have proven wonderful and brought us closer as a family.
I’ve put together what I consider the nine hardest lessons in parenting for parents who love the outdoors. While the title sounds ominous, I believe you will find the following tips both a manual for managing your family outdoor adventures and a self-help guide to preparing yourself—as much as is possible—for an alternately dizzying and delightful journey and the greatest adventure of your life.
Please share any thoughts, tips, or questions you have in the comments section at the bottom of this story. I try to respond to all comments. Click on any photo to read about that trip (most of which require a paid subscription to read in full, including this story).
See my affordable, expert e-guides to numerous trips, including some classic adventures appropriate for families and beginners, and my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how I can help you plan any of these classic adventures, variations of them, or any trip you read about at The Big Outside.
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.
Did you miss our previous article…