Tag Archives: backpacking with children
By Michael Lanza
After hiking 1,000 vertical feet uphill on the dusty Upper Yosemite Falls Trail in Yosemite Valley, baking under a thermonuclear Sierra sun, we sat on rocks for a snack and a much-needed break. My seven-year-old daughter, unprompted, blurted out, “I’m tired and hungry!” My nine-year-old son was still fuming over having been woken up earlier than he prefers (which is 11 a.m.) for this hike—although we were broiling in the sun precisely because we didn’t start even earlier, when it was cooler. He groused, “If you’re going to wake me up that early, it’s your fault if I complain.”
It was looking like my plan to hike my kids and my 12-year-old nephew 3,000 feet and nearly four miles uphill to the brink of Upper Yosemite Falls—and then, of course, back down—was on the express bus to the graveyard for dumb ideas from overzealous hiker-dads.
By Michael Lanza
So, you’ve been an avid [circle all appropriate terms: hiker/backpacker/climber/trail runner/skier/kayaker] for years, and now you’re spending big chunks of your days changing diapers and your nights wondering when you’ll sleep again. You’ve never gone this long without getting out into the mountains, and you see no remedy for that shortfall in the foreseeable future. Your new baby is more wonderful than you’d ever imagined—and yet, you’re feeling a little despair over what’s missing from your life lately.
I know where your head is right now. And I have good news for you: I’ve seen the bright light at the end of the tunnel, and you can get there faster than you might think. Here’s how. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
In the Digital Era, the idea of families spending lots of time outdoors—and actually taking trips built around some outdoor adventure enjoyed together—can seem an antiquated notion, like riding in a horse-drawn carriage to go on a picnic. But that lifestyle is a reality for many families (including mine), and one that brings parents and children together for sustained periods of time (hours! days!) that’s unplugged and genuinely fun.
How do you create that kind of lifestyle for your family? As the father of two teenagers who are maturing into avid backpackers, skiers, climbers, paddlers, and intelligent, fine young people who make me proud, I will tell you that this goal remains not only entirely feasible in the Digital Era, 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 on outdoor adventure trips some of the best you share as a family. Continue reading →
We have a newly turned six-year old, a three-and-a-half-year-old, and I’m expecting! How old were your kids when you started doing “big” trips with them? By big I mean hiking and camping for multiple nights, etc.
Huntsville, AL Continue reading →
I saw some of your pictures in High Country News attached to an article about getting kids out with you nice and early. I am really hoping to do some backpacking and camping with Luke this summer (he’s 15 months now) and thought you would be a perfect person to go to for advice on how to get started. For starters… what do you do about diapers, just pack them out? I am sure there are some tricks of the trade–or maybe I am just desperately hoping for ingenious tips from a veteran. I am thinking about a 4-day trip into the Bighorn Crags (in Idaho’s Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness) in August and should probably do a few warm up trips before that. Any suggestions on places to start–any suggestions at all would be GREAT! Continue reading →