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Backpacking With the Kids (Again!) WHY I LOVE FAMILY HIKES
T here are few things in this world that I enjoy more than a backpacking trip with my two kids in tow. If you’ve been reading this newsletter from the beginning, you’ve probably already noticed this — I write about our little voyages pretty often. But that’s just because each and every one is exciting and important to me, a new chance to spend some quality time with my kids while breathing in that crisp, clear air you can only find hours away from any town. Being outside is a massive part of my life, and one I’m grateful to be able to share with the next generation. Luckily, my kids love trudging along hiking trails almost as much as their old man. Well, usually. They’re not always thrilled to face the gauntlet of a summit hike, but they often glide over steep, uneven, rocky terrain like it’s nothing. I’m always proud when we finally get to our goal destination, set up our tents, and get a chance to relax. It’s an incredible feeling to be a part of that kind of accomplishment with your kids. For me, the best part of being out in the wild is how slowly the day goes by. Nobody is making demands of you, and there aren’t a million electronic devices for the kids to obsess over, so we really get a chance to touch base in a more meaningful way than in our usual day-to-day interactions. We may do some hiking and fishing every once in a while, but mostly it’s just sitting around, enjoying one another’s company.
my daughter had her YMCA Adventure Guides graduation, a big ceremony for intrepid kids of all ages, which was really cool.
Then, the next weekend all of us were off to the breathtaking Thousand Island Lake, deep in the Ansel Adams wilderness. It was among our more difficult excursions, but that just made getting to the destination all the sweeter. With a place like Thousand Island, a glassy lake dotted with dozens of rocky little islands, it sometimes feels like you need to earn that beauty by getting out there. The last spot we went was Santa Barbara, where we took one of our usual routes, which was perhaps less unique but no less remarkable. I know I’m lucky to have kids who will do these kinds of things with me. It’s really heartening to have your kids actually interested in not only hanging out with you, but in sharing in one of your greatest passions. From the summit of a mountain, overlooking a landscape strewn with otherworldly hills and verdant greenery together with my family, I never take that for granted.
As crazy as it may sound, the kids were out camping four full weekends in a row last June. First, my son and I went out to camp near Malibu for a couple of days, where we surfed and hung out on the beach. Then,
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