The Magic of Taking Your Family on a Backcountry Trip:
It’s spring, but it still feels like winter. It’s the time of year when I need to remind myself why I do what I do. Why I attempt to make a living by taking people outside.
One of the things that keeps me invigorated about this work is the effect that being outside has on people, specifically families, specifically families that come from an urban environment.
It’s a beautiful thing to witness: phones don’t work, there’s no emails that need to be answered, no video games or TV to distract you. Really, to be honest, there’s not a lot to do on a wilderness trip and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s not often we find ourselves with nothing to do. It’s those moments when you’re five miles from the nearest road with no cell service and surrounded only by the great outdoors and your family and friends where magic happens.
As a guide I see it all the time: the deep connection that occurs between father and daughter, between friends, the creativity that happens, the silence, the reflection, the laughter.
Though, I’d be a liar if I said it always sunshine and butterflies- there’s the inevitable squabble over how to set up a tent (no Dad’s out there, you’re not always right), there's cold toes, and freak thunderstorms that make us huddle tight together under the cook canopy. But, I’d argue that even the hard, even the miserable, brings us closer together.
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I’ll also admit that it sometimes takes a couple days. That’s why, as a guide, I always recommend at least a 3 night / 4 day trip to our family groups. That’s enough time to stop reaching for your phone, get accustomed to the silent forest nights, and begin to disconnect in order to reconnect.
So, as I reflect today, I remember what I love most about guiding and taking people outside: It’s the connection that happens between families, between friends, with nature, and within ourselves.