Common-Sense Guide for Braving the Outdoors
Most parents agree that getting out in nature is life-enriching, but venturing out of doors with children is anything but easy, what with the dirt, bug bites and bears to contend with!
Rather than resolving to remain indoors forever, the author of the new book Let Them Be Eaten By Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids into the Great Outdoors (Perigree, 2013; $16) tells parents how to set achievable outdoor goals, even if it’s just camping overnight in the back yard. “What makes me really sad is when people who love the outdoors lose that love when they have children,” says Peter Brown Hoffmeister, a veteran rafting, climbing and orienteering guide who founded an outdoor program for high school students. With a humorous yet reassuring tone, he stresses why getting children off of electronic gadgets and out into the elements is a good idea.
He encourages parents to put aside fears about bad things happening (“Scrapes and Bruises are Just Childhood” is a chapter in his book), and says parents ought to do the hiking and rafting they dream about with their children.
Hoffmeister admits he isn’t overly “green” or adventurous, which is to his advantage since readers can relate to him. Frankly, most of what he says is common sense, but sometimes a kick in the hiking shorts is all that’s needed to be pointed in the right direction.