The enjoyment of hiking and camping

Man ice fishing in an ice house.

I have lived in Minnesota for nearly my entire life. I grew up hiking and camping with my family, and I am trying to pass the enjoyment for these activities along to my kids — we love to explore new places as a family! Getting outside is a chance to spend time with my family without the hustle and bustle of running to appointments, sports, and activities. We’re able to connect as a family and just spend time together recharging in nature and taking a break from work and everyday life.

We go camping as a family quite a bit, but when my daughter was eight years old, we decided to start an annual mother and daughter camping weekend. My daughter can be quite shy, and I want her to feel confident in herself and her abilities. For our first trip, we went to Wild River State Park. Normally my husband and I set up the tent, but since it was just the two of us, she had to help. I could tell she was skeptical at first, but once we got it set up you could see how proud she was of herself! The whole weekend was filled with activities that are normally outside of her comfort zone, but after completing each task I could see her confidence grow. Though she was very hesitant to go camping with just the two of us that weekend, she now looks forward to our trip every year!

If you want to get outside, find someone you know who is comfortable with whatever activity you’re interested in. If you want to go camping, camp with a family member or friend who knows that they are doing. The best way to learn about anything is to learn from someone who loves it!

—Katie Immel