Publication Date: May 2, 2023
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The indispensable case for parenting tough, curious, and competent kids who feel at home in the outdoors, from the New York Times bestselling author and host of the TV series and podcast MeatEater
The average American spends ninety percent of their time indoors, and children are no exception. Today, kids can spend up to seven hours per day looking at screens, a phenomenon that has real consequences for their physical and mental health. A lifetime spent indoors can diminish our children's ability to understand and engage with anything beyond the built environment. It can also have impacts on a global scale. We can talk about environmental stewardship, but until more people make meaningful contact with nature, the welfare of our planet is in jeopardy.
Thankfully, with the right mindset, families can find beauty, meaning, and connection in a life lived outdoors. Now, outdoorsman Steven Rinella shares the parenting wisdom he has garnered as a father whose family has lived amid the biggest cities and wildest corners of America. Throughout, he offers practical advice for getting your kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way—with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural world. No matter their location—rural, suburban, or urban—caregivers and kids will bond over activities such as:
Camping to conquer fears, build tolerance for dirt and discomfort, and savor the timeless pleasure of swapping stories around a campfire.Growing a vegetable garden to develop a capacity to nurture and an appreciation for hard work. Foraging for wild berries, nuts, and mushrooms as a way to experience the delight of discovery.Fishing local lakes and rivers to learn the value of patience while grappling with the possibility of failure.Cooking together with naturally sourced ingredients you procured.Hunting for sustainably managed wild game to face the realities of life, death, and what it really takes to obtain our food.
Living an outdoor lifestyle fosters in kids an insatiable curiosity about the world around them, a sense of confidence and self-sufficiency, and, most important, a lifelong sense of stewardship of the natural world. This book helps families connect with nature—and each other—as a joyful part of everyday life.
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