If you want your family members to share your love for all things outside, try these tips to guarantee a good time had by all.
My dad is a diehard bowhunter, while my mom would be happy to never step foot in the backcountry. Each fall as my dad traveled from state to state in pursuit of big bucks, she'd joke she was a hunting widow.
Because my mom didn't have an outdoorsy bone in her body, my dad worked extra hard to make sure I developed a passion for the wilderness so we could share our hobbies and create memories.
If you're an avid outdoorsman but your loved ones are on the fence, here's how to successfully introduce them to the great outdoors.
Start with Basic Outdoor Activities
Especially for adults, this will probably be a gradual process. You can't expect your significant other who grew up in the city to become an expert angler or archer overnight.
In fact, she might never have the desire to catch trout on the fly or arrow a bull, but she might enjoy sharing the outdoor experience with you.
Rather than throwing your family members into a week-long backpacking trip, begin with some less intense outdoor recreation the first time. Take a road trip to a few national parks this summer. Go kayaking down your local river. Try mountain biking an easy trail. Hang some hammocks on an overnight camping trip. Basically, start small.
Make Them Comfortable
While outdoor adventure might push the limits of your wife or daughter's comfort zone, you'll have better luck getting them to come back if you make it a pleasant experience.
Don't just give them ill-fitting hand-me-downs. Buy them comfy hikers that won't hurt their feet or hunting pants actually designed for a woman. We tend to run cold, so stock up on hand warmers if it will be chilly. And remember, it's not so easy for us to make nature our toilet. Having a plan for that ahead of time will score major points.
Don't Scare Them Off
Keep in mind, being the only woman at deer camp can be intimidating, and no self-respecting girl will enjoy demeaning comments from the good ol' boys. You may even want to ditch dated traditions like taking a bite of bloody heart on the first kill. These types of negatives will tarnish the experience and really have nothing to do with becoming a true outdoors person anyway.
Enjoy the outdoors?
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