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Hiking with baby: an extraordinary adventure in family education

1liechty family.jpgAs a new family, David Liechty, graduate student in Curriculum and Instruction, and his wife Rachel recently took an extraordinary hiking trip with their one-year-old daughter—for six months in the mountains of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border to Yosemite Valley. Their adventure, described in a Star Tribune travel article titled "Going the distance for family time," brought them such joy that they will be discussing the experience on Nov. 20 at the Humphrey Center.

"We are raising a generation of kids where getting dirty is an inconvenience, being outdoors is a foreign notion," says David in the article. "Going backpacking with your kids shouldn't be viewed as this big accomplishment; it should be something you integrate into your life."

Experienced hikers, David and Rachel planned carefully for the trip that started last April, one week after their daughter Hazel's first birthday and lasted until September. "Along the way, Hazel took her first steps, became 'potty' trained and spent every minute of every day with her parents," writes reporter Kerri Westenberg.

The Liechtys are committed to a family life that involves "disequilibrium, novelty and adventure," says David. "We believe that it's fundamentally important that you don't stop playing, that you show your kids that you plan on living your life centered around your passions, whatever they be—but you also center those passions around your child. You can't raise a passionate child without passionate parents."

Their adventure talk takes place at 1 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium, as part of Midwest Mountaineering's Outdoor Adventure Expo.

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