Arts & Culture
4:41 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Camping in the Backyard Offers First Step to Nature Novices

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews outdoor adventure contributors Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer.

Our outdoor adventure contributors share some compelling reasons to camp out in your backyard this weekend.

New to camping? Why not start in your own backyard?
Credit Michael McCullough/Flickr

One of the things you realize if you spend much of your life in an office, or in a school is that you lose touch with the feel and the rhythm of the outdoors.  You can easily spend a day inside and have no idea what temperature it is on the other side of your window.

It is for reasons such as those that people escape to the campground.  But camping can be a daunting prospect for people who haven’t done it before, such as children.

One small step into the camping frontier comes along tomorrow night, designated as the Great American Backyard Camp-Out

Both outdoor adventure contributors Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer believe an event like this can help many nature novices take the firs step.

"This is kind of for first-time campers, and it’s a nice transition," Keffer says. "You’ve got the comforts of home – you’re right there, you can even leave the porch light on, if you want – but it’s really about that first experience in nature, you know?"

Keffer says being outside is part of growing up and childhood - even if kids today need a push toward nature and away from technology. That said, he says you can use hi-tech devices like GPS systems to get kids out and about in the wild.

Plus, he says once children learn to love nature, they will maintain the relationship throughout their lives.

"Nature inspires (us) to record and reflect," he says.

Tornio says parents can get involved by bringing back old school nature activities and creating family bonding with outdoor adventures.

Tornio and Keffer are also the authors of The Kids' Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up. They hope their ideas can offer parents ideas for adventures on a modest scale, that can appeal to kids of all levels of activity and experience.

Their goal is to demonstrates that adventures can be achieved in all places, no matter how big or small - even your backyard.