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Outside/In: You can make kids hike, but you can’t make them hikers

A parent and child on a rocky ledge overlooking a lake and mountains covered in bright orange fall foliage.
Sarah Lamagna
Writer Sarah Lamagna in the mountains with with her six-year old son Everett.

If you grew up with family members who pushed (or dragged) you onto the trail, chances are you have strong memories associated with hiking: Epic vistas, swarms of black flies and your dad’s terrible homemade gorp.

Whether you grow up to see them as personal triumphs or family fiascos, those early adventures can shape your perception of the outdoors for life.

Can parents shape kids into hardcore hikers? And what happens when your best-laid plans go off the map?

This episode features Sarah Lamagna, Nick Capodice, Daisy Curtin, Niles Lashway, Sarah Raiche, Tiffany Raiche and Phineas Quimby. A full transcript is available here.

If you’ve got a question for the Outside/Inbox hotline, give us a call! We’re always looking for rabbit holes to dive down into. Leave us a voicemail at: 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837). Don’t forget to leave a number so we can call you back.


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If you liked Sarah Lamagna’s tips on how to hike with children, you’ll find more in her recently published guidebook.


Outside/In is hosted by Nate Hegyi. It was reported, produced and mixed by Taylor Quimby, our executive producer, and edited by Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR's director of on-demand audio.

Our staff includes Justine Paradis and Felix Poon.

We used music by Blue Dot Sessions, The New Fools and SINY.

Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.

Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio.

Taylor Quimby is Supervising Senior Producer of the environmental podcast Outside/In, Producer/Reporter/Host of Patient Zero, and Senior Producer of the serialized true crime podcast Bear Brook.
Outside/In is a show where curiosity and the natural world collide. Click here for podcast episodes and more.
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