As I finished digging the last cathole with my ultralight trowel and dumping the remaining disaster from the night before, I considered my bruised and aching hands and wondered if I had been wrong the whole time – was the wilderness really the right place for kids?
My wife and I had a debate about whether it was dehydration, the trail mix, the dehydrated chili we had made for dinner, the sour keys, or simply poor hygiene that had knocked 3 of our kids flat out with nausea and diarrhea at 11 pm… through to the following day. What was certain was that it was a disaster of a family adventure.
We spent a lot of time planning for this epic trip. All the planning went well and we felt confident. We organized gear, prepared meals, packed the six backpacks we’d need to get our little adventurers to our base camp in the British Columbia backcountry. We ticked every box on the list and were buoyed that our preparation would pay off. Our neighbors even stopped the night before with their kids to send us off with compliments that we were taking such a gaggle of children (aged 2-8) into the middle of nowhere. We were flattered and perhaps a little puffed up. What could go wrong?