Even for someone who grew up in Vermont and Colorado, Campbell Levy has a deep connection to the outdoors. 

He was just two years old when he learned how to ski. In his 20s, he spent a summer in Alaska training as a guide for outdoor education school NOLS. Campbell has worked as a park ranger, a rock climbing guide, a backcountry skiing guide and a professional bicycle racer. He and his wife had a ski-in, ski-out wedding in Switzerland. 

“I don’t know that we ever acquiesced to the idea that we were going to change our life when we had kids,” says Campbell, now a vice-president at a large PR firm. “We were just like, we’re going to do what we’re going to do and figure it all out.”

Campbell and his wife have taken their 2-year-old son skiing, biking, and hiking—mostly in a backpack. They’ve even gone backcountry skiing on the 14,000-foot Mount Evans in Colorado (see the photo above).

“It was like negative 10 degrees or something,” Campbell says. “He did great! The only time he cried was when he saw the car again at the end of the day…probably tears of joy for warmth.”  

How can you share outdoor adventures with kids? Campbell offered his advice. 

The first time we took our son camping… 

He was six months old. We got a really secluded camping spot—the last thing anyone wants is to hear your kid screaming in the woods. The first night he hardly slept, he just kind of rolled around. He was like, This is not my crib. This is not my room. 

Before we had kids, we… 

Used to choose places that were eight or nine hours away, but we’ve realized we need to choose things that are closer together and to enjoy the journey more than the destination. I think if your idea of success hinges on getting to a particular spot, you have less of a chance of having a great trip. 

The one thing you should do on a camping trip…

Is work hot springs into the itinerary. It makes the trip 100 times better. Trust me, if there are hot springs and they are out of the way, just go. 

Some of my favorite gear is… 

This awesome backpack kid-carrier by Osprey—it’s one of the single best things we’ve ever bought. We take it skiing in winter and hiking in the summer. It has an ingenious built-in shade. When we were looking for a camping mattress, my wife was like, What’s the biggest one? It’s called the Mondo King. It says “camp like royalty” and that’s basically what it is. Another piece of gear that I love: my Yeti cooler. Yes, they are expensive. But I have used other brands and they’re worth the money. We literally put ice in this thing and stuff stays cold for a week. And always bring Dr. Bronner’s soap. You don’t have to feel bad about putting it in the river. 

I’m terrified of…

Traveling with two kids. Does one person take care of one and one person take care of the other? I don’t know. What about car seats? 

The first international trip we took as a family was to…

Cabo. We stayed at Solaz, which I’ve recommended to so many people with babies. From Denver you can be on the beach in three hours, and each room has its own private plunge pool. 

One of the most stressful parts of camping is… 

Getting your stuff together and making sure you haven’t forgotten anything. I put everything in big plastic bins that are labeled camping, hiking, whatever. I can just grab one and throw it in the back of the truck. 

My advice for first-timers is…

You just have to do it. I’ve spent my whole life outdoors, but everything was trial and error for us, too.

Some of the best places to camp… 

Feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere, but are actually close to town, if you decide there’s no way you’re going to cook breakfast. Places in Jackson, Wyo., and Aspen, Telluride, and Crested Butte in Colorado. There’s a campground near Aspen called Difficult Campground. It’s awesome, and it’s like six minutes from downtown. 

I’m hoping to give to other Expedition members… 

My knowledge about the adventurous side of things—with kids. 

I’d like to get…

Tips and hacks from people who have done long haul travel. I would be the first to tell you that I am the opposite of a master of flying with kids. Also, gear recommendations that aren’t related to the outdoors. And how to travel with more than one kid!

Sara Clemence is a freelance journalist, formerly travel editor for The Wall Street Journal and news director for Travel + Leisure. She's the author of Away & Aware, a guide to mindful travel.

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