Nature Tech Family was founded in 2015 by Kari and Tom as a means to find ways to bring today’s tech-centered families back into the wilderness. By developing activities and building experiences with their own family, they hope to provide inspiration for others to “go outside and have an adventure.”
Tom and Kari both acquired a love for the outdoors in childhood.
Tom grew up in the New Jersey Pine Barrens tracking wildlife and trying out survival techniques. He began teaching survival classes at the age of 16. He was Lead Youth Programs Instructor at Wilderness Awareness School in Washington for several years. In addition, Tom has used his tracking skills to help various state and county agencies locate and count wildlife.
Kari spent much of her life in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Growing up, she and her siblings spent most days outside making forts and following deer tracks. She coordinated and taught youth and family survival programs at Tracks and Trees Learning Center in Wisconsin for many years. Finally, she has been a wilderness consultant and facilitator for more than fifteen years.
Today, the Tonkin family finds the balance between what their sons, Calvin and Linus, need to learn about keeping up with current technology, and ancient survival technologies, which they use to hook the boys into spending more time outdoors. Living in the heart of the Black Hills National Forest, Kari and Tom are also tapping into their twenty-plus years each of wilderness survival teaching experience to create an ongoing adventurous lifestyle that their sons will never forget.
In addition to survival skills and camping, the whole family enjoys fishing, hunting, swimming, hiking, and exploring new places. In 2016, the Centennial year for the National Park Service, they celebrated by traveling to more than 20 National Parks sites throughout the United States. Living within a day’s drive of more than 20 National and State Park Service sites, they are always looking for new places to hone their survival skills, create educational videos, and enjoy nature. They spend at least one weekend each month camping, and summers are full of long-term trips around the country.
We invite you to share your family outdoor and travel experiences with us. Please submit travel tips, successful family adventures, or other nature tidbits you are willing to share with families around the globe!