You may have been hiking for years, but then you got married and had children, and now you just don’t think that its for you. You couldn’t be more wrong. Hiking with your family is one of the greatest ways you can spend time with your spouse and children. It is a wonderful way to spend a day, instill in your children a love of nature and physical fitness. There are some things that you need to know though to have the best time possible.
Know everyone’s limitations! This applies even when you are hiking with only adults, however it is even more important when you are with kids. Children can begin hiking around the age of three. Strollers do not work well because of uneven terrain, however, you can use a baby back pack to carry your child on your back. This will allow you to go wherever you would like with little difficulty. When you hike with children, there is a great emotional strain, but the physical exertion will and should be at a minimum. Kids are smaller and have shorter legs, and shorter attention spans. They will not be able to hike for miles right off the bat. Start at small and work your way up to longer more difficult hikes. By starting them young, your kids will have a wonderful lifetime of hiking ahead of them.
Hiking is a great time to teach your children about respecting nature and conservation. Be a good role model by leaving the environment as you found it one your hikes. Don’t pick flowers or move wildlife, if your children start to, explain why they shouldn’t so they don’t feel that they are just being scolded.
Make sure you have sufficient supplies for your trip. Large amounts of water and some high protein and carbohydrate snacks are necessary for your voyage. Kids will need snacks throughout the day to keep their energy up and their emotions stable. Everyone in the family should have good shoes, either hiking boots are sturdy sneakers for the trip. Thick socks (preferably hiking) are important, having a 2nd pair for each child will help if their feet get sweaty or wet during the hike.
Hiking with your children is one of the most fulfilling ways you can create family memories. They will learn to love nature and physical activity and will have fond memories for the rest of their lives.
Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike carrier store.