Many who participate in hiking want to enjoy this as a family. This often means that there will be children who will be going along on the hike. There are specific things to consider when this is the case.
Setting the Expectations
When hiking with kids the expectations for the hike have to be different. The duration and difficulty of the hike have to be considered, based on the age and stamina of the young ones. Some will take to hiking more than others. Knowing how the kids feel about this activity will help to determine what kind of trails would be the best choice.
Dealing with the Emotions
First time hiking trips with the kids will be a learning experience for everyone. Some kids may tire quickly or become bored. When this happens, it may mean making frequent stops. When introducing kids to hiking, it is better to start with short trips. This will allow everyone to adjust and will help to determine how well the kids are going to take to this activity. Patience will be a virtue in some cases. Just by stopping and allowing the kids to explore a little bit can change a negative attitude to a positive one.
The Right Equipment
The right equipment includes wearing the correct hiking attire. This is going to be really important for the kids. If they are uncomfortable in any way, they are soon going to want to give up on the hiking expeditions. Not because they don’t like it, but because they are uncomfortable. Avoid clothing that is too hot or boots that don’t fit properly.
When the hike appears to be getting to the kids, it helps to have some treats to dole out. Items such as suckers are lightweight and not only enjoyable but may give that extra burst of energy which may be needed.
Quite often, the kids aren’t going to form a great appreciation of the outdoors at a young age. To help distract them from the long walks, there are a few games which can be played along the way, such as:
- I spy
- Guess the animal
One of the great opportunities which come with hiking is the chance for parents to bond with their kids. There can be some great conversation opportunities when hiking along. It may be a good time to have one of those personal type talks.