If you’re fortunate enough to live nearby a few hiking trails, you understand the joy of going into nature and enjoying and learning from it. This is why so many parents today make a point to take their children on hikes. Hiking is a great family activity as everyone gets a healthy dose of exercise. Exploring the great outdoors can also provide valuable lessons such as the importance of taking care of nature and even surviving it. However, hiking alone with your wife or husband is vastly different than hiking with kids. Therefore, the following list includes some important pieces of advice to keep in mind when planning a hike with children.
Choose an Easy Trail
In the beginning, you are going to want to choose an easy trail to walk through. This is important for two main reasons. One, children are going to get tired and bored if the trail is too long, thus preventing them from ever wanting to go back again. The second reason to opt for an easy trail involves safety. Longer trails not only cover more distance but are usually riddled with tougher obstacles, it can be dangerous to take children who may not have the experience to avoid them just yet.
Have a Survival Kit Ready
Having to take care of your children can be quite distracting, and thus you could easily get lost, experience sudden bad weather, or somehow wind up hiking after dark. Therefore, you should make sure that you are prepared beforehand for these types of situations. A survival kit should include a few important items, such as a compass, a small first-aid kit, a safety whistle, and a radio that you can use in the event that your cellphone dies.
Encourage Your Children
For many, hiking seems rather simple and straightforward, but it can also be very difficult. One of the first things your children are going to notice is how exhausting it is to hike out on the trials. Instead of ignoring them if they are clearly struggling, you should encourage them. Tell them that they are doing a great job and that they’re soon going to be very strong. Sure, this might not be true at the beginning, but children need to hear these positive words coming out of their parent’s mouths. It should be noted that this should be done even if children aren’t present for the hike.
You can even make the hike a bit educational without it being obvious. Point out the different types of trees, fauna, and flora and keep an eye out for animals. Remember that there are immense numbers of wildlife whose home you are walking in and always pack out whatever you pack in.