“Their too young. . . it costs too much. . . we have no time!” Excuses that are holding you back from adventuring with your family. We’ve been there too but we now have at least 3 good reasons why you should dust off your hiking shoes:
- Families that exercise together, stay together.
- Financially speaking, hiking is the cheapest sport out there. There are plenty of trails that can be done with no special equipment.
- Lessons of endurance, quiet, natural healing, can benefit every family member.
Now, before you think that your kids are going to cheer you on in this endeavor, think again! Here are some responses we’ve had around the Hall household.
Here are the tips to prepare for any trail with any kid in any season!
- This is the time to call in the troops! Bring kid helpers with you, and I don’t mean grandma! Baby carriers. In Nepal, we call them Porters. In America, uncles or “real” friends. You need people to help with the kids to make the best of experience especially if your outnumbered!
- Pack light but efficient. Women, lets talk: I know you think that you need rolls of toilet paper, a hairbrush, and extra sunblock for the 2 hour hike, but really, you don’t. What you need is water (and plenty of it) but keeping your pack as light as possible free’s up hands and keeps complaints down. Kids need few things to enjoy the trail.
3. Are you just now breaking your kids into hiking? Pick the trail well. It’s best to have a trail that has pit stops every couple of miles. In Nepal, there were tea spots so the kids could have a quick refreshment, bathroom break, and refill the water. Many trails in U.S. National Parks offer shorter trails that loop back to water refill stations. These are wise choices for beginning with kids.
4. Consider a guide!
But commentary aside, no-one really says “I wish I didn’t go hiking with my kids!” Unless . . .well, you lose one. Anyways, like that’s going to happen!
Back to the tips! After scaling the Annapurna’s with 8 small children, hiking the South Rim of Grand Canyon with 3 babies, and trekking more national parks than I can count, I will now call myself an expert (and tired). The final tip comes from these moments:
5. Be flexible! Especially in groups. Some may be ready to take on an extra day but others may be done. Be willing to change your plans so that the experience is enjoyed by all. Nature should be healing and challenging. There are moments to push and moments to back off. Be wise in choosing your time for each.
If your heading on a hike soon, you should check the best hotel prices here: Click
With these tips in mind, take on your first challenge and don’t forget to check out the latest apps to assist you on your next journey.
Comment here and tell us your favorite trails with kids and some of your good and bad moments on the trail with kids!