You are a fan of hiking, and want to teach your children to enjoy hiking with you as well? Here are some ideas on making your children like hiking and actually have fun rather than complain along the trail:
Start early on
Get your kids introduced to hiking as early as possible by starting off with taking them hiking on front body carriers or slings when they are babies. Later on, you can use carrier backpacks to take your babies with you when hiking. When they start walking take them with a stroller. Whenever you get the chance take them out for a few steps and then pop them back in to continue the trail. This will teach the little ones that hiking is a normal and routine activity which the entire family takes part of. Remember that when the children are little, it will take quite a bit of patience and time to wait for them to walk the distance you are usually used to passing much faster. In time, they will get used to walking faster and be more stable on different terrains, so don’t worry.
Make the hiking experience look like an adventure to the children
Get your children excited by the natural surrounding and the wilderness by engaging them in fun games, looking for the different bird and animal types, spotting various types of trees and flora while hiking or spending time outdoors. Needless to say, children love adventures, so take advantage and teach them to enjoy spending time outdoors more.
Don’t forget the fun snacks
Kids love snacking, and there is nothing worse than a hungry or thirsty kid when out hiking. Make sure you pack sufficient quantities of your children’s favourite snacks and drinks to reward them and keep them happy throughout the walk outside. When they are older, you can make them carry their own small backpacks with snacks and water by themselves.
Don’t set your hiking goals too high
Be ready to fail in reaching the goal you have set for the hike. It is better to reach to the middle of the planned distance and turn back and return rather than having to deal with exhausted toddlers who cannot make another step on the way to the summit and needing to carry them all the way up and then down.
Keep in mind that children of different ages have their limits
Again do not set unrealistic distance goals. Rather, try to train your children to walk a little bit more with every next hike. This will improve their endurance and will make them better every time. Make sure that you walk just enough so that the child and you have sufficient energy left to get back. Plus, ensure that you don’t overdo it because exhausting the child can lead to a possible meltdown which is an unbearable experience for any parent and hiker.
You don’t need to invest in expensive and heavy hiking boots for a small child, as their feet grow really fast and boots can be much too heavy for a child to wear during a hike anyway. A much better and cheaper option is to go for suitable trail running shoes or trainers which are much lighter, well cushioned, and breathable and will dry quicker than hiking boots if there is rain or wet conditions. Trail running shoes are much more comfortable for small children and will keep their feet from getting blisters after a long walk. Another important thing to remember is to choose appropriate size and type of shoes for your kids to avoid discomfort and injuries, especially if they have high arches. Visit Comforthacks
for a selection of suitable models and tips how to choose the most suitable running shoes.
Choose the appropriate destination
Choose nearby family friendly trail for your children. If you have a nearby local park - take them there. A local zoo, a nearby pond and other local parks are very suitable for introducing your children to hiking. As they grow up, you can pick harder and longer trials to train their endurance and improve their hiking performance. Hopefully, until then, they will have learned to truly enjoy the hiking experience with you, and you will not need to coerce them to go with you.
Why hiking is good for your children
In the world of advanced technology, more children are spending hours and hours in from of screens, such as TV, smartphones, computers and video games. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, lack of overall fitness and the risk of mild to serious health issues. Any kind of outdoor activity is better than spending their days on the couch or in their beds watching TV or playing online or video games.
In fact, whether it is hiking or simply enjoying time or doing errands outside, make sure you teach your children to spend as much time outdoors as possible from an early age. This will set a routine for them and it will be far easier to keep them active and exercising as they grow up and tend to lose interest in these types of activities. Keep them interested and enthusiastic by setting goals for them, running competitions, and inviting their friends along to enjoy the outdoor activities more.