If you are a keen walker and love spending time outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of nature, then you should also involve your children. Walking with your kids has many benefits. You would not feel lonely during the hike, and you can spend nice time together when a family is having fun. It’s also very affordable and you can make your kids do something healthy outside instead of hanging out on their computer or TV all day. Here are some necessary steps and precautions you need to take if you plan to bring your kids for walks.
When you take your children for the first time on a hike, choose a shorter and easier route that you know. Make sure your kids are strong and fit enough to make the journey. You can start preparing for the travel weeks by jogging and doing sports to build stamina and fitness.
Think about what you will bring along on your hike. First, make sure that you and your child wear suitable walking shoes, preferably with ankle support. Then you should consider the appropriate gears to wear where hiking hats and shorts play a vital role since they protect you from the scorching sun and comfort while walking respectively. Whether or not you want to invest in walking shoes is probably a decision you will make after assessing your child’s reaction to the first hike. Children from 5 years old can carry a small pack with them. You should pack a water bottle or juice box, a small snack, a hat, sunglasses, a jacket (if needed) and a compass (optional).
Imagine you should use the services of a guide if you are not a very experienced hiker. Walking with children is very different than walking alone or with hiking friends. You have to keep an eye on them throughout the journey. Therefore, you may want to have another adult who shows you the way and makes sure you are all on the right track.
Make sure you bring more than enough food and drinks for the entire trip. Children quickly become hungry and they quickly become tired when they are hungry. Bring food that contains many carbohydrates and calories, such as energy bars and energy drinks. Although you do not want to burden your children with too much cargo, each child should have enough food and drink in their individual backpacks.
Of course, our children are hungry as soon as we start and we always bring healthy, bulbous snacks and sandwiches with plenty of fresh water. We also bring secret treasures of not so healthy snacks that they can only eat if we make it to the top or our middle ground. A small, varied assortment of candies works whenever we need it, and I humbly admit to giving in to this kind of bribery with our children.
Before hiking, take the time to explain the basics of hiking to your children. Teach them how to read maps and use the compass. Each child should have a set in their own backpacks. Give them either a walkie-talkie or a cell phone so you can communicate with them when they are separated from you. Last but not least, do not forget to pack first aid kits in each backpack.