With all of the technology and indoor entertainment our children have available to them, encouraging them to enjoy the great outdoors can be a challenge. A great way to get them connected to their natural surroundings is to get them into hiking. Taking your kids out on various hikes will teach them how to develop a lifelong relationship with the outdoors and nature. As their parent, you will need to teach them how to hike safely and you will need to make sure they are prepared for their adventure.
Hiking as a family gives you all a chance to bond, while improving your fitness, and allowing your children to bring friends along will make it more fun and exciting for them. To help get you started, here are 6 things to teach your kids on a hiking trip.
The Right Equipment
In order to hike safely, you will need to make sure you have the right equipment, so you are prepared for anything. Keeping your children involved in the preparation, planning and purchasing of equipment for the hike will teach them important skills and valuable information that they will need to know during their trek. Writing down a ‘pack list’ will help to ensure you bring along everything you’ll need.
You Shouldn’t Rush
During the hike, you should make it clear to your children that you shouldn’t rush the experience. Children are natural explorers and will want to see and touch everything they can. As long as it is safe to do so, you should allow them to get their wilderness fill. Planning frequent energy stops is also important, as some extra food and fluid, alongside a sit down, will keep your little ones motivated.
Never Leave Litter Behind
Getting your children out of the house and at one with nature is important, but you should teach them how to respect the environment. Our kids are the future and the way they see and treat the world will be influenced by you. When out on a hike, you must make sure that any trash you create is collected and disposed of properly. Teaching your kids why they need to do this will be a valuable life lesson.
Maintain Energy Levels
Keeping energized and healthy during your hike is vital and your children must be made aware of why they need to keep themselves hydrated and well-fed. You need to make sure your first few hikes aren’t too difficult, as this could drain your kids and put them off the activity altogether. Instead, go for something simpler, where you can teach them how to hike responsibly and safely.
Follow the Leader
Depending on the location and weather conditions, some hikes can be more dangerous than others, so putting someone in charge is crucial. When hiking with your kids, you should make someone a leader and rotate this often. This will give your nippers an opportunity to be in charge and empowered, while teaching them a number of skills. It will also allow you to see what walking pace works for them.
Hiking is Fun!
Teaching your children how to be safe, responsible, respectful and prepared is very valuable and useful, but in order to keep them interested in hiking, you need to make it fun for them. Starting it as a family tradition will allow you to watch your kids develop a sense of adventure and enjoy something new. There are so many different trails to take on and you will most likely meet people along the way.
Hiking is a great opportunity to explore, see new things, become one with nature and spend quality time improving your health with loved ones. However, there are risks and making your child aware of them is vital before you start hiking as a family.
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