Anyone who thinks that little ones can’t have fun with us is very much mistaken… Children on trails and outdoors can provide us with absolutely unforgettable moments when well planned and prepared. On the other hand, it can be a terrible experience if you leave everything to the last minute or set expectations on something you can’t achieve. So we decided to compile some tips and suggestions so that your experience is truly unforgettable and especially make them want a lot more!
1. Have fun!
Make it fun, regardless of the outcome. A summit is not the goal here but rather to show children just how fun outdoor living can be. If you want to make your kids enjoy walking, leave them wanting more. Don’t force them to do everything just because it was in their plans. From the moment children learn to love this lifestyle, they will quickly look for more challenges on their rides.
2. Be Prepared
Being properly prepared is the key to a perfect day with the kids, outdoors. Remember, it’s not just a matter of having the right equipment and information, but the right attitude and thoughts. Children do not have the same strength and endurance as adults. They get cold faster, become more active, get tired or bored more easily, and often run over safety rules during their enthusiasm.
3. Suggestions for mental preparation:
Make a realistic plan. Don’t put too much weight on your backpacks, don’t overestimate their abilities, pick suitable trails with easy-to-reach goals, bring a map or guide to show you progress and what to expect.
• Walk in slow steps. Leave plenty of time for frequent rest, encourage them with motivated words, congratulate them on their gains, snack on the way, encourage them to stop and explore the place whenever something interests them.
• Be patient. Don’t worry about going out of time and distance plans. Be really prepared to change your plans! Listen to what children are saying and always keep an open mind.
• Encourage them to follow strict safety, liability and environmental impact rules. Whenever possible, explain rather than give orders (unless their safety and the environment are at risk). Take this opportunity to teach them about the environment.
• Prepare some games or activities to do during the tour. If you have an overnight stay, bring children’s storybooks to camp. Nature books are also a good choice and can be read / studied along the way. Just be sure to look for a book that suits the ecosystem you’re visiting.
4. Equipment Suggestions:
• Footwear – For more than a day hiking with heavy backpacks, look for special boots and soften them first. The best kids hiking shoes should be comfortable, lightweight and flexible, with a good, adherent sole and preferably with a high or half-pipe that protects the ankle from twisting. For day hikes with lightweight backpacks, good tennis can do. But look for those with half barrels, which will give greater protection to the ankle.
• Socks – Pay special attention to them and always wear two, one thin and one thicker underneath. Each season asks for a type of sock but never use a 100% cotton as they soak and can cause terrible blisters. There are synthetic materials that always keep the feet dry and work very well, in humid, dry, cold and / or hot places.
• Backpacks – choose them carefully and appropriate to the size, weight and strength of the child + the size and difficulty of the walk. For older children on an overnight walk, choose a backpack made just for them or that fits their body perfectly.
5. Suggestions for things not to be missed in the backpack!
• Sunglasses (with UV protection).
• Whistle, to really get attention during an emergency – children can wear it around their necks so that they can trigger it at any time.
• Flashlight (one for each member of the group).
• First aid.
• Toilet paper and garbage bag – teach the little ones to ‘bring back everything they took’.
We hope by reading this post you can prepare your child better.