We love living in London and the hustle and bustle of the city but we also take any opportunity to get immersed into nature and have always loved a good hike. When A came along, we were adamant that we would turn our kiddo into a nature-loving hiker! Six years on and we have clocked quite some miles and created some amazing memories. So here are our best tips on hiking with kids.
Start Them Young
Like most things, trying to establish a passion early on is key. It takes approximately 60 days to establish a new habit, so it makes things a lot easier if you grow up used to do something. There are plenty of hiking carriers, like the Deuter Kid Comfort to strap your baby in from just a few months old. We started off with simple hikes near lake Como when Ali was just 10 months old, she found the hiking carrier so comfy that she would often take naps in there too.
Kids are curious creatures so make sure to allow for plenty of breaks for them to explore their surroundings and take a little break from the hike. Breaks can offer the perfect opportunity to learn more about nature, find mini beasts or simply sit down for a snack and a little drink. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks such as fruit and nuts are ideal to share.
Get Them Involved
We all know that kids love to know what is going on and always ask a million questions. So, get them involved in the planning. We always find it useful to talk to A about what kind of hike we are going on. From what kind of terrain to how many breaks we will be taking, to what-ifs. It is good to also have a conversation about things possibly going wrong and what to do if it happens.
Make Them Lead
When hiking with kids, get ready for a slower pace. Not only do kids have smaller legs, they get easily distracted but what is around them. Asking them to lead will get them excited about showing the adults the way and will also give you the pace to follow and don’t push them too hard. Having the kids lead will also give you the opportunity to check up on them and notice if they get too tired or stumble.
Lower Your Expectations
I mean, you must know by now that if kids are involved, nothing ever quite goes as planned. Expect things to not go quite as smoothly as you think. No matter how much you plan ahead, how many snacks you have, change of clothing, etc, there will be bumps along the way and we might as well make the most of things. Those bumps will probably be the things we will remember most in the years to come. So, embrace the unexpected and lower your expectations.
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