Hiking With Children: Part 2

If you are thinking about getting your children into the great outdoors or out on a hike and not sure where to begin logistically, then you came to the right place. Whether you yourself are a beginner or it’s time to dust off your own packs that went into storage since you became a parent, then you will want to keep reading. Get comfortable and allow me a moment of your time as I share some insights and realities from one parent to another.

Father and son
King Tut carrier

Ready, here it is, every “Google search” and “Experts Opinion” I have read can be summarized into the following: GET EXCITED about the outdoors. Let your kids see that. Get jacked about the outdoors and the possibilities. As soon as you hit the trail, location, new planet surface, start talking to them. Seriously, it is that easy. A label or checklist has nothing to do with a smile that I can control on my childs face when we are in the woods. These emotional moments are going to plant memories deep into your child’s mind for their lifetime. There are times when I think we are going to hike for two miles and we only go 100 yards. Because instead of trying to get to a waterfall, we are now looking for a woodpecker tapping on a tree or a potato bug grabs my daughter’s interest. Few minutes later my son identifies round rocks as dinosaur eggs. A deer, a flower, a stream, show them, engage and get excited. Keep talking to them about nature, geology, flowerology, treeology, cloudology, I really believe, through personal experience, it is that easy. 

Tomorrow’s Stewards

Again, do not complicate these moments. Put any type of pack on their back (name brand Thrift Store.) Pack it with grub they are going to enjoy. Personally, part of the reason I go hiking is to eat jelly beans and gummy bears. Throw in a magnifying glass, binoculars and a whistle which can be obtained at a local Dollar store. 

Fossil hunting

Please also know what you will not see on search engine returns are images of the muddy shoes and wet clothes in the car from the unexpected thunderstorm. Scrapes and bug bites that will take place. But also know, if I make those moments a big deal, my children will quickly forget about the hike. I can clean the car later. The clothes will dry out. Booboos are forgotten about with a Paw Patrol band-aid. And then one day you will no longer be carrying a newborn on your back, but instead trying to catch up to your children as you head out for an overnighter in the wilderness. With that said, I hope you stick around as we keep turning little steps into a journey.

Published by John Schmitz

Happily married to an absolute dream come true woman, Ami. Who has blessed me with two absolute dream come true children, Orion and Cassi. Now my goal everyday is to do life with my children. Whether I go shopping or in the kitchen cooking, my children will be right there with me. Talking through my actions, involving them in decision making and understanding options available. Pitching tents, trails to hike and adventures to come, they will be my side.

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