Since 1970, the rates of obesity in children have more than tripled in the United States. Increasingly digitalized operations and indoor activities have lowered the amount of time children spend in physical activity and are making our children prone to a number of diseases—and the risk of early death!
Instilling the love of hiking in your children from an early age can increase physical activity levels, improve general wellbeing and make them healthier in the long run. Getting your children outside of the house and away from their game controllers can do them a world of good; more than you could have imagined!
Here are a few tips we have for anyone looking to have a great time with their kids in the great outdoors:
Children learn from experience, not from words. They’ll emulate what you do, and asking your children to engage in physical activity while you lie on the couch surfing through Netflix is not doing to do anything for you!
Take your newborn with you on your hikes as early as possible to develop a love for the outdoors right from the get-go. Take walks regularly and take your children with you. Walk down to the local grocery store across the block with your kids instead of driving to it. Look for new places to discover and adventures to go on and make every trip exciting for your kids!
Make Them Fun And Educational
Children are generally curious about everything and introducing them to the latest gadgets used for hiking purposes is sure to pique their interest. Educate them about GPS, geocaching, pedometers, headlamps and flashlights.
Make your hiking trip a treasure hunt by hiding small “treasures” in various locations on your path a day or two before your trip and creating maps for your children to hunt for treasure with. Stop and explore with your children whenever they find something that piques their curiosity.
Remember, it’s not getting to the destination that’s the goal here; it’s making sure your children start loving hiking as much as you do!
Involve the Kids in the Planning
Sure, you know what you want from this trip and you think you know what your children expect from the hiking trip, but what you expect and the reality may not always be in sync with each other!
Ask your children to take part in the planning. Older children can help pick out the destination while younger ones might be more interested in bringing their favorite toy along. Your teenager may even want to bring a friend along to make the trip more interesting. Let them!
Take the Right Gear
Your children will have need for a greater amount of gear than you normally would have. Pack their favorite snacks, diapers and milk bottles (if you’re bringing a baby), extra layers, sunscreen, lip balm, bug repellant, sufficient water and protein-filled foods, a first-aid box and any medication they might need.
Store all of the gear you might need in a lightweight, comfortable backpack, tailored according to your gender and body type like the ones over at Aarn USA and get started on your family hiking trip!
Can’t find what you need? Let their selection guide help!