Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lots of good reasons to take children day hiking

Why go hiking?

Ever been blindsided by that question? The benefits of hiking, especially with children, would seem to be obvious – so obvious that out of shock we often can’t utter an answer.

Or maybe you yourself are wondering why you should hike … perhaps you’ve got the urge to take the kids on a walk into the wilds, but you can’t seem to convince yourself that there are any good reasons to do so.

Here at Hikes with Tykes, we can think of more than a handful of good reasons to hike with your little ones:
g Adventure – In the wilds, children will feel wonderment, going places they cannot see any other way. Discovery, exploring the unknown, testing themselves, just having plain old fun … it’s a real adventure, which is infinitely more satisfying than the virtual one they would experience on the couch.
g Establish lifelong activity – Kids exposed to the outdoors at an early age usually love the outdoors through their lives. Hiking can be a fun, healthy, safe, social activity that they enjoy during their trying teen years.
g It soon may be gone – Continued urbanization, overuse by an expanding population, and climate change all likely mean many wilderness spots will look quite different in a quarter century. Even though most of the places you’ll hike are protected, human activity certainly will alter them.
g Maintaining your sanity – If you are a hiker, you don’t have to give up your pastime just because of children. You may not be able to go as far or as high as you would like for some time, but you still can hit the trails and do something that is just as satisfying: teaching a young child to love the wilds as well.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.