Friday, February 1, 2013

Do your homework when choosing hike

Select short, well-known trails for your
first day hikes with kids. Image courtesy
of Simon Howden/FreeDigitalPhotos net.
The best advice when choosing a trail is to “do your homework.” There’s a lot to consider, from its length to elevation gains, from weather to what features you’ll see on the trail.

For your first few hikes, stick to short, well-known trails where you’re likely to encounter others. Once you get a feel for hiking and your kids’ abilities and interests, expand to longer and more remote trails.

Until they enter their late teens, children need to stick to trails rather than going off-trail hiking, which is known as bushwhacking. Children too easily can get lost when off trail. They also can easily get scratched and cut up or to stumble across poisonous plants and dangerous animals.

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