She’ll hike anywhere for a handful of Jelly Bellies. 😂 Often we get asked, how do you start young kids hiking? My first suggestion is make it rewarding for them. Hand out a jelly bean, every time they find a... green rock, stream, bird, white flower, or whatever might be every 100 m on the trail. When you make it a game, you’ll be blown away how far they can hike. A realistic goal for beginners is to hike their age in kilometres. But don’t just go out one time, with that goal, and be surprised when your child doesn’t want any part in it. Go out often, play at the lake, or find a creek to climb around. Let them climb piles of rocks and on trees. Their balance and endurance will build through playing on uneven and steep grounds. This will give them the skills they need to master a trail.
Then head out and for tiny hikers, pick them up and give them a short snuggle when they are tired, but put them back down. See how far they can go! For older kids, having a rough time on the trail, make it a game, give them a reward for reaching certain goals. Our kids all started at crying on the trail, then they grew to their age in km, then double and last year we worked on triple! It is worth the effort! #hikingwithkids #childrenofmountains