Before we had kids, my husband and I spent much of our free time in the British Columbian wilderness. Camping and hiking and exploring the beaches of the west coast. Long days on the trail, always looking ahead to the next glorious mountaintop view.
Activities that we set aside until our children were old enough to join in and strong enough to carry their own day packs (as opposed to being carried by us…).
Unlike their parents, however, these children are not so easily entertained by the thrill of an empty path and the promise of ‘what might be’ over the next ridge. Accustomed to the fast pace of team sports, video games and television shows, there just wasn’t enough ‘excitement’ in the out-of-doors to capture their attention for long.
And we all know how important it is to keep our children physically active!
To be honest, sick and tired of the complaints (‘can we go back now?’, ‘this is boring’, ‘how much longer?’) we’d almost given up on hiking with kids until the day our oldest son happened to bring his camera with him on an outing.
The transformation was magical.
He ran ahead of us on the path looking for plants and animals and views to photograph. His siblings scampered behind pointing out potential shots and begging for their turn with the camera.The hike ended not because we’d reached the usual 60 minute mark, but because his battery died and he hadn’t thought to bring a replacement.
Not surprising, our younger two children asked for point-and-shoots for their upcoming birthdays and to this day, we continue the tradition of always bringing cameras when hiking with kids.
No more complaints about outdoor activities and squabbles are limited to occasions when one blocks the ‘photo opp’ of another.
Happily, the children are much better photographers than we are (how’s that for hope for the future of blogging?)…
Of course, now that we own kayaks and our outdoor adventures frequently involve water, speed and daring, it just might be time to invest in a Go-Pro…
Do you have any tricks and tips for hiking with kids?