Hiking with the family? Make it an unforgettable experience!

Martine Bernier

Health journalist, editor-in-chief

June 8, 2022

When you get the wanderlust on the weekend or during the vacations, the kids are usually so not excited. What can you do to make a family outing a great experience? It’s simple, follow a few rules and introduce new elements to each walk.

Always adjust the duration and difficulty of the hike to the age and physical abilities of your children. If they are exhausted at the end and have blisters on their feet, they won’t want to come along next time.

Prepare the equipment the night before, as if you were going on a research trip rather than a short hike. Each child must have good, comfortable hiking shoes and a small backpack. Include in the backpack a water-filled water bottle, a snack, a notebook and pencil, a magnifying glass, a small pocket knife, and a plastic bag. Pick destinations that have mysterious names or make up your own names, such as “Fairy Mound,” “Bear’s Den,” or “Enchanted Forest.” You will see that children will have more fun hiking there than in nameless places. Along the way, make up a story or legend to keep the kids entertained and enchanted along the way. Take a break after every quarter or half hour and ask your children to find a strange, beautiful, or unusual object for everyone to look at. This could be leaves, mushrooms (but warn the children that they must not touch them unless accompanied by an adult who knows about them), or an insect.

Sing! Hiking immediately becomes much easier if you can sing a funny song while doing it, e.g. the well-known “Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust”.

Play a game! Each family member must take turns finding something that starts with A, B, C, etc. Have fun on the way!

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