Hiking with a pram although possible in some instances, isn’t completely practical. Until recently most of our walks have been on sidewalks and in parks. Thankfully the pram has retired and Oliver no longer has the option of riding along merrily. This although awesome comes with it’s fair share of challenges. Here’s 10 tips when considering a hiking trip with a toddler:
Hiking with Toddlers (preparation)
1. Comfortable clothes and shoes
As a mom to a toddler I know how very unsettling the wrong t-shirt can be. You really don’t want an unhappy little one – so as long as he/she wears comfortable shoes and a hat, who really cares whether the rest of the attire is appropriate – as long as we’re happy!
2. Sunscreen and a hat
Be sure to protect your toddler’s skin before you leave the house. The last thing you want to do is delay the excitement before the start of a hike. Remember the hat!
3. Backpack filled with snacks & juices.
Hiking can be exhausting, especially when you’re little. Be sure to bring along a snack; juice and water. Plus it adds to the feel of picnic and adventure!
Hiking with Toddlers – The actual hike
4. Take it easy, it’s not a marathon
Hiking with a toddler and calorie burning doesn’t go hand in hand. Prepare yourself for a relaxing stroll because the pace will be slow (17 minutes per km). Remember you are busy developing a love for nature and forming a habit that will last a lifetime.
5. Sing a song. Observe your surroundings
There really is nothing as special as listening to your 3 year old sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika with pride and joy. Embrace it before you know it he will be preteen and won’t want anything to do with you!
6. Patience and encouragement
At some stage during the walk your little one is going to start feeling tired. Encourage your child with love and patience. Point out the pretty things in nature, keep a look out for game and remember to have fun!
7. A little rest while taking a picture or two
Your toddler will embrace the rest and finally sit still for a moment or two. This give you the perfect opportunity and natural light to snap away at your heart’s delight! You can even sneak in a couple of pics with dad and the dogs.
8. When the time comes, a pair of strong shoulders
We’ve only just started our hiking adventures and I’m sure as Oli becomes stronger, he will walk further. At the moment he needs a break from walking every so often. Dad’s strong shoulders is the best win-win solution – bonding time with dad for Oli, weight-training for K.
Hiking with Toddles – post hike
9. Lots of praise
3.81km is freaking far when you have little legs! Shower your child with praise and tell him / her how proud you are of them! They deserve all of our affection all the time.
After hiking a long rocky hill we all deserve a little rest.
Do you go hiking as a family? What is your favourite trail?