Include Your Kids on Outdoor Adventures
Outdoor enthusiast and photographer Gabe Grayum firmly believes in the importance of immersing kids in the wild, and the ability of young hikers to tag along on grown-up adventures. Read his advice on how to include them, and check out WTA's family hiking resources, including advice from some of our trip reporters extrordinaire on how to adventure with your young ones.
Outdoor enthusiast and photographer Gabe Grayum has been adventuring with his 8-year old son Ethan since Ethan was an infant. Grayum firmly believes in the importance of immersing kids in the wild, and the ability of young hikers to tag along on grown-up adventures.
Grayum wrote a great blog about this for REI, and they were kind enough to share an excerpt from it with us. Read it, and be sure to check out WTA's family hiking resources, including advice from trip reporters on how to adventure with your young ones:
Stronger, healthier kids
Immersing kids in the wild is the best way for them to develop a deep love for the outdoors. They’ll be the next-generation stewards of our wild places, and you’ll be helping them build a healthy exercise habit. Outdoor adventures also help us grow as people. Overcoming fear and physical challenge is both educational and rewarding. Activities like solo hiking or rock climbing teach us much about ourselves. Setting kids on a path to be able to have those experiences is a wonderful gift.
Won't they slow me down?
Probably not as much as you think. Kids are often capable of more than they get credit for. Most kids are bundles of energy and if you keep them fed and help them regulate their output they can go longer and farther than you (or they) thought possible. While it’s true that little legs can’t keep up if you’re pushing hard, a motivated child with some training can often keep up with a moderate adult pace. Kids also tend to sleep well and easily, so while you might spend a restless night in the tent, they seem to always get a solid night of sleep and start each day well rested.
More reading for hiking parents
- Read the full article here.
- Also check out Gabe's follow-up piece on how to motivate kids for outdoor adventures.
- MikeOnAHike has great tips for hiking with kids. From completing the Wonderland Trail with an infant to teaching her how to love hiking, he's a fantastic resource.
- The best part of hiking with your kids is sharing time together and having fun. Get WTA's tips for hiking with kids and for keeping them entertained on trail.