It often happens to new parent mountaineers that when a new family member arrives, they are unsure when they can go on their first trip and what needs to be organized. I don’t have children, but I am amazed every time I see parents in the mountains bringing up their children in nature from a young age while teaching them how to love and respect nature. Because if you were to ask any child, they would definitely choose adventures in nature over those in the shopping mall and indoor playrooms. I understand that parents are often reluctant to go with their children. Still, you will make beautiful memories together with good organization and pass on your love of nature to the younger generation.
Trips to the mountains with children can start from a very young age. Many hiking parents carry their children in backpacks on simple hiking trips. Of course, the trip’s intensity can be done with children depending on their age and motivation. Experience shows that children always have a lot of energy for the hiking. Still, it is crucial to focus on their motivation.
Hiking requires discipline, both of body and mind. Instead of sleeping until noon and staying in front of the computer the whole day, we get up early and spend our days in nature! By hiking in nature, your child will make new friends. On the mountain, everything is shared, from chocolate bars to joint efforts.
One British survey found that 64% of children play outside only once a week, 28% have never gone for a nature walk in the last few years, 21% have never visited a farm, and one in five have never climbed a tree. Going for a hike with your children has many benefits. Your kids will be prone to investigating nature. They will grow intellectually because they will learn new skills on the mountain. Below you can read some of the benefits of taking your kids on a hike.
Everyone’s the same in the mountains
There is no place for status symbols. After being in nature, friendships will no longer be measured by who has what phone and whether the shoes are worn out or new, but by who reached out when they had to cross a rock and how many smiles and shared happiness were caused by the same reason.
Friendships become unbreakable
Remember the feeling of attachment when a friend first came up to us in the schoolyard and offered us half a snack. You can double that feeling for children as they share food and water, go through the same effort, and reach their destination together – the top of the mountain. Instead of a football field in the city, where sometimes there can be a quarrel, on the mountain everyone “wins” by playing in the same team.
When we find ourselves in nature, on a mountain with the last word, we only realize how small we are. When the man returns to nature, he is dealing with himself. The feeling of spiritual satisfaction overcoming the need for material things will change your children from the root up. I saw “important” people in armchairs whose egos were bigger than the mountains themselves. But egos don’t seem to survive at the high heights. Armchair director or 9 to 5 workers, we are all the same in the mountains. The joy of seeing each other again in these beautiful places is mutual and sincere.
Children will learn to face the obstacles in life
When children, with a backpack on their backs, in the snow, ice, and rain, break down their mental barriers to successfully overcome physical obstacles, they will put on the same brace tomorrow in their lives! Over time, as they get older and proportionally fitter, the hiking challenges will get bigger and harder, and they will be braver to face the challenges in life. The formula is simple: if they managed to get to the top in extreme conditions, they would also manage the goals at the bottom in everyday life.
They will also learn how to light a fire safely, purify water from sources of questionable quality, and navigate in nature. They will learn about nature and from nature.
They will become more responsible
Hiking requires discipline, both of body and mind. Instead of sleeping until noon on weekends and then going from lying down to sitting in front of a screen, they will learn to get up earlier, pack their hiking backpack beforehand and go to bed on time. They will respect other people’s time and each other’s agreement.
They will become healthier
Hiking is undoubtedly one of the healthiest activities, but even more important is the fact that it takes place in nature, in the most beautiful places imaginable. Look at our children today. Many children today have problems with weight. Many children are obese, and that not only troubles them physically but also mentally. When kids are young, changes are easier, and bringing your children on a good hike can benefit you and your children and the whole family. After all, when we move, we burn more energy and lose excess fat easier.
It is best to learn in nature about life in nature and life in general. Many mountaineers know that there are no status symbols in the mountains, and friendship is measured by the mutual feeling of happiness and smiles caused by a panorama or a handshake when crossing a rock. There is an atmosphere of togetherness as nature dictates its own rhythm, renewing us and giving us a new experience of the world.
It is beautiful to watch the children spontaneously surrendering to the regenerative energy of the trees. Next time you go hiking, bring your children with you, you won’t regret it.