Camping

Is It Possible To Adventure With Children?

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Adorable little girl hiking in forest on beautiful autumn day

Image: Shutterstock/MNStudio

Is It Possible Adventure With Children?

Some people think their adventuring days are over once they have children. Others think it’s too hard to tote kids along on a plane or hike them up a mountainside. These misconceptions are simply not true. All it takes is a bit of brain rewiring, a few pieces of gear, and a positive attitude.

For those who choose to have children, there’s no replacing the wonderful experience of bringing them into and sharing their lives. But that doesn’t mean your interests and hobbies have to change. Here are a few tips and tricks on sharing your adventurous spirit with your children.

Change Your Attitude

When you have children, a lot of things will change. Buying new furniture, child-proofing the house, learning new routines, and running on lack of sleep will all be a part of your new life. So why not apply that same logic to your hobbies? Wrap your mind around the fact that even though the “look and feel” of your hobbies might be different, you still enjoy them for a deeper reason, and the new changes won’t take away from that. In fact, if you adventure with children, they will most likely be even more enjoyable.

Invest In Gear

Let’s face it, outdoor gear is an investment. Do we really need a new rain jacket each season? Somehow we convince ourselves we do! Fortunately, there are times when new gear is definitely warranted and having children is one of those times.

There are several pieces of gear that are worthwhile investments if you plan to adventure with children.

For hikers, look into the following: baby carrier packs to carry infants/toddlers, child-size packs for older children, Camelbak hydration packs, children’s hiking boots, and durable clothing.

For cyclists, look into the following: bike seat attachments, trailers, custom longtail bikes, tandem bikes, and helmets (obviously!).

For campers, look into the following: hiking gear mentioned above, hiking poles, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads.

Tailor Your Trip

An adventure with children is as easy as you make it. Plan your trip with the little ones in mind. If you’re a hiker, look for family-friendly routes. Or tackle massive climbs with a baby carrier pack! But when they age up, definitely get them down on the trails. Children are absolutely capable of tackling big hikes, so long as you give them the appropriate preparation. Kids as young as three can begin hiking alongside you for short periods of time. Build up their tolerance and strength and eventually they’ll be able to carry their own pack. That means you can take them backpacking—an amazing family experience.

If you love camping, pitch a tent in the yard to enjoy the fresh air with your newborn. And of course, bring your toddlers to actual campsites! Young kids are extremely fascinated by the world around them, so bringing them into nature is a true gift. Plan ahead to make sure you have any necessary supplies—diapers (and disposal), food, plenty of water, and proper clothing and gear.

Mandy Burkholder is a travel, adventure, and outdoor writer who honed her craft in the foothills of the La Plata Mountains of Southwest Colorado. After a stint in the Swiss Alps, she now resides in Tennessee. Follow her on twitter — @mandyburkhold3r