Share This Article
Hiking with kids – it can be an ordinary walk around a forest, but one can set out with children also to high mountains. Hrebienok, Tatranská Lomnica or Jasná are ideal destinations where cable cars help discover our highest mountains with kids.
Although hiking with small children can be a bit more difficult, it is beautiful and important in order to develop a positive relationship with nature and physical activity in general. Several things need to be considered – using the right equipment and clothes, choosing an appropriate trail and making a good plan, taking care of food and fluid intake. Children’s motivation and the patience of parents are crucial elements as well.
Let’s talk about the experience and tips of parents who have already made some hiking trips with kids.
First hiking steps
After a child is born, it is not easy to plan a nice trip. Unfortunately, it is only a plan sometimes. The weather can change or a member of the expedition team can get ill. Yes, people say that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. But it is different if a child is in the game because its safety and health come first.
Hiking beginnings can be quite challenging for parents, but don’t give up. The point is to do it step by step and adapt to the age of the child. There is no need to surmount a peak in the Tatras or walk dozens of kilometres. Hiking with kids can also mean a peaceful walk along forest roads and meadows. And later when the child and its parents get used to it and discover the world together, they can add more difficult trails, set out for a mountain chalet or make a longer trip. The best is to choose a hike where the plan can be changed flexibly if needed.
In addition, parents should choose a trip where they can have a rest with their child properly. Hrebienok is the ideal starting point in this context because a family can take a comfortable funicular to get there and continue as they like. There is really a lot to choose. If you want to get to higher altitudes with your kids, a cable car might be helpful too. How about taking the one from Tatranská Lomnica to Skalnaté pleso and walking along the main hiking trail (Tatranská magistrála) from there? Older children might appreciate a trip to the top of Mt Lomnický štít. Štrbské Pleso offers various options too and kids of all age groups can find something attractive there. As for the Low Tatras, Jasná is a great destination where families never get bored. Take your time and sooner or later, you’ll find out what suits you best. More difficult hikes might not be that difficult after all.
Don’t forget that before every trip, it’s important to check the latest weather details, information regarding closed hiking trails, various restrictions or warnings.
Hiking baby carriers are a must
A hiking buggy could be enough at the beginning to make the first walks in nature. But you will probably want to go further to less accessible places later. This is when it’s time for a hiking baby carrier.
Ergonomic carriers are the best to get used to carrying your baby at the beginning. You will feel more free when walking and can start to discover new places in more difficult terrain. However, every child is different and baby carriers don’t have to satisfy all babies. And as for moms, it’s often a proper workout like in a gym for them, with DOMS guaranteed afterwards.
The best is to switch to a proper hiking baby carrier later. The child has more freedom to move when compared to ergonomic carriers. And it can see much more in all directions. Both parties are satisfied – the one who carries and the one who is carried.
Hiking baby carriers can be used not only when hiking but also when ski touring. However, they are perfect also when you need to go to a post office, do some shopping or run office errands where there are too many stairs to use a pram. What’s more, if you need to take some small things with you, they fit into every hiking carrier.
If you want to move your hiking adventures up, a multipurpose bike trailer & pushchair is the best help. Today, it is really a multipurpose device and it can be used for various sports such as biking, ski touring, cross-country skiing, running, hiking, rollerblading etc. Outdoor-loving families will appreciate this practical invention and there is a high chance that it will replace their regular pram fully sooner or later.
Adequate essentials are the key
The necessary gear and supplies differ depending on the season of the year. The same applies to hiking with a child. Basic things include enough food, fluids, extra clothes and toiletries.
As far as other necessary things are concerned, they could be divided in summer and winter baby essentials. In summer and on warm days, you will need something to cover the baby’s head, a carrier sunroof, sun cream, insect repellent and a blanket to sit down (which can be used also if it gets cold).
In winter, it’s important to wear several clothing layers (merino, second layer, overall), warm gloves, a balaclava and a neck warmer. Cream can protect the skin in bad weather too. Don’t underestimate eye protection either as eyes are very sensitive to snow reflection.
Duvet slipper boots that are primarily meant for cold nights in a tent are great to keep baby feet sticking out of the carrier warm. As they are adult boots, they can serve as another layer to be put on snowshoes comfortably.
Useful essentials on every longer trip include a first-aid-kit, an isothermal blanket, a headlamp, trekking poles, sunglasses, a pocket knife, extra clothes kept in a waterproof bag, sun cream, lip balm, paper handkerchiefs, a power bank. It might seem to be ordinary things, but if you have a child, they can serve also for other purposes.
Discovering with a child
But when the child gets older, everything changes. Even easy short trips can last all day long sometimes. Children take in everything around them and respond to it. Let them discover new things, and develop their skills. Sometimes, this means much more than sitting in a carrier and hurrying up somewhere so that we, adults manage everything that we have planned. It requires a lot of patience, of course.
It’s not always easy to keep a cool head. Well, everything depends on our priorities and goal. Whether we want to get somewhere and see something or rather collect experience (both of us). It might sound corny and not always seem like that, but every parent can learn a lot from their child. Because we learn the most life lessons especially as parents.
This article has been created in cooperation with MTHIKER.sk. For more useful tips and advice, read the original article of the author. To find more practical experience with carrying a child, read an interview with a very active mother.