Thursday, 23 September 2010
How to Select a Childrens Backpack and Encouraging Them to Hike
I have enjoyed hiking and rambling since I was a young boy. However now I am a Dad and I of course have brought up my two boys to also really love hiking. I was looking forward to buying my kids their hiking gear and in particular - a childrens backpack. However I had a problem of encouraging them to get off their computer games and go on a ramble or hike carrying a heavy childrens backpack, being very tired and having aching feet? We know this as the spoils and challenges of a hike.
However I wanted my kids to want a childrens backpack rather than just giving it to them and selling the positive points of hiking . I did a bit of promoting by suggesting hiking was fantastic fun. You had to be grown up to hike and wear a childrens backpack. Also it was the BIG boys that like to carry the backpack. Not only did I try to verbally encourage them but also what also helped was to be a great example and hike myself. I took them on small local hikes in the area (although it was flat). I found that planning small hikes is the key to ensuring your kids grow with the pastime.
The reason I am writing this is because I have seen so many times on hiking forums that encouraging your kids to hike and wear a childrens backpack is a problem for the best hikers I know.
I also made sure they were involved with outside groups like scouting for boys. My eldest is 10 years old and has just finished a 12 mile local hike with the local scouts. He loved it
I found that by putting all the above into action we not only bought a childrens backpack for him but he cannot put it down and nearly went to bed wearing it – which was of course very amusing. Now of course I am being pestered by my youngest to buy a childrens backpack as well. It will not take a lot of arm twisting to get him a childrens backpack
Also last year I took my kids up the Ben Nevis mountain which is the highest point in the UK. They achieved this being at the ages of 9 and 5 and yes with a childrens backpack. This year we travelled to the Lake District and climbed Scafell Pike and we loved ever moment of it
So if you want to get your children involved and enjoying hiking I suggest
* Positively encourage your children,
* show by example and get them involved slowly.
* This will lead onto more adventurous things
Very quickly you will be proud to buy them a childrens backpack and being as proud as I am even if they have never shown any interest at all. Have a great Hike!