Hiking in the mountains is a trip that guarantees the sight of amazing landscapes. It is an extraordinary experience for adults, but it is also worth remembering about the little ones, especially those who have never conquered mountain peaks. Children can be taken on such trips from the first months of their life. How to prepare them for this?
At what age will our child be ready for a mountain expedition?
In this case everything depends mainly on the readiness of parents. Toddlers are ready for mountain expeditions almost from the first month of their life. Of course, at the beginning it won’t be all-day trips, but free strolling in the low parts of the mountains is certainly possible. It is worth noting right away, that a trip to the mountains, even in the alpine area, is a powerful dose of the healthiest air, which we can give your children. In the first months of life, however, it is not advisable for the toddlers to spend several hours in the carrier, so day trips are definitely out of the question.
There are many interesting proposals in the Tatra Mountains, where in the valleys we can go with the child to Bialy, Mala Laka or to Strązyska. The terrain in these places rises gently, so we can take the stroller with us. Unfortunately, our culture abounds in excessive caution and keeping babies at home as long as possible. A mother taking her child for a mountain walk in the eyes of grandmothers and aunts seems unreasonable. Meanwhile, one should be aware that comparing clean air straight from the mountains has nothing to do with the dangers in the form of bacteria and viruses lurking in urban agglomerations.
Mental preparation for the first expedition
The first trip to the mountains for a small child with its parents is certainly an adventure of a lifetime. As soon as toddlers start growing out of the stroller and start walking on their own, it means they are ready to hike. Parents during this time should encourage their kids to be physically active, which will make a trip to the mountains easier for them. Unfortunately, nowadays parents go for convenience and fund their kids with strollers for years, which will not necessarily be good for the little ones. Moreover, after a few years of driving them in strollers and then putting them on a mountain trail, the only thing we will hear is their objection to hiking. Therefore, let’s take our kids for long walks from an early age.
Above all, children need to get used to the fact that everyday life consists of walking and not riding in a stroller. It is about toddlers at the age of one year or one and a half, when the moment comes when they start to walk on their own. Our little one, if we regularly encourage her to walk, will be able to walk even three kilometers on her own legs, which will be a really great result. It should be remembered, however, that such a hike is not an ordinary one. Along the way, the little ones will notice pebbles, sticks, mountain streams, all that they can be interested in and play with. This, of course, translates into the time it takes to get to a hut or a low peak.
What can you do to keep your child from focusing on walking and getting discouraged by the walk?
What to do when we want to make further trips? The matter seems to be only seemingly complicated. It is enough to use a few tricks, thanks to which the toddler will forget that he is walking at all. We can carry our child for some time, but it doesn’t mean that we have to do it all the time. The key, however, will be to make more frequent stops, so that the child has time to recover. For ourselves, moving in the mountain terrain is more difficult, let alone for such small legs, which have to make twice as many steps. The older the child is, the more challenges await us. First of all, it is harder to get them interested in some things and monuments of nature, but on the other hand, their perception of seeing the world is wider. It is worth using tactics that will allow you to impersonate a toddler, for example, as a warrior fighting with pinecones – it will certainly prove helpful.
Featured photo: Freepik