Hiking is not just an outdoor activity that we use to escape from the crowded cities. Hiking is a way to get closer to nature and learn how to live by its rules. As adults, we understand how important the connection with nature is, but it’s also our responsibility to pass this awareness on to the next generation. Hiking is not all about getting into the woods and having fun. It’s also a perfect way to teach your kids how to deal with the challanges of life.
A hiking trail through a forest full of creeks and waterfalls can be better than any classroom for your child. Here’s what your kid will learn from hiking.
Hard work pays off
Hiking through difficult terrain will teach your kid how to push through barriers when things get tough. Conquering a challenging trail for hours, sweating and with tiring legs is hard, but it’s all worth it when you reach the goal. Striving to reach your destination while hiking is equivalent to a goal that your kid would like to achieve in life. Hiking will teach your kids to work hard and always try to find a solution for any problems they encounter.
You have to leave your comfort zone to get better at something
Being comfortable is not always the best thing for your kid. A level of physical discomfort is inevitable when you’re trying to reach a new peak or an alpine lake. After a while, the muscles get stronger, and your kid can hike more and more. Extended hikes are necessary for your child’s development if you want them to grow into a healthy and resilient person.
Breathing fresh air
Fresh air is addictive, and the ones who hike regularly know it. The best way to get your kids off their phones, computers, and tablets is to teach them that hiking is better for them. It won’t be easy at the beginning, but you need to keep trying. Start taking them to the mountains from an early age, before they fall in love with technology.
Animals are simply amazing
Introducing kids to wildlife experiences through observing animals in their natural habitat is the best thing you can do for our planet. If you get attached to real animals as a kid, it’s more likely you will want to protect them when you grow up. For example, if you take your kid to Olympic Peninsula, you’ll get to see deer, bear, whales, salmon, eagles, mountain goats, bobcats, mountain lions, seals, and many bird species.
Water is life!
Learning to be aware of our water consumption is crucial. Discovering how much you need to stay hydrated during the hike and how much you suffer when there’s no water around are things you must teach your kid. Explain all the possible ways to find drinkable water in the backcountry and how to purify it. When a kid learns how important water is, it’s likely to become a person who wants to protect rivers, lakes, and oceans.
All life forms matter equally
Hiking shows us that life is everywhere around us and we need to protect it. All the plants, ferns, mosses and trees that we see along the trail are there for some purpose, and we mustn’t destroy them. We are just visitors in the wilderness, and we need to treat it with respect. Teach your kids to love and protect nature in any way possible. It’s the only planet we have, and it’s our duty to leave it healthy for the generations to come.
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