hi this is my first post. i really want to get my family outside and enjoy nature. i have a couple questions for you more experienced people out there that may end up making for more questions later. here goes.
i have a large family. me, the wife, and 6 kids. oldest will be 9 shortly and the youngest is almost 16 months. for the most part they all listen well. my questions start with how long is to long of a hike? the 2 youngest at 16 months and soon to be 3 would be spending most of their time in a double stroller or a wagon with trailer. i realize alot of the distance question becomes how far do i want to push/pull them kids?
i live in the st louis are and was looking for a hike i could take the children on that would be somewhat easy, we could stop and cook something to eat for lunch over a campfire, and finish out the day at the end of the trail.
i would really like this to be a test run to see if this something my family would enjoy doing on a more regular basis. let me know what you guys think.
You'll soon find that except on paved paths, the stroller or wagon will not work--you'll need a kid carrier for the youngest so you can carry him/her on your back. However, the paved paths are a good place to start. Expect lots of frequent stops to examine bugs, worms, butterflies, etc., or "energy breaks" (i.e., snacks).
Edited by OregonMouse (04/21/1101:25 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
You are definitely doing something right. I only have 5 kids, and they don't listen at all! My dog listens better, and she is not known for listening.
Anyways, my oldest is 9 (10 next month) and my youngest is 13 months. I carry my 13 month old in a backpack. My second youngest is 4. Basically, I don't want to carry him, so we go as far as he goes. A mile is pretty far. But, when you walk slow, you see a lot more.
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Loc: Western Montana
I agree with Steadman here. It's important to know what kind of "outdoor" experience you already have before giving suggestions. Without much else to go on, I would say find a state park that is lakeside, hike around the lake for a half hour, hike back and let the kids play in the water while you fix lunch. Make it as enjoyable as possible for the kids and they'll remember it.
Plan on carrying any of them who can't walk yet, and spread the responsibility out among the older children. Make up some games for the hike (who can see the most birds? Name that plant (take pictures and identify them in a book at home).
When we know your hiking experience we can help more. But have fun.....!
...then we might find something that we weren't looking for, which might be just what we were looking for, really. - Milne