Before having tykes, you hiked, camped, and backpacked YOUR way. You went at YOUR pace, to the destination YOU picked and it was all about YOU enjoying the experience.
Throw a tyke or two into the mix and those things change. You can continue to go hiking, camping, and backpacking; however, the way you go about them so that everyone enjoys the experience is different.
One important element when spending time outdoors with your little ones is your expectations. When taking tykes along, lowering your expectations or having none at all will relieve stress for everyone involved and help make the experience more enjoyable. I’m not saying that every time you hike or do an outdoor activity you shouldn’t have expectations, just realize that it’s not about YOU anymore.
Setting expectations for a destination or a particular distance while hiking with tykes may lead to frustration. Having a specific time-frame in mind may lead to frustration. Not allowing the kids to run and explore will bring about whining and lead to frustration. Who wants to be frustrated when you’re suppose to be enjoying your time together in the great outdoors?
Keep in mind:
- Hiking is going take a little longer. Diapers might need to be changed, frequent potty stops may occur. and your pace is going to be slower on the trail.
- Little curious minds want to see, smell, and touch new objects; they want to get dirty and they want to explore. They want to run, jump, and climb. They want to throw rocks, collect sticks, and observe insects and wildlife.
Having expectations all the time will limit these experiences, and how fun is that?
Before setting expectations, think about why you are out there with your tykes and what you are trying to accomplish.