We have been hiking with our children since they were in the womb. We were captivated by Switzerland’s natural beauty the moment we arrived in this tiny country and the thought of abandoning the trails once I became pregnant wasn’t possible. So, we kept on hiking.
Our children hiked with us while in my belly, and continued to hike once they were born. I would simply strap them into the trusted Ergo baby carrier and away we would go. Up and down rolling hills or the Alps, stopping to nurse them or give their tiny legs a good stretch. The fresh air, the miles of gentle rocking allowed them to peacefully sleep while tucked in close to my chest and I was able to continue and expand my love of the mountains.
As they grew, we would take them on short hikes, allowing them to discover the wonders on the trails for themselves. Whenever they grew tired, we would lift them up, strap them into either the carrier or our all terrain B.O.B. stroller and away we would go.
Hiking with our children, though not always without complaint, has always been one of our favorite pastimes. When the weather is dry, we do our best to find a local trail to spend our Sundays as a family. We explore new areas, capture each season in all of its glory and share our love of the natural world with our children.
I interviewed our son asking him all about hiking from his eight – year – old perspective. Enjoy the interview and remember that nature is too incredible not to share with your children!
Noah – Age Eight
Melinda (MTS) – How long have you been hiking?
Noah (NS) -I don’t know, maybe eight years? Yes, eight years.
(MTS) What is your favorite thing about hiking?
(NS) -My favorite thing about hiking is seeing the nature.
(MTS) Do you ever get tired when you are hiking? What do you do when you get tired?
(NS) Umm…sometimes. I stop, or walk slower.
(MTS) Where is your favorite place to hike?
(NS) I like hiking everywhere. I like hiking places that have playgrounds.
(MTS) Why is nature so amazing?
(NS) Because you can learn a lot from nature. You can learn how animals live; you can discover things like fossils and you can find something you have never seen before.
(MTS) What tips do you have for other children hiking with their families or with their friends?
(NS) Bring lots of snacks, water, and wear good shoes. Build a campfire and grill sausages, Schlangenbrot and marshmallows. Kids can also cut or carve with their Swiss Army Knives.
(MTS) Where do you hope to hike this year?
(NS) I would love to see a new place in Switzerland.
(MTS) How can children help protect nature?
(NS) By introducing them to nature, by picking – up trash, tell others not to litter,
recycling, grow a garden, and when you brush your teeth turn off the water.
MTS – What is your favorite book?
(NS) – The Animal Encyclopedia by Bright Sparks.
MTS – What is one thing your parents remind you of each time you hike? Why is it so important?
(NS) – They always tell me not to kick or throw stones because it could hit someone on the trail and injure them.
(MTS) Do you have safety advice for other children?
(NS) – Stay on the trail so you don’t get lost.
So, there you have it, sound advice from an eight – year – old. Time to hit the trails!