Hiking and Tramping. Part 2


It is important to pack things your kids like to eat. This is not the time for experimenting with food and taking the chance your kids will refuse to eat. Water and juice are excellent for hydration. Remind your little ones to drink often.

First Aid
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. One other essential item to bring on a family hiking adventure is a first-aid kit. Remedies for cuts, bruises and blisters need to be readily available. The following list includes some important items that your kit should contain:
Antibiotic ointment
Small bottle of antiseptic spray
Sunburn lotion
Pain reliever such as ibuprofen
A few gauze pads
One roll of first-aid tape
Homeopathic Arnica cream

All of these items can be easily purchased at a pharmacy, and this list can be expanded for more lengthy travel.

What about toileting? This is a particularly sticky issue if your kids are still in diapers. If you are traveling in the wilderness, you must pack out what you’ve packed in. Extra plastic grocery bags make convenient, low cost, easy-to-pack diaper disposal bags. Never bury disposable diapers because they are not biodegradable. Kids who can use the toilet, generally have no problem using the “outdoor facilities.” If you are in a remote wilderness area, pack out or burn your used toilet tissue.

Let your kids help when setting up camp. Any little task will allow them to feel like a valued member of your “expedition.” Another great activity is to ask them to find specimens of leaves, moss, and other flora and fauna. Later, you can help them identify what they have found. One caveat here: It is illegal to pick flowers, disturb wildlife and remove items from a United States national park area. In this case, have them just show you what they’ve found. If your kids are older, a pencil and sketchpad offer an alternative to collecting.

Taking kids out in the wilderness gives parents the opportunity to teach lessons about natural history, conservation and ecology. These are lessons they may not get in the classroom and certainly the time you spend together is priceless. Finally, here is the rest of the story of hiking with my 11 month old. We were setting up camp and she was examining blueberries when she stood up and began to wave and say, “hi!” We looked up and saw what she was greeting — an 800-pound grizzly bear! Luckily he was quite a distance off and finally ran off into some brush when an approaching hiker frightened him. My daughter was thrilled to see this beautiful bear. We did make the decision to break camp and hike out that evening, singing, “The Bear Went Over the Mountain,” the whole way out!

Enjoy your trip!!

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