Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hiking with a little one

The boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of the awesome hiking mountain by us a few days ago. Secretly, I wanted to test it out before taking L. since I wanted her to get out into nature more.

The hike up the trail wasn't too difficult so, when the soreness finally went away, it was time to pick up L. for my days with her. So I decided we'd try it out with her.

She did much better than I expected a 28-month-old to do. (I normally don't use months for her age, but I wanted readers to have an idea of what we experienced.) At first, she was hesitant and held our hands up the first part. Then, after realizing she could follow the trail on her own, she was off running up the mountain.

She stopped along the way to climb on rocks, pick flowers, point to little rivers and grab our water bottles. We went about an hour before lunch and had a light snack of a fruit pouch and a juice box before leaving so she'd have enough energy.

About 1/3rd of the way along the trail, she was so distracted with rocks and moss, we decided it would be a good spot to turn around. Again, she ran ahead and I had to tell her to slow down (she doesn't really understand that yet) and stop (she does know that word). At one point, she did trip over her own feet and went face- and hands-first on the rocky trail. She cried until I picked her up and carried her most of the way down. She started wiggling to get down, and when I put her down, she sat on the trail and played with the rocks and sticks for a while. We were in no rush so we let her take her time and get nice and dirty. 

I had snacks in my bag, but by then, it was close to lunch time. So we started walking and called back to her we were going home to get lunch. She put her head down on her knees, clearly ready for a nap. I didn't even realize we had been out there for a good 40 minutes. So I carried her the rest of the way to the car, in which she fell asleep halfway home.

I think we'll try to go again soon. Although it's supposed to rain for the next two days, unfortunately. But at least I know she can follow a trail well. I also notice when she's outside a lot during the day, she sleeps better at night.

Going beforehand helped so we knew the trail already and we weren't concerned with the trail guide. We also knew areas of extra difficulty to avoid.
Bring plenty of water.
Have snacks on hand.
Bring your camera - tons of fun photo ops of nature discovery.
Don't worry about distance covered or calories burned.
Wear good shoes - this should be a given, but the number of people I saw last time we went who were wearing flip-flops (including a 3-year-old) shocked me. Uneven terrain = shoes with grip for me and L.
Despite a shady trail, wear sunscreen. Boyfriend got burned last time on his face, the one place he forgot to put sunscreen on.
Make sure the toddler knows "stop" or "wait."
Try to go before it gets too hot. I don't know about anyone else, but the moment I sweat, the lower my tolerance is for tantrums. Luckily, it was breezy and L. was in good spirits.
Point out things you see, describe the colors and textures.
Have fun!