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Family Hiking: How to know if your kids are ready to hit the trails

  
  
  

Family Hiking with CMH Summer AdventuresIt's a question we hear quite often "How old do my kids need to be to go hiking?"  And our response: Any age will do!

Whether you are packing your infant or toddler in a carrier and carrying the load yourself, or encouraging your pre-schooler to walk 'up here, just around the next corner to the next rock' before your next break, kids are always ready and love to get out there.  And what better example can we set for our children than by showing them that it is fun and it feels good to get outside and explore.

Kids of all ages have loads of energy to burn and are normally quite happy to spend a few hours chasing squirrels, jumping over rocks and roots and checking out the bugs.  Like our neighbor's dog, our kids tend to put on more miles than we do on a walk or a hike as they run ahead, run back to tell us some crazy story and run ahead again.

Keep your own expectations in check and look to your kids to signal when it's time to stop for a break or turn for home.  Another helpful hint: Don't underestimate the power of chocolate!

For some additional tips on hiking with kids and some great suggested hikes in the Banff area, click here to watch this video of CMH Summer Adventures' Ellen Slaughter on Calgary's Breakfast TV.

Do you hike as a family?  Share any tips you have for successful outings with us in the comments section below!

Photo: A dad and his kids enjoying an above-the-world heli-hike on a Bugaboo Family Adventure with CMH by Topher Donahue.

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