As summer quickly approaches, many American families will begin to plan and prepare for family outings and summer vacation, often including camping and hiking. For families with toddler and school age children, camping and hiking can be a physically demanding adventure but so rewarding at the same time. Teaching children, at a very young age, the value and love of nature will provide many years of enjoyment and appreciation for the beautiful country they live in. l
With the right camping and hiking gear, families with smaller children can enjoy a pleasant and stress free camping adventure. The key is to plan, plan, plan and then execute on those plans, focusing on packing only the necessities and being forever mindful of the resilience of children, even when camping or hiking outdoors.
One aspect of camping and hiking that is most often fun for children, are the frequencies and varieties of snacks and meals. Planning, carefully, for these breaks in the day will offer children a nice adventure for their mouths.
Because hiking is a physically strenuous activity, children should be encouraged to drink plenty of water and snack often, as frequently as once every 30 minutes to an hour in an effort to beat the energy depletion in children before it occurs.
When planning snacks for camping or hiking children, it is important to mix the snack selection with a variety of energy boosting products. Products which contain sugar, such as M&Ms are always a great hiking snack but also be sure to include items with carbohydrates and protein, such as peanuts, raisins and dried fruit.
In addition to snack brought from home, some hiking and camping families will consider choosing camping and hiking destinations which fall within and around natural snack terrains, such as blueberries or blackberries. As a rule of thumb, choosing areas which are known to produce health versions of the snacks is advisable. Simply eating items, which appear to be berries, may not be a wise snack selection and, ultimately, may teach children to show little caution when picking snack items from trees and bushes.
As with any outdoor adventure with children, planning well in advance will provide for a fun family time for all. Children, often, when camping and hiking will have more energy and resilience than their parents. For this reason, it is important to find activities which are engaging and child friendly but also supply the necessary snack and nutrition to keep the energy level happy and healthy while camping or hiking outdoors with children.