As Ridge gets older and more mobile the way hiking looks changes quickly. Sometimes this is weekly, monthly, or every couple months. When he was little he would ride for hours. Now it’s “mama I want to get out”! My hiking philosophy is it should be enjoyable for both child and parent. With that in mind I always make play time for Ridge and strenuous hiking time for me. It’s a delicate blend. There are days where his needs are more important and we play more. Other times I need a hard hike and he rides more than he wants. This teaches both of us how to think of the needs of others (he’s 3 but that is something he is actually learning without realizing it), how to be bored (a good lesson for all of us), and about team work. Some might call this sacrifice but when you are giving up your needs for someone you love it’s not actually sacrifice but joyful!
So this is my Type A schedule that helps us both enjoy our outdoor adventures!
- Arrive at trail-head. Ridge plays while I get us ready. Ridge hikes/plays for thirty minutes to two hours depending on how long our day is going to be and our individual needs.
- Ridge goes into the pack. He eats a snack, naps, sings, or we play games. I try and hike all the way to our destination.
- Arrive at destination point. Ridge gets out of the pack and boundaries are set. Lunch is eaten followed by an hour or two of play and socializing with other hikers. (Although there have been a few short extremely rainy hikes where I reached the top and immediately turned around and started hiking back to the trail-head).
- Ridge goes back into the pack and I “run” back to the trail-head. This might involve a toddler hike near the end too.
- During the winter/rainy season we head to get hot chocolate and pizza. When the sun comes out we tailgate in the parking lot allowing for more play time, yummy food and relaxation! And let’s face it, I’m procrastinating going home!
This might seem like to much time to be gone or to strict. (This is really a general guideline on how I function and it keeps me sane.) But it’s what works for us!
How do you plan your outdoor time? Or do you plan your outdoor time?!
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That sounds like an awesome routine. And shows Ridge an appreciation for nature and walking. What does he like to do when he plays?
Hike and go seek has been a favorite! Although we saw a mouse last weekend and a rabbit at the park last week. I think his favorite thing we’ve found has been a slug on dog poop!
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