Our family is blessed to live near many beautiful hiking trails. We are right next to the Superstition Mountains and within 30 minutes of many other parks, lakes and trails. Hiking is one of our family’s favorite pastimes. Our hikes range from one hour excursions to all-day adventures.
Hiking is a wonderful way to get some exercise, see nature, spend quality time with our family and catch up on conversation. The children love it because they get to explore, use their outside voices, and learn new things. My husband and I love it because it provides great exercise (burns about 400 calories an hour), quality family time, a chance to appreciate the beauty around us and – of course – it is a great energy burner for the kids.
Here in the desert we can hike nearly year-round. If your weather permits it, why not schedule a family hike this spring? Here are some guidelines:
- Research your local trails ahead of time and choose a realistic trail. Be careful not to get in over your head if you are a beginner by checking out the trail length and terrain beforehand. Also, be sure to tell someone where you plan to go.
- Come prepared! Some items to bring include: water, hats, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, dry snacks, a camera, and a child carrier if you think those little legs may get tired.
- Rest if necessary. Make sure to rest if you get tired. That sounds like common sense, but I have seen people push it beyond their limits just to make unrealistic distance/time goals. Also, remember that unless you are hiking a loop, you have to hike back the same distance you hiked in.
- Do a risk assessment. Are there any concerns in your area? Out here in the desert we have to be aware of snakes, heat injuries, and monsoon storms in the summer. Year-round we have to be wary of wild animals such as javelina and mountain lions. Make sure you know what your risks are and plan for them.
- Don’t forget to have fun. Focus on your family and your adventure together. Oh, and if you insist on bringing your cell phone along, make sure you turn it off.
Does your family hike? Feel free to leave a comment. Share and let’s talk about it.