I’ve learned a few things about hiking with a toddler since I posted about the topic last summer. I still sing a LOT of silly made-up songs to bide the time in the dreaded hiking backpack, but I wanted to share some other things I’ve learned from my tiny hiker.
1. Stop frequently to throw rocks into rivers, to inspect moss and dig dirt, and to listen to red squirrels chirping. Allow for extra time to mimic the high, piercing cry of the red squirrels.
2. Always, always choose the route with the most rocks. It’s way more fun to scramble over rocks than to walk on a smooth dirt path.
3. Provide eye candy. Years from now, I hope H is able to appreciate the stillness and peace of the woods. For now, though, it helps to offer a hike with a lot of bang for the buck. The short (less than a mile) hike to Copperas Pond in the Adirondacks’ High Peaks region is steep, but offers a killer view AND a lean-to to explore up top.
4. Crackers. If all else fails, bribe your offspring to keep going with crackers, or whatever your child’s chosen treat may be.
5. Repeat this mantra: It’s not about the destination. It’s not about the destination. It’s not about the destination.
Parents of little ones: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from hiking with your toddler?