kids hiking

This guest post is from Vandaddy’s Weblog.

Total time to prepare for hike: 3 hrs 40 minutes.
Total hike time: 1 hr.

As with most bad ideas, Daddy thought this one up. “Let’s go for a hike!” he said. “Why?” said Faith. “I don’ wanna!” said Roan. Well Daddy overruled them this time. Although he now regrets it.

Before you get the wrong idea, the hike idea was pretty modest; an absolutely level, manicured gravel trail in a nearby nature preserve. Top distance? A few kilometers a most. It was almost more an idea of a hike than a real hike.


Everybody was assigned a job. Daddy took extra clothes and water. Roan was assigned to carry the snacks. Faith was assigned the medical kit and safety equiment. We never did find Faith’s old backpack so her new kids backpack had its first outing today. Roan and Daddy found their old backpacks no problem.

Faith insisted on packing snacks, then assigning them to Roan for packing, then unpacking them again to ‘check’ them, then pack them again and issue Roan his backpack back to him. Roan was mildly amused.

Once we were all packed and everyone was forced, literally forced to go to the bathroom, we discovered we were a few items short, namely air for the tires, a water resistant jacket for Faith, and a compass. These three would have to be resolved before a real hike to happen.


Air in the tire? Check. free at gas station.

Rain resistant jacket for Faith? $3.99 at Salvation Army. After a little back and forth on what was boyish or girly, and a quick looky next door at the kids resale shop (no luck).

Off to get a compass? Not so fast. By now it is clearly lunch time. So off to Burger King, a Saturday ritual. No major drama here, just lots and lots of time spend nibbling on the lunch that only minutes before was so ardently demanded. Funny how it doesn’t take much to resolve “I’m soooo hungry!”

Then we’re off to the local hardware store for a compass, which at 1.99 also left room for an emergency poncho (1.99) a hand warmer packet (.79) and a whistle (also 1.99). This last item was determined to be critical in case of bears. Fortunately we only needed one, since we had already attached a little jinglebell to Roan’s backpack so he wouldn’t get lost, or if he did , we could hear him when he jingled his bell.


Now, at 2:30 we were finally at the trailhead, ready to hike. A check of the trail map showed how we could travel down the wide path in pretty much a straight line, decide when we were tired, then come back along the same route.

Off we go! But first we gotta stop to figure out how the compass works. Line up the red arrow with the “N” by turning the compass, not your body, then look at which letter is pointing in the direction you are going. But don’t forget to give the compass time to catch up to your turning or no matter which way you go, you’ll go “north”.

Off we go! But first we need to get a jacket. It’s new, so it needs to be checked out. And zipped up. And the backpack adjusted. And the whistle and compass pulled out and untangled.

And the Hello Kitty medallion put on front of it all, bling side out.

Off we go!

But first we need some water. And the hat adjusted to the right or back so you can actually tip the water into your mouth and not down your front.

And we’re off! Watch out for the poop! Horse poop! Dog poop! Poop, poop, poop.

But we also found a caterpillar. He was cool. And fuzzy. We made sure he made it all the way to the other side of the path.

Then we needed to take a few pictures.

A little more walking was good.

All this walking can work up an appetite, so we needed to take a break for a snack. And some water. Good thing there was a park bench nearby. Good place to watch the dogs and the bike people go by. Nice view.

We saw a duck and a heron and a butterfly.


This was great. Everybody had a chance to do their thing: Daddy got to share the water and take out the clothes jacket; Roan got to pass out the snacks; and Faith….

We pretty soon took care of that, as Roan obliged by doing a quick start on the gravel, which landed him hands first and in a roughly south-by-southwest orientation.

Rocks are naughty. They cut your hands when you land on them hard. And they don’t make you want to show your daddy or your sister, ’cause they want to hurt you. So even if your hand hurts and you are crying, don’t show anybody your boo-boo or it will get lots worse.

Once Faith and Daddy were done hurting Roan, everything was alright. Faith had more water, then Roan had some water, then Faith ran out of water and wanted Roan’s water, then Roan didn’t want to share his water, then Daddy had to make Roan share his water, then everything was alright.

Then we walked back, cause we’d already been gone 45 minutes and Daddy only really wanted to go for an hour or so, and getting hurt was a good reason to turn back anyway.

And that was the end of our little hike. Time for a nap.

Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters most.

And sometimes it’s the getting ready for the journey that matters most.

About This Author: Christopher is married to the beautiful and talented Michelle, and dad to four year old son Roan and eight year old daughter Faith. He is a self-described opera, sci-fi, literature, and music geek. Follow Christopher on twitter @operabladerunnr

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1 Comment

  1. Derek K. Miller September 14, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I like Chris Pirillo’s term for himself, “The Great Indoorsman.”

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