Since I was a kid, I’ve loved hiking. My dad took us on random hikes all the time. Some were only half hour away at Red Rock Canyon where we did more climbing than hiking; some took longer—half a day or more—and we had to be more prepared. When we visited my grandparents in southern Utah, we’d hike trails in Zion National Park (heaven on Earth).
1—WATER. Don’t leave home without it! The longer the hike, the more you should take. Keeping hydrated helps you not get headaches and other problems.
2—FUEL. Take snacks or lunch to keep your energy up. Salty snacks are good. In the desert, not too much can be said about water and food. Gum or hard candy to suck on is nice too!
5—ADVENTURE. The same hike, done year after year, yields different results. Wildflowers might abound in a meadow one year and not be there at all the next because of drought. I’ve had grand adventures hiking: a hailstorm on a ridge at 9,000 feet where we had to seek shelter under a dead log; a baby bear has run across my path and I’ve been terrified that Mama would come next; we’ve come around a bend in Yellowstone to find a huge buffalo blocking our way, with no way around him. But even if nothing crazy like that happens, it’s still exciting to anticipate what’s around the next bend or on top of a ridge.
As a parent, hiking is a great way to figure out who your kids really are. I have one child that is exactly like me when I was young; she’s a little fearful, but is delighted with wildflowers and grand vistas. I have others that are fearless and have an endless supply of energy and determination. I had one that would sit down stubbornly in the middle of the trail and refuse to go on no matter how much we threatened (he’s also my one who got frustrated with Yellowstone because it had “too many trees”). It’s great seeing what your kids will do.