Love her, but leave her wild. ~ Articus, To Kill a Mockingbird
Two weeks ago, we ticked off another thing from our bucket list — trek with a toddler. Since Ace and I started scaling mountains, it had been our ‘
wish‘ to bring our kid(s) with us. As adventurers who value the outdoors, we believe that kids learn life’s little lessons quickly when they are on an adventure. Although we are not blessed with one yet, it did not really bother us because we have nieces and nephews whom we can bring anyway.
First things first. Friends, meet my sister’s two-year old daughter, Ahkirah. She is the brave soul whom we took with us during our Boundary Climb to Mt Mago two weeks ago.
Like most of our ‘first‘ experiences, the said climb was unplanned and spontaneous. Admittedly, we also wondered how we could survive it, but we did!
Here are few things we did to survive it:
Never hurry. Let the kid explore.
Kirah toddles a lot. She stopped at anything that interests her. We stopped to pick some wild flowers, we stopped to count the butterflies, we stopped to watch domesticated animals along the way. Knowing that it was her first trekking experience, we let her do just like that. We didn’t want to make her first trek a traumatizing one, instead, we want it to be an adventure that would inspire her young soul to do it again and again. 😀
Bring out the kid in us.
We know that kids get bored quickly. Thankfully, the mountain has a lot of things to entertain the kid’s eyes. However, leaving it to the mountain is not enough. When she got tired, we sang nursery songs and made up funny stories.
No matter how slow our pace was or how many times we stopped, that one and a half hour climb to the boundary is truly exhausting for Ahkirah. We took turns to carry her when she didn’t feel like walking anymore.
Take short breaks.
Whether we’re traveling with a kid or not, breaks are essential for trips and excursion to give our muscles enough time to relax and regain energy. But we have to limit our breaks into three minutes so we won’t feel more tired.
Stay hydrated and munch on trail foods.
Food is life, water is ‘lifer‘. 😀 I mean, as much as food is important, water is more important. Due to the lack of planning, we only brought 4.5 liters of water with us. We forgot that there was no water source near the summit. We already consumed everything before our descent. Thankfully, we passed by a small community and ask for some refill. As for Ahkirah, we also let her munch on chocolates and sweets.
Get ready to get dirty! Because getting dirty is an adventure itself. We came for dirt, heat, and mud and we got it all. Afterall, the dirt can be washed away, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Paulo Coelho once said, “Only children believe they’re capable of everything“. But I think, behind every child who believes in himself is someone who believes in him first. I noticed, Kirah becomes more determined to walk farther when we tell her that she could. During our entire hike, we never fail to encourage and praise her for doing a great job.
Teach kids the LNT (Leave No Trace) Principle
Teach the kids so it won’t be necessary to teach adults. I carried a plastic bag with our trash on it on our way back home. Ahkirah asked me why I brought garbage with me, I answered and explained to her the importance of not leaving our trash in the mountains. I reckoned she understood it and I admire her inquisitive attitude. 🙂 It is important to start teaching the kids about caring the nature no matter how old they are. Afterall, it’s for their own future.
Children are not things to be moulded, but people to be unfolded. ~ Jess Lair
We hope you find these tips and lessons helpful. Stay tuned for our Boundary Climb to Mt Mago story in a later post.
Over to you. Have you trekked with a kid before?
‘Til our next adventure!
Love, Ace and Demi