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Teach Kids How to Hike
(from TeachKidsHow.com)

Teaching your child to hike can mean fun and great exercise for the whole family. Children (and big people too) need to be outdoors, where the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel of nature can be experienced first hand.
Before hiking with your child, here are some important tips:
  1. Start with known terrain and short distances. Scout out good trails and safe stopping points. See our hike schedule for more information!
  2. Prepare for frequent stops. Every 15 minutes for very young children.
  3. Bring enough water and snack items.
  4. Make sure you have first aid basics - at the least antiseptic, band aids, some cotton gauze, tissues or toilet paper in a zip lock bag, insect repellent, sunscreen tweezers for removing cactus needles.
  5. Wear proper footgear and high socks or long pants.
  6. Wear bright colored clothing.
  7. Issue whistles to all hikers. Instruct them on how and in what instances to use a whistle.
  8. Use a baby sling or carrier for non-walkers.
  9. Prepare your child in advance so they know you won't be collecting or picking anything on your hike.
  10. Carry out everything you bring in. Take a plastic bag for garbage.
  11. Stay clear of steep overhangs and cliffs. Don't take chances near water.
  12. Stay on a marked trail and always let someone know where you will be, such as a park ranger or guide.
These hiking tips will help you have a safe and enjoyable time.

Some fun stuff to try on the trail:
(from "HowStuffWorks.com")

Who else is hiking the trails with you? Your child can become an expert animal tracker and discover who lives along the path.

Whether your child believes in Big Foot or not, it's great fun to find 'clues' of his existence anyway and record them in a journal.

What kind of shoe is kindest to the environment? Discover what kind of footprint your kids leave when they go hiking.

People hiked trails for thousands of years without the help of modern equipment. Pack for your next trip the old-fashioned way.

Change the way kids see the trail when they change their bodies' position.

There are trails of history everywhere you look. Encourage your child to learn the heritage of their area when they discover the footpaths of their ancestors.

Since carving messages into trees and rocks is a nature no-no, kids can learn how to carve messages into mud and sand for fellow hikers.

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