New book provides guide to day hiking with kids
Day hiking with kids isn’t quite as simple as taking them onto a trail and walking.
Many parents have no idea where there even is a trail. They wonder how to keep their kids properly dressed for the wilds and how they’ll ever carry their infant all those miles. They struggle to figure out how much water and food to bring. They ponder what to do when their children get bored on the trail or start to misbehave. They know there must be a better way to cross rough terrain than the balancing act they’re attempting. They want to understand how to treat injuries from blisters to broken bones, of what to do if they’re lost or even forced to stay the night in the woods.
A new guidebook – Rob Bignell’s “Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids” – offers the answers to these and many other questions.
In this comprehensive survey of an increasingly popular family activity, Bignell offers readers a no-nonsense, informative guide to taking children on day hikes. An Outdoor Industry Association report from 2010 says that 40 million Americans hike. Many of those hikers bring their children with them.
During these difficult economic times, a number of Americans have turned back to this low-cost, fun activity – and are sticking with it.
“Hiking is beneficial in so many ways, from providing exercise to enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors,” Bignell said. “It’s not surprising that there are so many hikers, or that children love to go on walks.”
Most people can find the gear they need for a day hike simply by gathering together a few odds and ends from around their home. And with more than 200,000 miles of trails in the United States – at county, state and national parks as well as other nature areas – no one need travel far to enjoy the great outdoors.
Loaded with personal anecdotes and tips, “Hikes with Tykes” provides a step-by-step guide to everything an adult needs to know about hiking with children, including how to:
Find kid-appropriate trails
Keep kids properly dressed for the wilds
Figure out how much water and food to bring
Cross rough terrain
Prevent children from getting bored on the trail
Treat injuries from blisters to broken bones
Handle getting lost or being forced to stay the night in the woods
A long-time hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss hiking with children. He and his son Kieran go on day hikes about twice a week. Bignell took Kieran on his first hike when he was but four-months-old, through an old grove of redwood trees that soared 150 feet over their heads. Since then, they’ve peakbagged mountains, rambled along ocean coastlines, searched fossil and gem trails, and explored desert canyons, often all in the same month.
Before Kieran, Bignell served as an infantryman in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year.
Bignell now lives with his son in Southern California.
“Hikes with Tykes” is available for purchase online at http://hikeswithtykes.com/