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Smart Parenting: Why we should hike with our kids

By Raphael Kiefer

This is from her very first hike on the rolling hills of Sagada.

Kids who hike! The sight of them often surprises people on a trail, many of whom have probably never seen a child going up a mountain. While still uncommon in the Philippines, there are actually more and more parents who are making a hobby out of it.

To me, being in the wild is relaxing, inspiring and even therapeutic. A day in a forest or a beach is like a reset button for the brain and body. So as an outdoor enthusiast, I felt like my daughter also deserved to experience these things. I have been taking her on treks since she was 7 although the effort to expose her to nature began at birth.

Hiking is a great bonding experience for Mom too.

Is it easy? NO!

After all, we live in an age where the kids no longer go out! They hardly know anything about what’s outside and even if they want to go out, there are no other kids to play with. Gadgets are taking too much of their time and to be frank, way too much of our time for them as well.

If we’re not careful, the future could be filled with unhealthy people who don’t go out nor talk to each other anymore.

At the Taal volcano. This is one of the easiest hikes in the Philippines for families.

To be clear, I’m not going to jump onto the “Smartphones are evil” bandwagon because the truth is; it is a powerful tool that makes life easier when used properly. The challenge is to find the balance. Not just for the lives of our children; but that of our own too. Have you not been telling yourself that you need to go out more? If you have, all that’s left to do; is do it.

So next time you have a day or two off: Get out of the city and GO FOR A WALK!

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