You are planning a hiking trip with your children. Before you start thinking about which hills to head up, you should think about what you and your family want to get from the trip.
In case you are heading out only to bag a few Munros that you haven’t quite got round to yet, there’s a great chance you are setting yourself up for a mutually frustrating day. You should choose the destination smartly.
First talk with your children to set a few challenging but realistic goals. You don’t need to make climbing to the top the focus of your hiking trip; instead, discuss the types of experiences they want to have. Make sure that they (and you, of course) understand that it’s perfectly fine not to reach a particular goal—there’ll always be other chances—and if some goals aren’t reached then that shows that they’ve done a good job setting sufficiently challenging targets. The crucial thing is that the goals should be chosen by the child—or course, you can give them some suggestions but it’s they who should be deciding what to aim for. Doing so, if they don’t manage everything planned for a particular trip, they’ll be nagging you to take them to a hiking trip again. It’s a good idea to break each goal down into bite-size pieces, so it will be easy for them to track how much progress they’ve made.
If your kids are under three years old, you’ll obviously be better placed to plan the family day outdoors. Keep in mind that you’ll likely be carrying your child, and their equipment, all the way around. So set realistic goals.