Friday, April 15, 2011

GEARing Up For Another Season of Strolling

As Spring arrives in Maine, the kids and I are getting more and more excited about another season of hiking. Well, I would actually describe our hiking as more leisurely strolls in the woods, up-and-down small mountains and along water sources, observing plants, listening to birds, climbing rocks (when available), splashing in streams, and taking frequent breaks. There's no HURRY in our steps! And we SO enjoy it!
J, C and S
Do you hike with your kids? How do you get ready for a meandering stroll through the woods for a day?

We started preparing this month by repacking our backpacks. Each of the kids and I have our own backpacks. I found carrying EVERYTHING was just too much for my poor back! And this way each of us has our own supplies for just in case (which I hope never happens) and there's no squabbling over using binoculars or who has the snacks. We include the following in each of our packs:
  • small first aid kit
  • rain poncho (from Dollar Store) 
  • sun screen and bug spray (in trial sizes)
  • an emergency whistle
  • a hat and sunglasses
  • baby wipes(in trial sizes)
  • a magnifying glass and/or inexpensive binoculars (for seeing nature up close)
  • a fleece jacket or hooded sweatshirt
  • an extra pair of socks (in case of wet feet)
  • a water bottle and a small canvas lunch bag
  • a trail map of the area and a compass 
With our backpacks (mostly) repacked, we headed out the the state park with the dog this morning and hiked along the trail along the lake. The dog, R, had a blast! (And the no-pull halter really works! We'll be able to bring her on more walks!) She went swimming! Brrr! S tried out his metal detector (from Christmas), but found no "treasure", and all the kids got a chance to play on the playground.
Beach and Lake
J, C, R (Dog) and C
S and C Playing in the Sand Lake-side
R Fetching a Stick Thrown Into the Lake
The "Crooked Tree"
So Much for the Rubber Boots Keeping S Dry
Old Pine Tree
Exploring Exposed Tree Roots
C Standing on a Cut Log in the Lake
Mushrooms
Metal Detecting
The Lake
 I found some informational and fun websites about family hiking. Check out these sites for tips - Family Hiking Tips and Safety and Hiking as a Family - and this site to find a trail or two to explore: Local Hikes. Happy trails!


7 comments:

  1. Looks like you all had a great adventure. We are planning on hiking next week if the weather holds until then. Loved reading about all you did this time...thanks for sharing your link with the OHC.

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  2. Boy, it looks like you guys have fun!

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  3. We LOVE hiking!! I like your backpacks & the list what to pack in them - I'll have to remember it. We can't wait to explore the Maine trails around us, so far we've stuck to the roads as it's quite snowy/muddy still.

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  4. I love where you live simply cause you can do stuff like that! Where we live we have one hiking type area which is flooded from spring thaw til about July :(

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  5. Magical! We need to prep for some hiking! Somehow we always seem to really need the one thing we forget. Thanks for sharing your list and the websites.

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  6. Great pictures! It looks like you all had fun :)

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  7. I like your list of things to pack. Though, hoodies are probably not as neccessary for me here now.

    I'll have to go check out those websites next.

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