Good morning. Photo: Ulla Keituri
When mom falls in love with hiking, the children are next. It’s easy to get into it if you’ve walked in the woods since you were a baby. Going hiking with a child opens up a whole new world, as you watch what your child does and wonders in nature. You will have the most fun with thorough prep-arations and a positive and relaxed attitude.
Hiking with a child is only difficult if you make it so! Start from a place you know nearby and only spend a few hours during the day. As you get more experience, you can stay the night and go on longer trails.
Reserve twice the amount time you would normally need, and note that you may not be able to follow your planned schedule. Pack snacks for breaks and especially some finger food you can enjoy along the way. After all, remember that you are a different person when you’re hungry.
Select your equipment and clothing according to your trip and keep in mind that everything can happen with a child, so always pack a first aid kit and extra clothes. Your child may like to bring their favourite toy with them to offer security, especially during overnight trips.
My daughter has been in the woods with me doing different things since she was a baby. At first, I carried her at my back, and later she started to hike with me over longer and longer distances. At some stage, we started to spend the night, and this has become a mother and daughter thing. I don’t have to talk my daughter into going with me. She’s usually disappointed if we “only” go to sit by a campfire and don’t stay the night.
During a little over a year, we’ve taken various trips in different sceneries and spent many nights in a tent or lean-to, either by ourselves or with friends – and my daughter is always happy to go. You can get far with a little bit of patience and understanding of the situation, even if not all goes to plan or if your child has a temper tantrum. During our first overnight trip, I guess I was the nervous one, while she went inside her sleeping bag to sleep right after we put up our tent.
If you want to have a nice day or overnight trip with your child, I recommend Kirkkoniemi in Laukaa. It’s only a short distance away from the parking area, and there’s even a small bridge across a river. The trail winds through a beautiful forest to the tip of a headland where you can find a beach, lean-to and a couple of campfire sites. We spent my daughter’s birthday there on a cold May Day when we went camping for the first time this year. After all, we had waited this trip since winter!
Hiking wishes, Ulla
Photography enthusiast Ulla Keituri tries to find a balance between her day job at the office and hiking and taking nature photos. The beautiful and varied landscape in the Jyväskylä region ensures that Ulla doesn’t need to go far from home to shoot a good photo. Skiing at night on lake Tuomiojärvi under the northern lights or rowing on lake Jyväsjärvi at sunset sets up a mood that is hard to imagine in a city.
Find services and nearest points of interest on a map