How Hiking Trips can Keep Your Family Together

How Hiking Trips can Keep Your Family Together

We have another Guest Post this week From Meg where she discusses how Hiking Trips have helped our family.  I hope this resonates with you today.  Send Meg an email here or leave a comment below.

Why we love our Hiking Trips

Ahh, the weekend. When the week becomes less about mundane tasks and more about finding joy as a unit. Dave, my partner, and I love hiking with our kids because its a time we can let the busy aspects of life fade away and focus on things like the color of moss, spotting wildlife and talking about the magical things in life. With Dave starting a new online business, we spend a lot of our recent outside time in creative brainstorming sessions. Taking in the elements of nature and allowing them to foster creative ideas is one of my favorite things about being outdoors.

Natural Environment

I love that we get to do this with our kids. We teach our 2  year old about streams and rivers and salmon habitat, we identify plants and animals and encourage her to stop, close her eyes and listen to nature. Its about exposing them to this raw, vibrant and inspiring place. It makes me feel like a good parent. On top of just purely enjoying being outdoors with them, I feel like I am doing them a service by making it a part of their lives. And not just a small part- we hike nearly every weekend and have for the 3 1/2 years I’ve either been pregnant or towing a babe.

Different Personalities

Dave and I function better as a parental team when outdoors with the kids. We like hiking because of the exercise, but also the way it makes you pare down to the essentials and rely on your own body to move through the next few hours of life. Its a simplification that I embrace each week with open arms. Bring it! We always joke about how much I stuff in Dave’s backpack despite my always giving him beef for bringing such a big pack. He is the analytical, methodical one; I’m the dreamer, the fly by the seat of your pants type. Somehow, we make it work, and I think a large part of that is owed to our time hiking. It forces us to figure out how the other one works. It makes us work as a team, because if we don’t, guess what? Someone is going to suffer, and likely it will be all of us.

Our Story

Here is a bit of background relevant to why hiking is a form of survival for us: Dave and I got pregnant after 3 months of dating long distance. Yep. We were acquaintances for a few years before that and knew a little about one another, but not quite enough to know if we could parent together. I was in the middle of acupuncture school, he was living at the coast deeply engrained in his work as a fish biologist. We took the plunge and our common safe place to learn about one another has always been outdoors. On trails, under the stars, near rivers and streams, we learned about each other. We always noticed how calm the kids were when camping in the wilderness and on hikes in natural places. We were calm, they were calm. It just makes sense. I spend my life looking for balance-it is literally my life goal to always find balance, and nature has always done that for me. So, naturally, it helps our family find balance.

Benefits

Lastly, hiking helps us laugh more. With more oxygen in our blood and a clear perspective on things, we often laugh on hikes. It loosens us up and makes things that seem so dire actually funny when we feel good. It loosens one up, clears the mind and helps you assess your life. The problem we have now is that we are tired of driving to find nature, so we are in the process of looking for a home closer to or right in a wild area. I am pretty sure we will blast off to new dimensions of parenting and partnership when we do so!

With all that said, I’m pretty sure hiking is a life saver for us!

Conclusion

It’s not too much to say that hiking saved our family.  The hiking trips we do almost every weekend our huge for us.  You should get out there and give it a shot for your family.

ps… We found a new home and will be moving closer to nature.  Actually, we will be in nature and living on a stream with a forest nearby.  We are excited to get going and deciding on our next local hiking trip.

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