What you should pay special attention to when hiking with children
Equipment: A good children’s tourist backpack should have conveniently wide S-shaped shoulder straps, a fastener fastened on the chest that prevents the shoulder straps from moving apart and sewn-in reflective elements that make a person with a backpack more noticeable in the dark. One or two outer pockets are very convenient for carrying trifles and souvenirs. For backpacks with a volume of over 20 liters, a waist belt is desirable.
When choosing an “adult” backpack for a teenager, it should be borne in mind that according to the method of fastening the straps, backpacks are with a “floating” suspension and those where the straps and belt are tightly sewn to the bag. The floating suspension is convenient in that the distance between the straps and the belt can be changed as the child grows. However, be careful: in some models, the suspension is made uncomfortable, the backpack hangs unstable, with sudden movements it brings sideways. In this regard, it is much more successful than a model with a stitched suspension, while the bases of the straps are conveniently spaced horizontally.
How many kilograms can a child carry? Parents of younger schoolchildren here, of course, immediately remember the heavy lifting bags that drag their children to school. But in fact, a full-fledged running day is not a jog from home to school.
There is no universal approach here, and it cannot be. Some children – those later, – can be loaded a little more, others – a little less. And what about kids 2-3 years old? Of course, they can go lightly. But nevertheless, it is better if the peanuts will also be with tiny backpacks, they will feel like full-fledged tourists.
For children from 3 to 11-12 years old, approximately the weight of a backpack can be calculated by the formula: the weight of a backpack in kilograms should be no more than half the child’s age (in years). For example, a five-year-old baby should not carry more than 2-2.5 kg. Adolescents are already able to carry a weight almost equal to their age or even more.
There are several hiking backpack models for very young tourists and they are not always on sale. Since the kids carry mostly air in their backpacks, for a one-day walk in the forest you can buy just a small sports backpack with a volume of up to 10 liters, adjust the strap size and make a chest strap so that the shoulder straps do not slip off the “wide” children’s shoulders.
The child put his things in a backpack. What will be in the child’s backpack? A baby 3-4 years old can carry part of his personal belongings, including toys. To speed up the daily packing of backpacks, some parents prefer to put things that they rarely get into their backpacks, such as a waterproof raincoat. Older children will be able to carry their sleeping bag (which also simplifies fees) or all their personal items, including a sleeping bag. A teenager can carry almost the same as an adult. By the way, the principle of “everything is hard – down the backpack”, which we once was taught in the school tourist section, is now, strictly speaking, not true.
As for clothes and shoes, it should be no worse than yours. Clothing should match the weather – be careful, as children more acutely feel a violation of the thermal regime, and unexpected heat stroke (or hypothermia) will not add good memories of the trip. Try to buy (sew) for children camping clothes of bright colors (yellow, orange, red) – in an extreme situation this will facilitate the search for a child, make him noticeable on the ground and on the water. Shoes should be on hard soles (of course, already a bit worn). Virtually nowhere can the presence of snakes be completely ruled out, so open shoes are unacceptable! When hiking, even if it’s hot, it is better to put the children in trousers and long-sleeved outerwear, otherwise broken knees and scratched hands will be necessary, and may violate the travel schedule. The movement schedule, by the way, should be made taking into account the capabilities of the weakest participant in your trip (it can be, like the youngest child walking alone, and the parent carrying the child plus some things and products. In the parking lots saws, axes and it’s better to keep the knives in covers and out of sight. We had a case when three children of 3-5 years old, taking together, easily pulled out an ax, driven into a stump almost in an ax! Hence the moral – keep an eye on these items. at the beginning of the trip, you need to explain to the kids that they should not be touched in any way During the preparation of firewood, make sure that small children are in the camp, and the teenagers involved in the process are right next to you, so that there is no chance that anyone will be injured by a falling tree. reason.
Fire and everything connected with it. It is hardly worth mentioning that from the moment the bonfire is already burning, kids should not be left out of sight. Even at the beginning of the campaign, the question of what is allowed for children in relation to the fire and what is forbidden should be decided. All prohibitions must be reasoned. Helping to make a fire is possible and necessary. You can put firewood in a fire – you can take out branches from a fire and wave it with a lit tip – you can not accidentally get into the face of a friend. To avoid burns, do not allow younger children to independently remove the cans from the fire, pour hot tea on themselves. Older children can be allowed to do this using bonfire gloves and under adult supervision. Each time, check the reliability of the handles of cans and hooks of the bonfire cable. It is better to invite children to the table when the soup (porridge) in the bowls is already sufficiently cooled. If the child is accustomed to eating hot soup, put a piece of foam on his lap, and a bowl on the foam so that, making an awkward movement, the child does not spill hot on his knees. In this regard, bowls with a large flat bottom are better – they are more stable, but, however, they fit worse one into the other. If we talk about the material, then metal dishes have an advantage over plastic ones: firstly, in metal dishes the soup cools faster, and secondly, the temperature of the bowl gives an idea of the temperature of the contents.
Stone talus. Recall that the absence of such is one of the necessary conditions when choosing a parking space. It is assumed that the scree will lie in wait for you along the route and radial sorties. Before overcoming them, do not be too lazy to once again tell and show the children how to go, so as not to let stones go to each other.
Parking by the river / pond. Water attracts children of all ages: one endless throwing of stones and sticks into the water is worth it. Fighting this is useless, and not necessary. Therefore, in such a parking lot, it is necessary to continuously keep all children in sight, even relatively adults. There are cases when, on trips, children slipped into the water from inclined stone slabs located near the water itself (from which it is so convenient to look at the river, fish, etc.). The same danger is simply caused by large stones and rock fragments located above the water – from them the child can fall into the water simply by stumbling (for example, throwing another stone into the water). Throwing stones into the water is dangerous because the stone instead of water can hit a friend who, at the time of the throw, abruptly rose or moved. The author of this article as a child himself got a stone in the back of his head in exactly this way. It is necessary to often remind children of such a danger, and adults to ensure that children do not look for stones “on the line of fire.”
Inedible berries and mushrooms. In the campaign, all children have an enviable appetite. But, unfortunately, young children do not have sufficient skills to distinguish berries well. Therefore, at the very beginning of the trip with children, it is imperative to conduct an appropriate conversation. You can simply explain to the kids that “some berries and mushrooms bite (they hurt),” so you can’t break anything without permission. It is often enough for schoolchildren to show clearly what a pale grebe, wolf eye, elderberry, etc. look like. This will be useful in any case. The presence in the medicine cabinet of sorbents is strictly necessary, the amount needed to treat one person for several days. In one of our trips, a two-year-old child ate a raw leg from a large boletus (mushrooms were laid on polyethylene before being peeled). It turns out he took her for a banana. However, he was not even embarrassed that the “banana” has a strange taste. Fortunately, nothing happened.
Water hikes. This is probably the most popular type of hiking trips in which they take their children with them, since in such trips adults experience less physical activity and can afford to take more things and products with them (the main thing is to get it to the river).
In our deep conviction, while the children are passive participants in the campaign, wherever there is at least a small probability of overkill, children should be held along the shore.
Even if you taught your child how to stay in the water, it must be remembered that in the event of an accident, he may simply not have enough physical strength to cope with the course. If you think that you don’t have to put on a life jacket (or better still, to set an example), the children should always be in the vest, including (this is important!) And on the obstacle views and outfits when you are busy technical problems, and children are sometimes left unattended. The volume (in liters) of the vest must be at least 20-25% of the person’s weight (in kilograms). Often, children’s life jackets, which are sold in stores, must be modified independently so that they can fully perform their functions. First of all, it is necessary to check whether the life vest has an inguinal loop (the tape connecting the front and back parts of the life vest). If not, then it must be sewn. In the event of a vessel overturn, a life-jacket without an inguinal loop may be separate from the child (God forbid, but this is possible). Do not use PVC vests as a life jacket for relaxing on the water – do not be lazy and buy a child a life jacket for hiking in a tourist store, or make it yourself. In the latter case, the inflatable containers of the life jacket must be protected with a fabric cover and sewed on the inguinal sling. It is very desirable that the floating clothes were also bright colors. On the rivers that are listed in the list of water routes recommended for hiking with children, emergency situations are unlikely, but still possible, and it is better that they end safely. Adrenaline is best obtained in another place and in another company.
Cycling trips. In this type of hiking, a cycling helmet is a must. Traffic along more or less busy roads should occur only along the side of the right side of the road (if the traffic is right-hand)! Since roadsides are difficult to drive (sandy, etc.), and the temptation to move along the edge of the asphalt is great, for children’s bike trips we choose routes with a minimum of roads. This, of course, will greatly affect the mileage of the children’s campaign (downward). To move along highways, it is necessary to establish the sequence in the chain, and explain to the children that it is necessary to follow the established order, and overtaking is unacceptable. The sequence and interval is chosen in such a way as to control all independently moving children. Whether to keep this rule valid on dirt, forest roads is at the discretion of adults. The bicycle sprocket must be protected, as there is a high probability of injuring your leg by dragging your bike over a log or other obstacle. This is especially true for “adult” bicycles, because they are most often sold without protection. Children who ride their own bikes need to be reminded of the dangers posed by the use of the front brake from time to time. Use of bicycle gloves will save palms from corns and a cold headwind. The number of accessories (calls, headlights, cycle computers, etc.) on the handlebars of a children’s bicycle should be limited so that the child is less distracted by them while driving. If a child travels in a bicycle seat, we recommend that you wear it much warmer than usual – with heavy movement, the bicycle seat is heavily blown by the wind, and the child can easily become cold. For these reasons, even on a summer bike trip, we recommend taking a hat for the child, which can be worn under the helmet, as well as gloves. A special raincoat from incident rain, which can be thrown over a child in a bicycle seat, will also be useful.