Our children grow bigger and bigger. They become more and more independent every day. They help us choose the right way and their opinion is very important when planning a trip (it’s so good that they like travelling!). They can walk, hike or ride a bike quite a long. But still – they are small and need our help (there’s a huge gap between being an infant and being an adult). They can make a long distance one day – and be able to walk 1 km only on the other day. They don’t have to be tough and beat their ‘records’ every day – it’s much more important that they’re happy with the journey. On the other hand – we don’t want to restrict our trips to the very short distances; such views are so tempting
It is nice to meet ‘someone’ on your path too
and you have to go there on your feet; climb high and hike a long distance.
We had a choice – to wait till our daughters grow old enough (around 10 years?) or carry them, even if it’s sometimes hard(weight). We didn’t want to wait – our daughters love such views too… So on every trip there’s a wrap or a carrier (now mostly a wrap, a younger daughter prefers it) with us to be used when:
- Little legs get tired and a longer break in walk doesn’t help (you really cannot predict it – sometimes they get too tired after 1 km, sometimes – after 3… ).
- The little wanderer wants to take a nap. Now.
Reasons 1&2 are most common – a rest close to the parent helps the child regenerate and after it – the little wanderer can walk/ride on her own. And yes, bigger children need lots of cuddles too! If they receive them – it makes them more independent, not less.
- The current stage of the walk is more difficult than the other stages and it is safer to carry the child (sometimes unpredicted difficulties occur even on the best planned walk!)
- The child gets sick and you’ve got to carry her.Obvoiusly, we don’t plan journeys/hikes with sick children – we stay with them at home. But it sometimes just happens – eg. when you’re on a backpack journey and travel from one shelter to another one and your child gets sick in the middle – you’ve got to carry her back to the civilisation (of course I’m not talking about serious ilness when you’ve got to call an emergency).
This is why, when planning a next journey season, we count with carrying our younger daughter if only she needs it – even if she’s a ‘big kid’ now.
Is it worth it? For us – yes, it’s a great joy of travelling and getting everywhere together – and hands free hugs! See examples below 🙂