3 ways to get your kids to hike -- and love it

3 ways to get your kids to hike — and love it

June 17th, 2013

By Aimee Heckel 

Author Jeff Alt knows all about hiking with kids. He brought his son to the trails at only 8 weeks old. And Alt, his wife, their young daughter and their extended family embarked on a 50-mile trail across Ireland.

51SSP-sjWiL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Alt wrote the book, “Get Your Kids Hiking,” released last month. The book is available on Amazon on sale right now for $10.36.

The key, according to Alt: Make it fun.

Here are three ways to make hiking an activity that your kids look forward to, courtesy of Alt

1. Start them young.

unnamedPick up a hiking baby carrier, like the Kelty Junction 2.0 Child Carrier Hiking Backpack, $179.95, at Rei.com. This pack, with a five-point harness, even has space for a layer of clothes, lunch and other hiking essentials. It can be converted into a daypack, if your kiddo wants to walk (or crawl), or if you want to take a solo trip.

For a slightly different style, check out the Deuter Kid Comfort carrier, $199, at Backcountry.com. Fold out the aluminum stand to stand the backpack on a level surface. This pack can even be used with toddlers.

2. Let your kids lead. Let them set the pace and direction, and indulge them when they stop to explore.

3. Stock up on the latest technology, comfort and style of hiking gear and clothes. This includes sturdy, water-resistant shoes for the youngsters. Older kids should have lightweight, solid trail boots or shoes. Look for a Vibram sole, recommends Alt.

MRL-W95406y-092711A pair of Jungle Moc Nubuck slipons for infants, $45 from Merrell, will provide your munchkin with support and flexibility. Hook older kids up with a pair of Chameleon Spin waterproof hiking boots, $65 from Merrell, which even come in a variety of colors, such as pink and purple. These boots promise adult performance in a smaller package.

Traveling to the trails? Check out these great travel deals and discounts

Here are some more great deals on travel attractions.

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Aimee's passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning news articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University. When she's not writing stories for a Colorado newspaper, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees and disadvantaged people in Africa. She's also a mom, a wife and a furious bargain-hunter. Reach out to her at AimeeHeckel.com, find her travel board on Pinterest, follow her on Twitter, or ping her on Google+.

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