Hiking and camping are specialized interests. Unless a person has the most enjoyable introduction to either one of these pastimes, it’s easy to dismiss either one as difficult, too energy-intensive, or boring. If you want to get your family into hiking and camping in Alaska, it isn’t as difficult as you may think. All it takes is the right approach and the right attitude. You’ll need to make sure you pack your Alaska car rentals with the proper equipment, nutritious snacks, and appropriate activities to get teens and children into hiking. But with the right planning, any family can become hiking and camping lovers.
Don’t overwhelm your kids
The fact is that most of the time, kids and teenagers can think of things they’d rather do other than hiking. The most important thing you can do is to show them that hiking doesn’t have to be exhausting. There’s light work out, then there’s strenuous and arduous, tear-inducing marathon hikes. Pick the former.
Choose hiking paths that are reasonable, and have something interesting along the way. Gorgeous views, intriguing historical sites, and quirky landmarks are all things you should be looking out for when you choose your hiking path. Still yet, pick a hike that won’t take them over intense obstacles and terrain over a five-hour day. Choose hikes that are suited to your kids’ skill levels, but still may offer them a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you’re all filing back into your Alaska car rentals.
Two examples of fairly easy hikes are the Echo Bend in Eagle River and around the Eklutna Lake.
Set it up
While you may know that the hike is a reasonable one, that doesn’t mean your kids have to. If you push their expectations into thinking the hike is more difficult than it is, they’ll be pleasantly surprised and feel a larger sense of accomplishment if they can take on the hike without problems. Small reminders like asking about bug spray, proper hiking shoes, and asking them to stretch before the hike are all subtle ways of hinting toward a tough day.
Don’t be afraid to offer rewards
Most parents know that rewards are huge motivators for kids. Offering things like their favorite snacks while on the hike, or taking them out to their favorite restaurant for an after hike dinner can be great options. Also promising to bring them to the site they really want to see or event they want to go to can help them get excited about completing the hike successfully. Along the way, they may even realize they have fallen in love with hiking and it won’t take a bribe next time.
Avoid wilderness treks
For families with older kids, wilderness treks may not be such a bad idea. These can take as little as 3 days and go up to 9 days, and will take you across uninhabited areas of Alaska that are thriving with wildlife. These camping trips are a great way to learn about your limitations, to bond, and to grow an appreciation and respect of nature. However, they’re not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. And they certainly aren’t for kids younger than teenagers.
Camping is great fun, but when with the kids, make sure to choose a designated campsite. A site like the Denali National Park is ideal for seeing Alaska in all of its wonder, but without straying off the commonly traveled road. The Denali National Park also offers a beautiful drive in your Alaska car rentals to get a full glimpse of the mountain views.
Don’t wait to start planning your perfect hiking trip. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis today.