How Do I Turn my Foot-Dragging Child into a Real Hiker?

hiking with kids

When I was three years old, my parents took me on a camping trip in the mountains. We have lots of great memories from that trip: the yellow jackets swarming us while we tried to have pancakes for breakfast, hanging food from trees to keep them out of the reach of bears, and of course, me throwing up in the rental car from traveling around all those mountain curves on the way to the campsite. But the most legendary story of all is how I hiked seven miles on my own two feet and earned the nickname “Strong Legs.” We were a hiking family. That’s what we did on our weekends and vacations. I learned to be comfortable in and love the great outdoors. That’s still where I would rather be than anywhere else. But as for the hiking seven miles when I was three: I must have been some kind of hiking prodigy. Because none of my children, at age three, showed the slightest inclination to attempt anything like that. In fact, I have found that most three, four, and even ten or twelve-year-olds can spend an entire day running around the backyard but then acquire a melting leg disease