A mountain hike is completely different from a hike through the flat polder in the Netherlands. When you’re on a mountain tour, safety comes first. Children are generally less able to assess risky situations and have less strength and stamina than an adult. That is why it is important that you already take this into account when preparing and planning a mountain hike. Also, be alert to the safety of your children and yourself during the walk. We would like to give you a number of tips for this.
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Stay within your limits
Go on trips and mountain walks with children that you can handle yourself. This way you can pay more attention to the children during the walk and help them if necessary.
Discuss the safety rules before departure
Before you leave, tell your children about the safety rules you use during the walk and why this is so important. Agree with them that they really stick to it during the walk. Walking ahead in harmless and well-organized terrain is fine, but then arrange, for example, that they always wait at the next marked stone.
This is how you help your (young) child
Children naturally walk well in uneven terrain and are great at scrambling. If you walk behind your child when going uphill, you help them take big steps. Downhill, take your child by the hand to catch it if it slips. With climbing work you support your child where it is needed.
Stay on the path
Especially with children, it is wise to stay on the marked routes and not to take (unmarked) scrapers. Indicate your starting point on your mobile or GPS and let your GPS follow the route you are walking. If you get lost, stick together and go back together to where the last route marker was marked. Continuing in the hope that you will pick up the path somewhere is too risky.
Choose good terrain
When planning your walk, adjust the intensity of the walk to the child who is the least able to come along. There is nothing wrong with a little challenge, but make sure that it remains fun for everyone. You do more difficult passages one by one and you help each other. It is better to avoid terrain with (gravel) risks and other risky passages. Check the map in advance to see if there is an alternative route.
Arrange your availability
Make sure you go out with a charged mobile with your rescue service number pre-programmed. It may be that you have no coverage on the way to the mountains. Then you give the emergency signal with the help of a whistle or mirror. Learn in advance how to give the emergency signal. To ensure that you always have the right items with you, such as a first aid kit and a rescue blanket, you can keep them on the packing list.
Take the weather into account
The weather in the mountains can be very unpredictable. If you left with a bright sun in the morning, during the day you can just be surprised by thunderstorms and rain. Children feel hot and cold more quickly than adults. Therefore, take various clothing with you for the road, such as a rain jacket and pants, a nice warm fleece sweater, and possibly a hat and mittens. Before you set off, be well informed about the current weather forecasts. This can be done via the internet, at the tourist office or at the huttenwaard. When in doubt, don’t take any chances. If you want to know about the weather in the mountains, you can at Mountaineering Travel attend a special workshop on this topic.