As an adult, I always feel the need to go on a camping or trekking trip every once in a while to shed the stress and have a good workout. Taking part in outdoor activities boosts confidence, makes our body stronger and our mind capable of planning and tackling unknown situations. And so, like other parents, I too try to make sure that my kids love the great outdoors.

But you can’t just get up one day and tell your kid they're going on a mountain climbing trip. You have to start early and patiently. Here are some pointers that will help you in getting your kid ready for big hiking trips and outdoor adventuring.

1. Do Away With the Pushchair

You've got to get your child out of that pushchair as soon as they're able to walk - let them use their newfound skill! Carry child-carrier backpacks to give your kids a break from walking when they are tired. This way you are making sure that your kids’ body is developing properly, and you are getting some exercise at the same time too.

2. Take Them Out Early

Don’t wait for a later age to get your kid out on the trail of adventure; start early. Take your kids on a short hiking and camping trip to a beautiful place, and let them have the taste of their natural surroundings. Plan such trips at regular intervals, say two times a year or more. This way you are starting an everlasting relationship between your child and nature.

3. Start Slow

You may be the best mountaineer you know, but your kid is not. Start slow, and make sure that you are not forcing your kids. Start from a small hike, and increase the length and difficulty with the number of hikes under your kids’ belt. This way their body gets sufficient time to pace up with the difficulties ahead, and they will also start looking forward to the next trip.

4. Let them Have Fun

Your kids, unlike you, are not very much interested in the views or exercise. They are there with you to have fun and expect that you’ll let them have it. Make sure they understand when to hike and when to play. Give them cookies or their favorite snack after a few checkpoints. Take short breaks to play with them. Make sure they are enjoying themselves.

5. Make Sure They Understand You

While making a plan for your next trip, make sure that your kids understand their role and responsibilities. Take their advice on what to pack or not, and explain to them that they need to tell you immediately if they want anything, anytime. Make them feel that they have some control over the decisions you make, to boost their confidence in you and themselves.

6. Let them Initiate

Don’t ask your kid to carry their backpacks or any stuff until they feel like doing it themselves. Once they ask you that they want to carry their own backpack, start them off with something light, like a water bottle. Once they understand that they too need to do things like the adult hikers, they are going to enjoy carrying the backpack that a normal kid usually whines about. This will increase their sense of responsibility.

Be a role model for your kids. Keep yourself fit and make hikes, skiing, etc. a part of your lifestyle that your kid can follow.