Friday, April 27, 2018

Trekking with the kids

This year, we decided to introduce trekking to the kids. And we took them on a short trek in the Garwhal Himalayas. It was a 2 days, 1 night trek.

They were trained enough. With short 6km walks, a little stair climbing for a few weeks before the event, carrying their bags and walking. They were sensitised to carrying their own bags. We involved them in the shopping (shoes, trek wear, ponchos, plates), got them to break in the shoes through the training and they kept up their training. But then, you never know. They might get bored or fatigued or pass on the bags to the adults or complain of pain or fatigue and so on.

We neednt have worried.

The night before the trek, they were so excited, they could barely sleep. At the point where the trek started they were like race cars revving up their engines waiting for the green signal. They set off with the advance guide and set a blistering pace. The adults were behind all the time with the trailing guide. They enjoyed every aspect of the trek - ponchos when it rained, fleece when it was cold - and took the weather in their stride.

They soaked in every vista - from the scenery to the goats on the way to the simple lunch en route to the water stops. They were unfazed - with the rain, the cold, the heat, the stones on the path...

They enjoyed the stay in the tent, the unlimited pakodas in the evening, the tea in the morning, the trek up the hill to the summit and back (they practically ran down), the stars at 2 am... When the clouds descended on the camp - and visibility fell to near zero - they were happily enjoying the feeling of being inside the cloud. They followed (and enforced) every Leave no Trace rule including washing their own plates (with ash for good measure).

It was physically tough on the adults - as we were far behind the kids and nowhere able to sprint as fast as they could. The good thing was that we did not dampen their enthusiasm by asking them to walk slow or be cautious. The guides were in charge and they took good care and ensured that the kids did not go overboard. But yes, I am happy that their first exposure to a Himalayan trek was this wondrous!

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