I've never understood why people think kids can't manage difficult hikes.
Seriously the amount of times people have commented about how well our kid has done to do a particular hike like it's some super human effort, or made comments about certain hikes that we've done saying they're not suitable for kids.
What is it that makes kids unable to hike? Honestly I reckon they're more suited to it than adults. They're nimble, full of energy (a lot more than adults!!) they love to explore, and they love a challenge. Hiking is the perfect activity for kids!!
And what is it that makes a hike unsuitable for a child? We've completed a number of grade 5 hikes with our kid, and he's just turned 5. Sure some of them had elements of danger in that there were steep sections, rocky bits, bits you have to climb or bits you have to swim. But they're the bits he loves the most! So we keep him close to us, we're aware of both his and our limitations, and we take our time.
And this kid loves hiking. He loves climbing over rocks, learning about his environment and spotting various wildlife. It's fantastic for his confidence, his gross motor skills, and his ever inquisitive mind. And sure sometimes it's hard. And sometimes there is whining (not just from the kid!) And sometimes we need the lure of a Zooper Dooper to get us through.
But in the last week in Karijini we hiked everyday. And Ryan came up with a new phrase all on his own. Now when he reaches a hard part he says "I got this!" and off he goes. Here's hoping that attitude carries him into adulthood, if so I reckon he's gunna do alright.