IF YOU NEED RECREATION TOGETHER WITH CHILDREN – GO TO THE CARPATHIANS

All parents want to provide an unforgettable vacation for their children, healthy and adventurous leisure activities, and at the same time, to have a good time themselves. In order for the child to open new horizons and find a new hobby, any kind of common, active family recreation is appropriate, but the most enjoyable one is a tour to the mountains. Englishmen say that a mountain view is worth a million dollars, and they are probably right – there is nothing other filling the silence and refilling with energy as the morning view of the majestic mountain peaks, smelling with calmness. If you take the mountains, they will become good friends for you.

In the mountains with a child of any age

The most important and invariable rule: a visit to the mountains involves hiking on the mountain trails, not sitting in a hotel with a tablet. Besides that, the expedition plan should fit the child’s age. If you are on vacation with the baby, you need to have access to warm water and the ability to cook food, older children will appreciate the sandbox more than the mountain scenery. A teenager, in turn, is unlikely to go for a walk with mom and dad, and will look for how to spend time with extreme.

Why you should take your children to the mountains

For kids such a trip is a diametrical change of climate that helps to increase disease resistance, first of all, resistance to the diseases of respiratory tract. Mountain areas are less polluted than the city. This means cleaner and actually more fresh air, often better water from local springs, and if there is a private kitchen in the estate where you’re staying, you’ll also have products of such quality which you can’t find in the city. For a kid the mountains are a huge world full of unusual creatures, which stimulates the imagination. Contact with such a nature is always an unforgettable experience. Children older than twelve years go to the mountains for adventures. Narrow, high trails, heavy showers on the route, evening returns and the friendship that was born during the journey are deeply engraved in the memory and transformed into unforgettable memories. You can show this world to the children and accompany them in its discovering.

Which mountains to choose

Every fan of the mountains has favorite places of his own. If someone doesn’t have «his own» mountains, it’s time to choose. There is a lot in the Ukrainian Carpathians to admire. During trips with kids it is better to choose broad and gently sloping valleys, and flat, soft ridges. Not very high mountains with easy hiking trails will be suitable for the first outing. These short trails are in the area of Yaremche, Tatariv, Mykulychyn. Let the child get used to small marches, pressure drops, and rarefied air. As he or she grows older the routes can be made more difficult.

Choosing the destination

While traveling with kids, the way of understanding the world is more important than the object being discovered. So while traveling with children your place of residence is more important than a specific region. You should choose it in advance before departure. How to choose a good boarding house?

You need to look for a boarding house or estate, where the experience of accommodating families with children is present. Some provide a really high standard and offer a huge number of accessories that alleviate the parents’ life, such as chairs and beds, special rooms and space for games, children’s TV channels, a corner with books, playgrounds for kids. In such a place the children will be in the company of their peers and will have the opportunity to make new acquaintances.

It is well if the room is heated throughout the year because summer nights in the mountains can be quite cold – the temperature can fall even below zero.

Holidays are a good pretext to try new dishes, maybe even those which you never liked. It will be a good idea before coming to the mountains to ask the owners what kind of menu they offer. Can you expect for eggs, cheese, or fresh bread? If someone in the family is allergic, a healthy, preferably home cuisine that will accommodate all your needs should be your priority.

Location of the estate is a very important factor. It should be located in such a place so that it would be easy to go for a walk without breaking through the urban buildings. The closeness of forest glades and rivers will help to lighten walking and put it in the adventure direction, like the journey of Winnie the Pooh or Indian campaigns.

In order the expedition or trip to be an interesting journey, you must, first of all, apply several principles of excursion planning. Secondly, you should keep safety principles on the route – they are very simple and at the same time very important.

Route selection

Whichever may you turn, you’ll have to plan the track, taking into account the capabilities of the child. With the baby on the back it is better to travel through the woods, in the shade of trees than in the heated meadow, and the preschooler is unlikely to accompany you on the highest peaks. Before leaving with the baby, even in low mountain, you have to know your route as much as possible. Important tourist information is:

– How long will the expedition last;

– What territory will the journey cover;

– How does the road look like and will a child or an adult who carries the baby, overpass it, e.g. if there are impassable rivers on the way;

– Can you replenish water reserves on the way;

– Can you take food with yourself.

You should have a charged mobile phone in the mountains, and save in it the numbers of the nearest rescue rangers group and the owner of the cottage in which you are staying.

Shoes

You shouldn’t go to the mountains without proper shoes. Mountain trails may be rocky. The shoes for travel should be tough but light. Shoes need to breathe so that the foot won’t be overheated, and at the same time they must protect the foot. It would be better to choose models with laces, and buy seamless socks for the child.

Clothing

Heavy downpour during the expedition can be a wonderful adventure only if you are ready for it. The only constant in the mountains is changeable weather, and that the higher you climb the mountain, the greater will be the probability of a sudden deterioration of weather conditions. Before leaving you should check the forecast, but regardless of this, it is necessary to bring a backpack with spare clothes and a raincoat. Dress up like a cabbage: a few warm layers are better than one, and if the child is sweating, you can always remove some of them. After overheating or freezing the kid starts to act up. Clothing should be made of natural materials. Children almost always miraculously find a tiny brook or a puddle, in which it is usually easy to get your feet wet, so it would be useful to bring an extra pair of socks.

A perfect kit for a walk:

– spacious and long pants;

– a T-shirt with short sleeves;

– a cotton shirt;

– a sweatshirt or sweater;

– waterproof jacket that protects from the wind;

– head covering (a cap with a peak or a hat, and a cotton hat during spring and autumn).

A baby in a baby-carrier bag

The baby carried in the ergo-backpack needs to be dressed warmer than adults. You can’t be guided by your own feelings, as the journey requires physical effort from the adult, but the child is sitting still. You need to protect him or her from the wind, his/her arms and legs should not freeze, and on a hot day you need to take a Panama hat with yourself.

Mountain weather

The wind in the mountains is very strong. If you have to travel during strong wind, you need to hold the child’s hand and walk away from the side of the road: due to having less weight, it will be harder for the child to resist wind. Very thick fog in the mountains muffles the sounds. Therefore, you should keep eye contact with children. The sun is hotter in the mountains than at the bottom. In summer the shoulders, forearms and calves are more likely to suffer from burns. Be sure to bring a cap with a peak or a hat, a T-shirt with short sleeves (not straps!) and cream. During a rain the stones and grass become very slippery. The rain which just was a narrow creek can quickly turn into a raging torrent. Do not allow your child to cross the stream by themselves.

Food supplies

The mountain air makes one’s mouth water, so pack sandwiches, fruit and biscuits in your backpack. In the mountains, a traditional delicacy is chocolate. It does not take much space, it is light and restores energy. The supply of drinks is absolutely necessary. Best of all, as practice shows, is to take plain water. In any case you mustn’t draw water for drinking even from the cleanest rivers. It can always turn out that there were animals going or someone spilled something upstream. In spring and autumn, you should take hot tea in a thermos.

Halt

Children from the town start moving in a zigzag pattern in open space to see more interesting things from a close distance. This leads to them moving slower in a straight line, but covering a greater distance than adults. There’s nothing you can do about it, so it is better to adapt and make halts according to the needs.

Patience and tact

Running of the child across the road and an irresistible need of new items for inspection cause the attention of the adult in the mountains to be doubled. Dynamic child can stumble, slip, fall into water, go off the trail, but it shouldn’t put off the desire to continue the journey. If children are moving so actively in the mountains, it means they like to be there. Adults should just take care of their security.

Common sense and careful preparation are important. If we consider the basic principles of safety, children will have unforgettable adventures. It does not matter what place and what roads you choose; it is important that you pass them together.