måndag 8 juli 2013

Hiking with teenagers

We have done some hiking trips with our children, mostly in the Swedish mountains. We started doing short day trips when the kids were 6-8 years old. When the kids grew older we hiked longer distances, like two years ago when we walked on Kungsleden ("The King's Trail") from Nikkaluokta to Vakkotavare. We have tried to make the hikes not too challenging, since a teenager in a bad mood is not the best company. Soon enough they will decide to stay home and not join us during our hikes anyway...

On our way to Kaitumjaure from Singi

Enjoying the views
 We have planned the hikes so that we can stay in cabins and buy supplies as we go along. That makes the packing a bit lighter, we don't have to carry tent and sleeping bags and not too much food. Along Kungsleden there are cabins to sleep in, and they also have supplies to buy in several of the cabins.

One thing that we have tried to do is to always make a proper dinner. Yes, freeze-dried food is practical but not that exciting. You don't really have that much to do while hiking, so you have plenty of time to spend on making dinner. For lunch we typically just have freeze-dried soup, maybe with some Swedish crisp bread, that's easy to eat even if the weather is bad. But for dinner we try to be a bit more creative.

Last time we went hiking we dried our own food. We dried lot's of vegetables like carrot, onion, zucchini, mushrooms and peppers. We also dried ground beef. Together with different spices and the additional supplies like pasta, noodles etc that you can buy along the way you can make some really nice dinners. Drying food has been fun, and I think we would like to experiment more with that.

Great dinner with dried vegetables, sweet chili sauce and noodles
This year we wanted to try something different, so we are going hiking in the Tatra Mountains. The Tatras are located between Poland and Slovakia and is part of the Carpathian Mountains. We have rented an apartement in Zakopane on the Polish side and will only go on day-trips and return back to the apartement in the evenings.

For some types of vacations it is okay to be spontanous, just get a flight ticket and see what happens. But when hiking with teenagers you want to be prepared. What are the best trails? How difficult are the trails? Any interesting landmarks? Any geocaches? Beautiful scenery? The kids don't like walking too long on gravel roads, they prefer smaller trails, so I try to avoid roads as much as possible.

So, we have been spending some time reading blogs, tourist sites and the book The High Tatras to come up with a good plan. Actually, the challenge in Tatra is how to escape from the crowds. It seems like a very popular place for Polish people to go hiking, so it can sometimes be queues up the mountain... Not really what we wanted. But we have tried to find some good trails a bit away from the most popular areas. We will also try some of the trails on the Slovakian side of the mountains.

Any of you blog readers that have been to Tatra and can share some good advice?


1 kommentar:

  1. Spännande! Jag har hört att det ska vara fint och spännande att vandra i Tatrabergen. Jag har inga tips, men läser gärna om era erfarenheter för att planera en resa ett annat år.