Monday, 20 June 2011

Bushwalking tales

The Minx and I out and about (Easter 2010)
The Geege and I were avid bushwalkers before we had our kids. Day hikes, overnight hikes, multi-day hikes, you name it, we were up for it. We spent as much time in the bush as we could. We found our connection there. Our hearts beat as one in the bush.

Since we have had the children, our adventures on the long, dirt trails have been few and far between. We still managed some day hikes when Nugget was little (the Geege wore him in a baby carrier backpack) and when Doo Dah came along too (we had our matching kiddie backpacks then). But when two became four, things got tricky. Really tricky.

Nugget was still too young to walk far on his own (3;8) and Doo Dah was definitely not taking to the trails with any level of enthusiasm (he was all of two). We managed a couple of very short walks; the boardwalk types that we used to scoff at. Each baby in a Baby Bjorn and Doo Dah catching a piggy back ride with the Geege. We were desperate!

The good thing about our persistence with getting out with the kids is that they each love the bush. They come alive, exploring every nook and cranny, in search of adventure. They ogle and admire the plant and animal varieties. You never have to ask them twice if they want to go for a bushwalk!

Yesterday, the Geege was busily working at the store but the sun was shining. The lure of the gumtrees was strong for me. I spent my early morning run time taking a stroll through the local scrub. It was a tease more than a fix.

I haven't lead the kids on a bush walk without my other half before. I have always worried that someone would refuse to walk and I would be stuck somewhere with too many tired kids.

But I took a chance and after the twins had their day sleep, I packed them into our off-road pram and hit the road with all the kids.

We ventured through the back streets and onto a local fire trail. As soon as we arrived, the twins got out and walked, the boys ran and laughed and giggled and sprinkled the hour with 'look at that Mummy' and 'check this out (enter name of sibling)', racing off the track and into every puddle they could find. Princess Dirt was slightly less interested but muddled along, holding her Mummy's hand. It was exhilerating!

It may not be the same as the adventures that the Geege and I had before we became parents, but it so wonderful to watch other people fall in love with the bush. I think it is one of the best gifts we have given our children.

Have you tackled a family bushwalk? What tips do you have for young players?

21 comments:

Diminishing Lucy said...

Your persistence with getting out with the kids is evidfently worth it.

Reading this post about your connection with the bush is like reading about me and lovely husband and our three.

We hiked with Olivia in a backback and Charlie in the baby bjorn when Charlie was just 3 weeks old - up Black Hill. And then with Lexie - she was been carted all over the Adelaide Hills in the baby bjorn!

Practice is the key. I reckon.

Even at my heaviest, we still walked as a family.

And now, it is second nature.

And I am so relieved.

Well done to you for doing it with all four!

xx

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Like you, pre-kids we used to loads of bushwalking but it kind of fizzled up a bit since then. We've done short ones which always feel good though.
Clean air, breathe in, breathe out...

Suzi said...

I like bushwalking but mostly did it as a teenager. Now that we live on 100acres of bush I am ashamed to say I have only walked through and around it properly once. Something I want to get back into, good on you for giving your kids the opportunity to get back to nature :)

ANB said...

We haven't tried it, but look at you go with the Minx in that carrier! What a great photo!

Jodie Ansted said...

Oh our kids LOVE a good bushwalk. Hubby often takes them, and sometimes we do it together as a family. There is so many interesting things to see.

Good for you!

DancingInTheRain said...

Goofy requested a bushwalk the other day so we did the fire trail near school - so much fun and great time as she walked and chatted. You have reminded me to get out more often.

Alice Becomes said...

Impressive! I have done the bush walk with the two boys. But I always take the double pram, just in case I have to strap them both in and make a quick getaway. They love it and so far, fingers crossed, there haven't been any tantrums. When MM is about we love to go to the nearby river and walk about there, so many puddles this time of year it makes for a messy but fun affair! Gill xo

therhythmmethod said...

Well done for embracing those 'easy walks'. The big walks will still be there, and by the time your kids are teens, they'll probably be racing you up the hill!
I find if I make the effort to take everyone on a walk (3 kids plus dog) it's always worth it. I do try to plan a route that will allow me to turn back without too much trouble if it all goes pear shaped.

Caz (The Truth About Mummy) said...

Oh yes the bush is so lovely!! We have the grampians within an hours drive - which is fabulous. But we do find it hard with the girls. You really can't go far. Some day they will grow!

Mama of 2 boys said...

How lovely! I am thinking you have some fun filled years ahead to bushwalk with your tribe. They will LOVE it. We used to bushwalk alot when I was a kid. I still remember those days fondly and wish I could go back to it... BUT no doubt we will with our boys one day. We're like you guys, we take on smallish bush walks these days, but it quenches the thirst for it :o) xo

Maxabella said...

I'm impressed that you got out there, Coo. Just being outside is a good thing for everyone, whatever the weather. x

Miss Pink said...

I wish!
I love the bush, it's just...it's warm and inviting and the noises are beautiful, the smells *sigh*
Mr Black does not feel the same sadly. His idea of the "bush" and mine are very different (his involves dirt bike trails, the smell of petrol fumes and roar of a bike engine, blergh).
I do plan to get the kids out in the bush though. I've always set the rule that i won't go camping with kids in nappies, so this summer might have to be our first camping trip!

Tricia said...

Yep, us too. We used to walk loads before Little eco came along. We did a few day walks when she was little, but now that she's bigger we end up piggy backing her most of the time, which gets a little tiring.

So now we simply enjoy short wanders. Sometimes it takes us an hour to walk 500m. But thats OK cause it's simply lovely getting out in the bush.

Your walk with the four kids sounds absolutely magical. Yesterday was a beautiful day wasn't it. We visted the beach and played in the sand for a few hours.

(oh, and I just skipped to your 'connection post'. I did exactly the same with my wedding ring. An engagement ring isn't really my thing so we simply added a little diamond to my wedding band.)

Petra said...

I went bushwalking with Emma at Crosslands yesterday, she didn't want to turn around, she enjoyed it so much ... but once we got off the track again she wanted to be carried (her legs are sore!) I am hoping another year or so and all the little legs will be strong enough to maybe manage at least a 5km bush walk???

lesley said...

It's been 20 odd years since I was in Oz, but I can smell the gum trees again after reading the post.
I love being out in the woods, but being mostly green and very damp, it's a different experience but English hedgerows at 6am after a night of rain is a smell that should be bottled and given out free on the NHS:)

1000 Homes of Happiness said...

Love the photograph!

We have tackled smaller bushwalks, though we have a real straggler in Bloss and Spunk usually ends up piggybacking her part of the way home. When we head out in our caravan near the bush we always ensure we take a wander.

Well done on tackling it with your four. Great post...x

Megan Blandford said...

Love it!

We're the same, as you know. But we haven't done as much as we'd like since A was born - although we've done some day hikes with her in the carrier we thought we'd do more overnighters while she was little. Ah well!

Now that she's able to walk decent distances we take her quite often through the forest near our place and let her explore - it's beautiful seeing the amazement on her face as she sees things that we take for granted.

Tat said...

What a fantastic thing to do on the weekend! We haven't been on a bush walk for a while. All walks I can remember included a lot of carrying, but I think it will be different now, my kids both like to walk, run and play and can last a lot longer.

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

We used to hike so much more before the kids came along. We hardly do it at all now, but everytime we do we all love it and think 'we must do this more often! Now that Mr FGB is home more on weekends and the kids can walk on their own it might just happen. You've inspired me! So important to get ourkids outdoors and exploring!

Julia said...

That's so lovely to share your love for the bush with your children, and more, that they share your love!!

My huband and I talk all the time about wanting to foster culture of being active. So, from the time they were tiny, we've strapped them into our slings, and away we went. I can't imagine doing that with four children, but I think it's awesome that you do!

So cool that they get excited to explore and discover!

Can I just say that I admire your bravery in letting your children run around in the bush. Of the top 10 most dangerous snakes in the world, 7 of them live in Australia (I'm sure you knew that) Can you tell I'm terrified of snakes?!

Jen said...

Bushwalking was one of my top things to do in years gone past but I haven't even stepped near a bush track in years but I do love a good lookout!
I hope that in the future our little family will have lots of opportunities to get out into the local area and explore some more, sometimes I think you just have to give it a go and hey what is the worst that can happen, you have to turn around and go home!

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