3 Hidden Benefits Of Trekking With Your Family

Of late, I’ve noticed that many families have taken to trekking. In fact, just yesterday three different families spoke to me and planned out their treks. All three families had children between the ages of 8 and 12.

Frankly, I’m thrilled to see this new trend in trekking. How I wish my family had trekked together when I was a child!

I’m saying this because we find that families that trek together, live a much higher quality of life. Apart from the bonding they share, confidence they gain, and the sense of achievement they feel, there are a few hidden benefits that go unnoticed.

Let me share our observations with you. I wonder if you’d agree or have more points to add?

1. Families that trek together imbibe a lot more values than those that don’t

When you’re at home. how often do you talk about being environment-friendly? How often do you discuss minimalism? Simplicity?

What we’ve noticed on our treks is that families, very unconsciously, start to learn and follow these practices. At Indiahikes, our treks thrive on these values — Green Trails, utilising minimal resources, simplicity. And all this rubs off on every member of the family. A lot of it stays intact after they go back home.

“My sons used to demand separate rooms all the time. But after they camped in the same tent and shared all their gear, their perception changed. They are a lot more receptive to the idea of sharing and adjusting to what they have,” says Ronita Gogoi, a mother of two and a teacher at Daffodils English School.

While these values reflect in simple daily life, they also have an impact on their way of life. I’ve personally seen a friend, who went to Deoriatal with his family, come back and build a mechanism to reuse water from his kitchen to water his plants. Somewhere deep inside, I know Green Trails touched him. And it will only flow down to his family.

2. Families that trek learn to work together

In most families, we rarely have collective goals. Parents have their office and household work to think about; children have their academics to think about. Rarely does something bring them all together.

A trek does this beautifully. There’s just one simple focus — to complete the trek successfully. And everyone pushes everyone else.

When families trek together, they have just one goal — to complete their trek successfully. This brings them together in many ways. Picture by Ashvin Ambaliya

Take this 49-year-old mother for instance. She was extremely hesitant to even sign up for a trek. But one trek to Bhrigu Lake with her daughter upped her confidence levels.

“I was a bit nervous because my mom was trekking for the first time. I am truly inspired by her and she motivates me. I learnt to never be afraid of trying anything new. My mom is an inspiration!” writes Chitraangi Sharma, her daughter.

We find that this sense of pushing each other to do better remains even after they return from the trek. And each family member starts doing better in his/her own goals. When someone’s got your back, you’re always likely to do better!

3. Families that trek are fitter families

I think this is the biggest benefit of them all. If you’ve got health on your side, you’ve got everything on your side.

So when we see families going jogging before their treks, spending more time outdoors, avoiding junk food, drinking plenty of water, eating nutritious food, we feel delighted that they come back feeling detoxed!

Almost all of them want to continue that way of life and get visibly fitter and healthier.

Most families that trek together work towards staying fitter and healthier.

The bonus?

And added to all this, there’s that scrapbook of memories you’ll always cherish!

“The times when Daddy and I shared a lunch box so that we wouldn’t have to wash two lunch boxes.The times when we would sit and ponder in the middle of the night whether or not to use the washroom…” recollects Maanya Bhardwaj, who was 12 when she trekked with her dad to Kuari Pass.

What we believe

Many a time, a family of four becomes four different people living under the same roof. But you stop being four different people after a trek. You begin to function as one.

And planning an adventure together and executing it is better than any vacation you’ll have! Because on a trek, every family member’s contribution counts. 🙂

So with summer around the corner we have a few treks for you that are apt for your family.

Try and plan these around April and May. Make sure you avail a 50% scholarship if your child is between 8 and 12 years of age.

+ Dayara Bugyal
+ Kedarkantha
+ Brahmatal
+ Deoriatal-Chandrashila
+ Kuari Pass
+ Har Ki Dun

PS: Avoid weekend treks like Nag Tibba and Prashar Lake with your family. The travel plus trek in just two days make them very strenuous for children.

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Swathi Chatrapathy is a journalist from Bangalore. She heads the content team at Indiahikes and runs a video show called Trek With Swathi. Writing, reading and trekking are up there on her list of favourite things!

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