We have launched Trekking Summer Camps for children!
We have launched Trekking Summer Camps for children!
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How Trekking in Families Can Impact Your Children

Over the past 13 years of organising treks, we have seen more and more families taking to trekking. As we see them trekking together we notice a perceptible change in how families interact. The family bond gets strengthened, children get connected to nature and are impacted very deeply from the entire experience - physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.

“Most modern families are struggling with new age problems. Children are not getting an opportunity to experience meaningful, fun, and undisturbed time with their parents. They are quite disconnected from nature and do not see themselves as a part of it. Most live a very sheltered life, protected from natural consequences of their actions and choices and are not accustomed to hardship. Resilience to deal with the ups and downs of life is lacking and every minor issue gets blown out of proportion. Opportunities to become more independent and gain confidence are sorely lacking,” says Izzat Yaganagi, the head of our Experiential Learning Programme, who has conceptualised and designed our family treks.

Post pandemic, children have become so used to the virtual world that they resist going outdoors. Recently we have noticed more and more children fearful of anything natural - rain, wind, insects, darkness, even stars! 

This is where trekking comes in. When it is done as a family there are tremendous benefits. The benefits are further enhanced by the special design of our Family Treks and the expert facilitation skills of our trek leaders. 

“We have found that trekking provides immense opportunities for parents and children to understand each other better. Children have opportunities  practise empathy, express gratitude, become more confident and get accustomed to hardship — all this with a sense of joy!” adds Izzat.

How Trekking in Families Can Impact Your Children

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Over the past 13 years of organising treks, we have seen more and more families taking to trekking. As we see them trekking together we notice a perceptible change in how families interact. The family bond gets strengthened, children get connected to nature and are impacted very deeply from the entire experience - physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.

“Most modern families are struggling with new age problems. Children are not getting an opportunity to experience meaningful, fun, and undisturbed time with their parents. They are quite disconnected from nature and do not see themselves as a part of it. Most live a very sheltered life, protected from natural consequences of their actions and choices and are not accustomed to hardship. Resilience to deal with the ups and downs of life is lacking and every minor issue gets blown out of proportion. Opportunities to become more independent and gain confidence are sorely lacking,” says Izzat Yaganagi, the head of our Experiential Learning Programme, who has conceptualised and designed our family treks.

Post pandemic, children have become so used to the virtual world that they resist going outdoors. Recently we have noticed more and more children fearful of anything natural - rain, wind, insects, darkness, even stars! 

This is where trekking comes in. When it is done as a family there are tremendous benefits. The benefits are further enhanced by the special design of our Family Treks and the expert facilitation skills of our trek leaders. 

“We have found that trekking provides immense opportunities for parents and children to understand each other better. Children have opportunities  practise empathy, express gratitude, become more confident and get accustomed to hardship — all this with a sense of joy!” adds Izzat.

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How An Indiahikes Family Trek Is Different From A Regular Trek

Our vision at Indiahikes has always been this – ‘Everyone must trek because trekking transforms lives.’ 

“When we say ‘Everyone must trek,’ it includes the youngest members of our families too. The best way to introduce them to the mountains is with their parents. The thought was that a family trek in the mountains would help parents and children bond more strongly. We also felt this was the best way to get connected more deeply with nature, where they have the opportunity to learn so many life lessons. 

it’s not just the outdoors. It is also the facilitation of the experience that makes a big difference:

1. In group composition: Parents (both or individual) with children below the age of 18 join the family trek group. 

2. In objectives and outcomes: The main objectives are strengthening the family bond, connection with nature, bringing out latent qualities of creativity, empathy, confidence and resilience in the children.

3. In program design: All have roles and responsibilities. There are specially designed activities for the family as well as for the parents and the children followed by sharing and reflections. 

4. Choice of trails and safety: The treks selected are beginner-level treks with easy exits and a reasonably good network to ensure safety

How An Indiahikes Family Trek Is Different From A Regular Trek

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Our vision at Indiahikes has always been this – ‘Everyone must trek because trekking transforms lives.’ 

“When we say ‘Everyone must trek,’ it includes the youngest members of our families too. The best way to introduce them to the mountains is with their parents. The thought was that a family trek in the mountains would help parents and children bond more strongly. We also felt this was the best way to get connected more deeply with nature, where they have the opportunity to learn so many life lessons. 

it’s not just the outdoors. It is also the facilitation of the experience that makes a big difference:

1. In group composition: Parents (both or individual) with children below the age of 18 join the family trek group. 

2. In objectives and outcomes: The main objectives are strengthening the family bond, connection with nature, bringing out latent qualities of creativity, empathy, confidence and resilience in the children.

3. In program design: All have roles and responsibilities. There are specially designed activities for the family as well as for the parents and the children followed by sharing and reflections. 

4. Choice of trails and safety: The treks selected are beginner-level treks with easy exits and a reasonably good network to ensure safety

How Do We Do It

How Indiahikes Family Treks are Different from Regular Treks

Families become a lot more empathetic towards each other

Families become a lot more empathetic towards each other

Many times, a family of four becomes four different people living under the same roof. But going on a trek helps them function as one unit. They give each other undivided attention — no internet, no online games, no office calls.

Right from Day 1, we see that they show a lot more care and empathy towards each other. This has a tremendous impact later. We have noticed that this continues for a long time even after they end their trek. When we talk to these families after many months, we are surprised (and sometimes not so surprised) at the change in family dynamics. Many families have now made trekking together as a recurring family ritual. The best part is that both parents and children look forward to it!

A chance for children to learn from the outdoors

A chance for children to learn from the outdoors

Trekking has a tremendous effect on the Mind, Body, and Spirit. This effect is magnified tenfold when it comes to children.

During the course of the trek, and through the many activities conducted the children are able to learn  and experience several things –

  • Firstly, their capacity to observe. Away from the city, and from electronic distractions children are more immersed in the moment and in the environment.
  • This also makes them curious, and they develop an interest in nature as well. Children ask many questions about flora, fauna and life in the mountains.
  • A Himalayan trek is not easy. But working together to achieve a single goal, enhances  the students’ sense of responsibility.
  • Students’ mental, physical and spiritual endurance is built in the duration of the trek. There are always hard sections, or moments on a trek. But working together, they overcome this.

Further, the body gets accustomed to hardship as they joyfully trek.

Trekking with families is an opportunity to meet other like minded families

Families who consider trekking rather than other forms of holidaying share many common ideals. They see the immense value of being in touch with nature. They believe that the best way to deepen family bonds is by doing things together. They consider holidays as an opportunity to broaden their children’s mental horizons. 

Children get to trek, participate in several activities, and interact with other children. The friendships they form  with other children on a trek are very special. They do this in an environment free of distraction, competition and judgement. 

“I’ve noticed that these bonds go much beyond fleeting friendships. They are meaningful relationships that families maintain for years to come. Today, there is a thriving community of families that trek, which I am a part of. I can see that it is one of the most active communities where families are discussing treks around their cities, about sustainability and more,” shares Prathima Chhabria, who is an Expert Experience Coordinator for families at Indiahikes.

Trekking families are fit families

Trekking families are fit families

We love seeing this happen. When families get fit for their trek together, most often they make fitness a part of their daily lives.

Take a look at this family for instance:

“We started preparing three months before the trek. We began with a 500-meter run. After a few days of practice, Saanvi could complete 3 km in 30 minutes. We also practiced climbing stairs. Initially, we would tire easily and not finish the climb. A week later, our stamina increased. We could climb till the 17th floor!” shares Sidheswaran KP, who took his 7 year old daughter on the Dayara Bugyal trek.

You’ll see a lot more stories on how these trekking families got fit here.

How We Keep Families Safe

Outside the facilitators, their fellow members, our Trek Leaders play a pivotal role in keeping all participants safe on the trek. It is not easy to be a Trek Leader with Indiahikes. There is a long, stringent, and difficult selection process. 

After this they undergo a rigorous 8 month induction and training program before they are certified as Trek Leaders at Indiahikes. Only those Trek Leaders who are the best of our team are selected to lead the Himalayan Mountain Challenge. 

All our Trek Leaders are certified mountaineers with a Basic Mountaineering Course or Advanced Mountaineering Course. Among them, the ones who are Wilderness First Responders (NOLS-certified) are assigned to lead all participants.

Apart from the Trek Leaders we have technical guides, trek guides, program facilitators and assistants who accompany all team members of the Collaborative Leadership Program. All of them are given specialised training in handling emergency mountain situations. If a situation arises, anyone of our team members will be able to evacuate the team members to safety, even in the middle of the night. 

Ultimately, even an expert team such as ours cannot keep all participants safe unless they follow stringent safety processes. These are processes that have been developed by us for over ten years. They have been put in place after considering every scenario and evaluating every risk of a trek. 

Our risk assessment and management systems are extensive and deep, as you will discover when you sign up with us. There is a process for preparing team members, a process to monitor their health 3 times a day, a process for management of accidents, a process for managing altitude sickness, a process for evacuation. There are processes for even trekking and a separate process for difficult sections. Any potential risk is nipped in the bud.

Our extensive trek experience matters here. The trekking trails are not new to us. These trekking trails have been nurtured and developed by us for many years. We have our own base camps on these trails. 

From the time the program starts till it ends, safety of all team members is our responsibility. 

On the trek, we have a staff-to-team member ratio of 1:5. This means for every 5 team members there is an Indiahikes staff monitoring them closely.

Most of the modern safety equipment used in the Indian trekking community has been introduced by us. This has fundamentally changed how trekking is done in our country.

In all of our treks, we carry a high-altitude medical kit, an evacuation kit, a technical kit, radio equipment, and oxygen cylinders (pulse oximeters and BP monitors are standard equipment carried by our Trek Leaders, including ropes and carabiners).

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Indiahikes Family treks are designed keeping in mind the children as young as 8 years. However, it is very important for your child to prepare for the trek physically and mentally.

Get in touch with our Experiential Learning team to know how you can prepare your child for the trek. Drop an email to prathima@indiahikes.com, and Prathima will get back to you within 12 hours.

Our Family treks are of easy-moderate difficulty. We rate these treks based on the altitude gained, the distance covered, the elevation gained, and the terrain you walk on, each day. Having said that, preparing well for the trek determines how easy or difficult it gets.

On an average, you and your child will have to walk for 5-6 hours each day of the trek.

Watch this video by our Experiential Learning team member, Prathima Chhabria, to know how you can prepare your child physically:

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There is a vast difference between our family treks and our regular treks.

Firstly, family treks are for children up to 17 years, accompanied by their parents. But on our regular treks, trekkers of all age groups come on the trek.

Secondly, family treks involve activities that are specifically designed for children and parents so that they bond well with each other. You will not get to see this exclusivity on our regular treks.

Families can meet other like-minded families. This builds friendships between each other, and children mingle with other children to have an experience of a lifetime.

Watch this video to know how the family treks are conducted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E48m0SrCfI0

Families and Children Share Their Indiahikes Experience

Read What Parents Say

Jayasree Devineni

Experiential Learning - Dayara Bugyal Batch of October 2021

The trek has transported me to a different world, walking at my own pace devouring the ever-changing landscape of Dayara’s forest cover. As written by the co-founder Sandhya UC of IH, is all we have e...

Geeta Bhuse

Experiential Learning - Dayara Bugyal Batch of October 2021

Very well organized trek. Staff was accommodating, caring, well knowledgeable. We could sense elaborated planning behind this trip right from first day of base camp. Organizing every thing so neat and...

Nirupa Rangaiah

Experiential Learning - Dayara Bugyal Batch of October 2021

I enjoyed my trekking experience with Indiahikes. This being my first full-fledged trek, my emotions were mixed. Fatigue and tiredness were combined with feelings of happiness and awe, watching the sc...

Jayasree Devineni

Experiential Learning - Dayara Bugyal Batch of October 2021

The trek has transported me to a different world, walking at my own pace devouring the ever-changing landscape of Dayara’s forest cover. As written by the co-founder Sandhya UC of IH, is all we have e...

Geeta Bhuse

Experiential Learning - Dayara Bugyal Batch of October 2021

Very well organized trek. Staff was accommodating, caring, well knowledgeable. We could sense elaborated planning behind this trip right from first day of base camp. Organizing every thing so neat and...

Nirupa Rangaiah

Experiential Learning - Dayara Bugyal Batch of October 2021

I enjoyed my trekking experience with Indiahikes. This being my first full-fledged trek, my emotions were mixed. Fatigue and tiredness were combined with feelings of happiness and awe, watching the sc...

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