With limited internet access and no distractions, where else should you hold that heart-to-heart talk with your growing teen, or inspire your 10-year old to climb to greater heights? We ask our very own in-house daddy trekker, Steve Tan, how he plans his own family treks!
Why do you strongly feel that family treks are important?
The combination of the mountain wilderness and my trekking ability was how I charmed my wife! Jokes aside, trekking trips are a great way for some family bonding time, away from distractions, especially the technology kind. The journey, scenery, friendship, learning moments and challenges have made an impact on my kids. It is a natural booster for confidence and National Service teaser for my son Richard!
Which destination would you recommend for a first time family trek and why?
My favourite is the Annapurna range in Nepal. Because of our familiarity with the trek, we are able to customise the length and difficulty of the trek based on the family age range and fitness level.
The Khopra Danda (Ridge) Trek is one of the newly opened treks in Nepal that have well-paved trails that are easy to walk on. The endless view of snow-capped mountains and friendly locals you meet along the trek are reasons it'll make a great family holiday.
What are your must-haves when packing for such a trip?
Hiking with kids means being ready for any potential scenarios, especially if you are hiking with two little ones.
• It is always good to have a first aid kit at hand as kids are prone for scratches and bumps.
• A good headlamp for each person is essential for moving around in the dark and adding to the sense of adventure.
• Make sure the kids have their favourite pillow or stuffed toy to assure them and help them sleep in a new environment. Now is certainly not the time to wean them off their comfort items!
• Hand sanitizer and tissue paper– useful after a mid-trail toilet emergency, which always happen with kids. Do not forget this!
Where was your most memorable family trek and why?
The spectacular coastal Cape to Cape Track in Southwestern Australia during Spring. It was my kids’ very first hike in a temperate country with completely different kind of scenery from where they have been in Southeast Asia. We were amazed by the fascinating geology of cliffs, caves, headlands and rock formations and an ever-changing display of vegetation and wildflowers.
Where do you plan to take the kids to next?
The 4-day Lares Trek, in the Cusco region of Peru. The reason? For the Andes, it is a relatively easy trek that is very rewarding in terms of sights. There, we’ll see free-roaming alpacas, natives working in their fields and also play soccer with the other kids. Scenery-wise, there are thatched stone huts set amongst imposing mountains, and blue high mountain lakes. There is also the option of horse riding (with a handler) along the trail for the kids. And best of all, no permit is required to hike there!
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