Five Things I Learned While Hiking with a Five Year Old

Besides working in the wonderful world of retail during the summer as a somewhat broke college student, I also babysit on the side too for some extra cash. Recently when I was babysitting for one of my professors, his five year of son said that he wanted to go on a hike. You could only imagine the joy it brought to my heart and a sigh of relief that I now had an activity to do with him for the morning.

Before we even had left the house that morning we even had a short conversation about the Seven Sisters, which I was very impressed that he knew about them and had hiked some of it. We didn’t do the the Seven Sisters, because it was going to be a somewhat hot day and lately it’s been hard to avoid the heatwaves in New England.

The rock climber caught in action

I decided we would do an easy mountain, Peaked Mountain to be exact. I had never taken someone this young hiking, so I didn’t really know what I was in for exactly. I did learn some things along the way and now I can probably get a good idea of how my parents felt when they used to take me hiking as a child.

So friends, here I present to you: five things I learned when hiking with a 5 year old.

1. They will run ahead of you

To be honest I wasn’t prepared for that, but man could that little guy bolt ahead of me with no problem. I forgot how much energy little kids had and how much I probably had when I was that age.

2. If they aren’t running ahead of you then they’re making you stop

This was something I was expecting, but when it came to having to stop a lot I was expecting more of an “I’m tired, lets take a break” kind of stop. Nope, not in this case. We stopped a lot to look at bugs, trees, dried up ponds, not dried up ponds, and of course a snack break.

3. They will ask a lot of questions

Some of which I couldn’t even answer, “Sylvia what bug is that?” or the one that got reiterated a lot, “Where are the rocks?” He was big into climbing rocks, luckily along the way we did find some. This brought back a lot of childhood memories for me.

Top of Peaked Mountain (something we didn’t get to see that day). Photo taken by myself.

4. If they aren’t waiting for you then you’re waiting for them

During our hike it was very rare that we actually walked side by side, because he was either running in front of me or walking behind looking at all his surroundings or climbing a rock.

5. There is a very high chance you won’t make it to the top

Going into this I kind of figured this one, because like I said before, he had a lot of energy and tried running up the mountain at first. Which most likely pooped him out. I wasn’t even mad our adventure was cut short, it was something I was expecting, besides we had a PB&J sandwich we had to get back to for lunch at noon.

Hiking with a 5 year old was a whole new experience for me and one I’m very grateful for.


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