OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“As children observe, reflect, record, and share nature’s patterns and rhythms, they are participating in a process that promotes scientific and ecological awareness, problem solving, and creativity.”

Unless you frequently participate in class five white water excursions or seek out adventures of strictly perilous domains, you’ve been able to imagine your kids joining in on your outdoor voyages. Here at ACK we stand by the idea that no person is too young to be exposed to natures vast wonders, and we highly suggest you join our school of thought. Through an adjoined abundance of our own personal outdoor ventures, we’ve gathered that each journey is unique in its own way and that parents prefer to be prepped for every occasion knowing all too well that whenever children are involved, anything that can go wrong will. With that said, today we’ll touch on the theories of why it’s pivotal for our youth to regularly experience their local wilderness as well as the basics of safety, gear essentials, and trip planning that include the whole family.

According to a Guardian article entitled “Why Our Children Need to Get Outside and Engage with Nature” journalist Jon Henley interviews Naturalist, Steven Moss who mentions that, ‘There’s a paradox, more kids today are interested in the natural world than ever before; they watch it on the telly, they may well visit a nature reserve or a National Trust site with their families. But far fewer are experiencing it directly, on their own or with their friends, and that’s what counts: this is about more than nature.’

Respectable scientists – doctors, mental health experts, educationalists, sociologists – are beginning to suggest that when kids stop going out into the natural world to play, it can affect not just their development as individuals, but society as a whole.”

Kayaking with children on calm waters is a great introductory step into the world of paddling but even more importantly, the realm of wilderness exploration. If you plan on renting, depending on the age of your kayaking partner, you may be better fit for a single kayak and two different sized paddles. On said small yak, your small partner can join you on a comfortable impromptu kids kayak throne that can be retro-fitted most anywhere in the hull of the watercraft.

Gear can be expensive, yet even if it were free, no one can afford to lose valued items out on the water. The paddle leash allows this goal to be achieved in the most proactive way possible. Paddle leashes can hold one paddle at a time and it’s recommended to have every paddle in use secured to the watercraft for the duration of your time on the water. The kids paddle itself is much lighter than your typical adult paddle, but it’s important to note that its lightweight nature does not guarantee the paddle to possess floatation properties. If including the entire family encompasses your man’s best friend, make sure that you are following all off-land rules and regulations by getting your canine into a stylish and lightweight doggy float coat, so that you can enjoy your day off with one less thing to fret about. You won’t even have to second guess that your pets comfort is being compromised as the jackets buoyancy is crafted so that while afloat you pup is in his natural horizontal position.

It should already be obvious to you, but we can’t emphasize enough just how essential life jackets are for your children and infants, and you probably could have already guessed, but they perform much better when worn correctly. We agree with all of you parents out there in knowing that “if theres anything you don’t want to approach haphazardly, it’s lifejackets.”

What it boils down to is this: Things will get knocked about in and off your craft, pets will get curious when it comes to fish floating by, and children will be children. But even with all of these things said, you don’t have to sacrifice your iPhone for a perfect day out on the water, dry bags and boxes are essentials for storing electronics, extra clothing, and snacks.

Kayaking with the entire family is a great way to encourage healthy bonding time, so pack up your car, bring your waterproof camera, and escape the modern world for a bit while enjoying family time out on the water.