Hiking is an excellent way to get your children engaged in nature and spend some quality family time together. Hiking with kids can be easy and enjoyable if you are prepared. We have compiled some tips to help you. This is by no means a comprehensive list, you will need to add or remove depending on your own needs, but hopefully it will help you get started.
- Check the trail map and familiarize yourself with the trail.
- Check the weather before you go, but remember that the weather can change and the weather forecast isn’t always correct.
- Check what time the sun sets. You don’t want to be on the trail in the dark.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Stay on the trails, and make sure your children understand why this important.
- Appropriate footwear is crucial; closed toe shoes or boots with a good rugged tread are best.
- Dress in layers. Cold wet hikers can get grumpy. Loose and layered clothing make for happy hikers.
- Have a conversation about safety with your kids before you go. Explain how important it is to stay together. Teach them to stay in one spot if they get separated from the group and not to wander around.
- Each hiker should carry a whistle. Make kids understand that these are for emergencies only (or you will be listening to a whistle orchestra for a large part of your hike) and not to “Cry Wolf” and blow the whistle unless they are lost. Three whistle blasts is a standard call for “I need help.”
- Take snacks and water. Hungry and thirsty hikers can also be grumpy. Grumpy hikers are really not fun.
- Some other items you should take in your daypacks are: sunscreen, pocketknife, toilet paper, a compass, a camera and first aid kit.
Have fun & be flexible. Knowing when to turn around is important, you want to end the hike on a high note, not when everyone is worn out. Quadra Island is a hiker’s paradise. Whether you want a meandering stroll to a secluded beach or a climb to spectacular views you can find it with the help of the trail guide produced by the Quadra Island Trails Committee and available at the Taku office.
So often cooking becomes a chore. We work all day and then we have to come home and try to throw together something that will appeal to everyone in the house while also meeting our budget, nutritional requirements, and available supplies. Taking a cooking class takes us away from that. It returns us to a place where cooking is fun, courageous and creative.
The Taku Cookery brings us into intimate groups in a gorgeous setting with the most skilled chefs and suddenly food becomes so much more than another thing to check off our daily list. Taking a class at Taku nourishes our minds, our sense of humor as well as our bodies.
The small groups give you immediate access to hands on food preparation. You’ll be cutting, grating, whipping, rolling, and sautéing like a professional in a very short time. You will be exposed to new ingredients, tools and techniques that will re-ignite your passion for good food; suddenly you’ll feel more confident and more adventurous. The kitchen will be filled with the sounds of laughter and chatter of your new friends, and the most wonderful and exotic smells of the finest ingredients available.
Why would anyone take a cooking class? Because after all of that, you get to sit down with your new friends and eat all the delicious creations you learned how to make and someone else does the dishes! Why wouldn’t anyone take a cooking class?
As Christmas draw nearer, we start thinking about family and spending time together. The end of the old year also leads to planning the year ahead. These thoughts lead us to thinking about the importance of family vacations.
Family vacations allow us to take a break from our daily routines and just enjoy each other’s company. Sharing new experiences strengthens our bonds and creates memories, stories and traditions that last a lifetime or even generation. Taking time away from our daily concerns and distractions, (like electronics) frees us to connect on a much deeper level, and trying new activities together allows us to learn new things about each other, and ourselves!
Stepping off the treadmill of daily life for a few days or weeks has other tremendous benefits as well. Lower stress levels, lower blood pressure and better sleep are just a few of the many proven side effects of a vacation.
Planning the family vacation can be a family affair. Everyone can be involved at some level. Kids involved in budgeting will learn the importance of saving and understand that vacations don’t just magically happen. “Old –School” atlases and maps can be pulled out for a lesson in geography. Choosing activities that appeal the group can be a lesson in democracy.
The beauty of the family vacation is that it doesn’t have to involve travelling halfway around the world, or even out of your hometown, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The opportunities are endless, though one thing is certain, there will be countless memories that will live on long after the vacation has ended and you have hopped back on the treadmill, and those memories will sustain you until you can get away for the next vacation.
There is something delightfully satisfying about fall. I think perhaps I think this every year, but I must say that this has been a particularly beautiful autumn. We’ve been blessed with really great weather, and have had some really great opportunities to take advantage of some of Quadra Island’s excellent activities.
We did some mushroom picking. An hour out in the woods yielded us 9 pounds of delicious Golden Chanterelle mushrooms.
There have also been plenty of hikes just for the sake of being in the forest. One of our personal favorite hikes is the Heriot Ridge Trail. The Quadra Island hiking map defines this as a moderate hike. It leads to some stunning views of Vancouver Island from the west-facing ridge and spectacular views of the Discovery Islands from an east-facing ridge. The trails are very well marked and there are multiple options that allow you to hike for 2 to 4 hours through forest, and mossy bluffs. Those mossy bluffs are perfect for picnics!
Right now summer on Quadra Island is pretty spectacular. There have been days and days of lovely sunshine, and we are loving it! Yesterday, some clouds rolled in, and a quick check of the weather forecast spoke of thundershowers. There is something pretty special about a summer thunderstorm in my books, plus the idea of not needing to water the garden for one day was pretty appealing, but I hoped that the rain wouldn’t last too long. The clouds moved on after only delivering a small burst of rain, and no thunder or lightning. The forecasted storm had me thinking about being on vacation while it rains, and how Taku Guests will often ask us about what to do on Quadra Island when it rains. So even though it is sunny and 23 degrees Celsius right now, and not a cloud in the sky, I decided to make a list of things to do in the rain.
Take a hike in the forest. The forest canopy is an excellent umbrella.
Visit a local gallery or art studio.
Check out the public library and the bookstore.
Grab some groceries and cook up a gourmet meal room in your suite.
Spend some time in the games room, watching a movie, reading a book or playing a game.
Head to one of the local coffee shops.
Enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants.
Splash in the puddles.
Have a nap.
Go retro – write postcards to your friends.
Grab your camera and get creative.
Pick up some art supplies and get crafty.
Visit the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre.
Get soaking wet, you’ll dry off.
This is not a complete list by any stretch, but just a few seeds of inspiration. The great thing is that all of these things can be done rain or shine! Now, I’m off to water the garden.