There’s a lot that you have to take into account when you’re heading outside with your kids.
As you plan your trip with your kids you want to have as much information available to you as possible regarding terrain, elevation, distance, time it takes to complete, is it stroller friendly, are there washrooms, and most importantly: WILL MY CHILD BE ABLE TO DO THIS?!
This is where a kid’s trail rating guide comes in handy.
When you visit many of the trail rating sites that are local to the Lower Mainland they offer GREAT information. There are often reader’s comments giving insight into what the trail was like for them. However, not many of them offer information on what it was like with kids.
Now, if you’ve ever been ANYWHERE with kids you know it’s different with them than without. Take grocery shopping, for example. By the time that you’ve undone car seats, stopped them from running in the parking lot, had a discussion about parking lot safety, gone to get a cart, forgotten your loonie, waited in line at customer service for an unlocked cart, gone to get the four things you needed, explained how “no, those jellybeans are only for hiking”, stopped to go to the bathroom…again, waited in the line-up, bought the package of Smarties that was opened while you put your groceries on the belt, put your groceries in the car, took the cart back, buckled up the kids, and stood outside your vehicle while you regained your breath, you’ve spent half your day doing something that would have taken you 5-minutes on your own.
The same goes for adventuring. When you look at general trail rating guides they typically go off of a moderately fit adult’s capability. For example, VancouverTrails offers a fantastic write up of Lindeman Lake. They suggest that it’s a 2-hour round trip to do the 3.4 km trail.
Not with kids, it ain’t!
Our Jellybean rating is a kid’s trail rating system and offers these trails from a the perspective of KIDS and PARENTS. The Lindeman Lake trail ended up taking us about 2 hours and 45 minutes of up and down hiking time, not including our snack and play time at the top. This will always be different based on your child’s age and level of ability and enthusiasm, but our 4-year old’s reactions are a good gauge of what it might be like for your kids. Our Jellybean rating system allows you to compare your child’s ages to ours and assess how well they might do on a particular adventure.
Adults generally don’t care to know about a rock with a face coming up on your right or the tiny cave where a wizard lives during the week, but kids definitely do! This information may not be pertinent but it certainly helps you know what you can motivate your kids with next! You’ll learn about what worked for us (and what didn’t) and have valuable information that can make your adventure successful! (P.S. We want to hear about YOUR little adventures, please! Make sure you follow us on Instagram and use the #littleadventuresbigdreams and we may feature you!)
Having as many details as possible regarding the little adventure you’re about to take your kids on will alleviate some of the stress that can come with going somewhere new. A specific kid’s trail rating system will allow you to prepare and anticipate. When you’re confident that you have all the information you’ll be able to put more time and energy into the important aspects of preparing for your little adventure: PREPARING SNACKS!!