Believe it or not, spring is finally (officially) upon us. We are seeing longer days, bright sunshine, and signs that the giant mounds of snow are starting to recede.
After a long winter of staying inside, the spring is a perfect time to reconnect with nature by taking a hike. Scrambling up by a stream will provide some added bonuses–the soothing sound of rushing water, beautiful scenery, and–if you got a lot of snow this winter–a chance to see a memorable winter melt.
Here are some tips on stream scrambling from the book “100 Family Adventures,” by the Meek Family (Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Meek).
Scrambling up a stream valley feels like a really rugged adventure that offers challenge, risk and usually stunning views that get better the higher you climb.
The ideas is simply to find a mountain or hill stream and walk against the flow towards the upland source, sticking as close to you can to the water at all times. The lower, flatter sections will be gentle and relaxing, but as the journey progresses, the scramble over rocks and boulders will become more challenging and exhilarating.
As with most family adventures, as long as there are no specific time restrictions, don’t rush; take your time and look back regularly to take in the views. A casual pace will ensure careful foot placement and reduce the chance of unwanted trips and falls.
This adventure activity, by its very nature, involves some danger and risk–obviously the more difficult the route, such as a steep gradient, rocky or slippery terrain, the greater the risk. For this reason, if you are taking young adventurers out stream scrambling, it is sensible to do a ‘recce’ (reconnaissance) beforehand to ensure the level of challenge is appropriate.
Any successful scrambles you complete can be revisited when the conditions are cold and snowy. The difficulty level will be upped, of course. So bear that in mind, but so too will the sense of achievement and reward.
TIPS AND CONSIDERATIONS
- Ensure all scramblers have sturdy and supportive footwear, ideally boots
- Plan your route carefully beforehand using a suitable map. Use the internet to research proposed routes
- Turn back if you find the difficulty level is beyond the weakest member of the group
- Always have a suitable map with you in case you have to abort the challenge and find an alternate route
- ‘Spot’ youngsters on steep sections (this involves standing behind them with arms outstretched in the air, ready to provide assistance should a slip or fall occur)
Childhood obesity is increasing year on year. Happiness and well-being levels in children are on the decline too. Children spend less time outside and more time in front of screens: computers, phones, games, television.
100 Family Adventures provides a valuable resource bank of tried and tested outdoor activities to enjoy with children, swapping ‘screen time’ for ‘green time’. Particularly inspiring for people who want to get started, but don’t know how, the book shows how any family, anywhere in the country, can enjoy time together outdoors.
Activities are grouped into themes: Woodland, Water, Close to Home, Hills and Mountains, Exploring, By the Sea, Extreme Weather. Within each section is a range in difficulty, from making a rope swing to scrambling up a stream, from spending a day without electricity to going on a charity bike ride, from exploring a rockpool to camping on an uninhabited island.
Packed with inspiring photos, sensible but enthusiastic instructions from parents Tim and Kerry combine with remarks and advice (and jokes!) from children Amy and Ella.