Children Hiking in small groups without adults - FamilyEducation
Children Hiking in small groups without adults
05/14/2007 at 15:41 PM

I'm not sure what category this question fits in.  We camp as a family quite often and hike quite a bit.  We occasionally camp with a couple of other families and different families have different styles of parenting and different expectations.  Our boys 10 + 11 can go around the campground and depending on the area can hike short distances as long as they check in periodically.  This past weekend our boys went with two other 10 year olds and took off for close to 2 hours.  We were quite upset with our kids since they know our expectation is that they check in.  The whole group tried to say they had no idea they were gone that long, and several parents were convinced that especially boys can really have no idea that 2 hours had passed.  It is hard for me to believe.  One hour perhaps maybe even slightly longer but is it possible that their brains could not register that length of time?    We have been successful having them meet our expectation for checking in every 20-30 minutes, but it's usually not in a group of 4.  I'm curious what peoples thoughts are.

Hi ruthee,


I think that when kids get in groups sometimes they push limits.  And probably your kids knew the rules but the other kids didn't have as strict a rules so everyone decided it would be okay---peer pressure, pressure to not look like the kids who has to go back to the parents first etc can be very hard to combat.


I would talk to my kids and tell them that is not acceptable in the future and if they can't keep up with time then they can't go off by themselves.


Good luck.




I would suggest buying them watches. I can remember many days playing with friends and not having a clue how much time had passed. I would also suggest that the watches be tough sports type with hourly alarms that you could set to go off every hour to remind them, after that they have no excuses for not knowing how long had passed.