Trekking with children is easier and more fun than you think.
Last weekend I took my cousins (7 and 11 years old) to camp at the Ilinizas Ecological Reserve. I am happy that their parents trust me and just let them go with me for 2 full days. The kids were so excited since it was the first time they were camping outdoors.
We drove 2 1/2 hours from Quito to a place called La Virgen in the hills of the Iliniza. We set the camp at around 4pm. But there were some wild bulls in the area, they are not dangerous if you don´t get too close, they won´t invade the camp. We had to move the tents across a small water stream because the kids were afraid of the bulls. The kids said they had one of their best nights ever.
We slept at 3,900m of altitude. They didn’t experience any altitude sickness -they were even coloring and reading their story books at night before sleeping- and the next day we started walking to the refuge at 9h00. Honestly I thought that the 7 year old won’t make it because it is a tough hike (700m of altitude change) that many grown-ups can´t manage. But the kids did it in 3 1/2 hours. We arrived to the refuge with many other people, and the kids were still strong to play in the snow.
In the way down, in the moraine they were a little nervous but they started using my trekking poles in the smallest size as possible and they did all the hike down in only 1 1/2 hours.
It was so motivating that these kids without any special gear or shoes did such a hike. Many tourists -wearing the ultimate adventure tech gear- that were in the area that day were surprised about them, and I was the proudest big cousin in the world.
If you have kids, do not stop adventure traveling. There are still so many fun things to do with them like rafting, biking hiking that both adults and kids can enjoy.