Take Dad on a hike for Father’s Day! When you can’t think of the perfect gift for Father’s Day, why not create a memory instead? Even if you already bought the perfect gift for your dad, how can he help but treasure time with you in a beautiful environment?
If your dad is relatively young and strong, a hike up a mountain can provide beautiful scenery. The closest hiking mountain nearby where I live has numerous natural rock stairs on one side and larger rocks you must scale on the other. Neither trek is straight up and no special equipment is required. An early morning hike is the perfect prelude to a Father’s Day brunch.
Because it’s quite hot here even early in the morning, we have to make sure to bring along plenty of water. I also carry snacks suitable for each hiker’s dietary preferences. I keep it small, simple and lightweight. Salted peanuts or trail mix with a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are my most common choices.
If the weather is cool, Ben likes to carry “jam tacos”. That’s what he calls the food created when he jams as much meat and cheese as will fit into a soft corn tortilla. He doesn’t use condiments, so these sandwich rolls can be jam packed and placed in a zip top plastic bag before the hike without the risk of excessive sogginess.
Other than that, we just carry a smart phone for photos and video and to call for rescue if we need it. Keeping things simple allows us to focus on being present in the moment. Of course, in spite of thinking I’m paying close attention to what’s going on around me, I’ve still managed to sprain my ankle and puke on my shoes during two of these hikes. Hey, I didn’t say all the memories would be pleasant!
If your father is elderly, you can bring the hike to him. Find photos from a previous hike. Scan them and have oversized digital prints made of the scenery. Mount the prints on foamcore so they can stand on their own or hang them on walls and furniture then literally walk through the posters down memory lane right in the living room.
If you’ve never been hiking together, you can still bring the hike to him. Get some potted trees, plants, or flowers and create a path in the yard, on the porch, or through the house. Hide or station the grandkids amongst the plants to provide the sound effects of wind, a waterfall, thunder, or airplanes overhead. For around $10 you can sit around a Light n’ Go Bonfire and tell stories or make s’mores. Of course, this is not advised if you’re hiking inside.
When I think back to my less than fortunate hiking incidents, I realize they provided some of the funniest memories and gave us great stories to retell. That’s the beauty of memories – especially the ugly ones.
Happy Father’s Day!
We hope you’ll take a moment to share your favorite Father’s Day memory below.
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