Wednesday April 25, 2012 | 11:42 AM

We do a lot of hiking in the spring. Part of the appeal at this time of year is the cool weather, views, exercise and quality family time but it’s also the sub sandwiches. As things happen with kids, you do something once or twice that meets with the kids’ approval and you suddenly find you’ve started a “family tradition.” 

 Eating lunch near the summit of Caribou Mountain in the Caribou-Speckled Wilderness area of the White Mountain National Forest in Maine.

 
This has been the case with eating subs at the summit of our mountain climbs. It’s the incentive the kids tell me they need to hike the bigger mountains. Since I want to enjoy the hike as well, I accommodate their request for lunch.
 
I can’t seem to replicate the bread or the specific condiments of a store-made sub at home so it’s lucky for the kids the Subway shop near my house is open early in the morning.
 
We’ve had a few logistics to work out with our sub pick-up before a hike and appreciate our local shop having helpful employees who agree to wrap them to fit in our insulated lunch packs. We need a foot-long to be stacked side-by-side before being wrapped to make things fit correctly.
 
The kids joked last weekend while at the summit of Caribou Mountain that they could do a commercial for eating subs on various Maine mountains. 

I figure as long as they continue to happily climb mountains with me so we can chat and reconnect after a busy week, I can buy them a sub to eat at the summit.  And really, if that’s all it takes to get the kids to agree to do a 7-mile hike up a mountain with a nearly 2,000-foot elevation gain (that would be Caribou Mountain), then I can make a sandwich purchase for them.
 
The summit of Caribou Mountain was a 7-mile, nearly 2,000-foot elevation gain (according to my GPS unit - you can check out the specs of our hike on everytrail.com). This hike tested our fitness level but a tasty lunch at the summit and plenty of water and snack breaks along the way made the reward of the views at the top worth the effort.
 
The kids ate subs at the summit of Sabattus Mountain in Lovell last month. That was an easy 1.5 mile hike with about a 500-foot elevation gain. You can find an interactive map with photos of this particular hike, along with our review in the Outdoors section of PressHerald.com

About the Author

Wendy Almeida has been writing about enjoying the outdoors with kids in her monthly Kid Tracks Outdoors column for the Maine Sunday Telegram for 10 years. Her kids have grown up exploring the trails of Maine on foot, skis and bikes as well as through the geocache and EarthCache games. The family has found treasures of all sorts while out on the trail and the journey continues to be as much fun now that the kids are teenagers as it was when they were preschoolers.

On Twitter and Instagram at @wea1021.

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