Hiking is a great way to spend quality time with your children and expose them to the beauty of nature. However, without proper planning, hiking with kids can be intimidating and stressful. If you’re planning to take your little ones to the great outdoors, these five tips can help you during the planning process and make the hike more fun and memorable.
Choose a kid-friendly trail
Even if you’re a seasoned hiker, it is essential that you choose a trail that is not too strenuous or challenging. Consider your kids’ ages and pick a hike that is short and feature-friendly. Select a course with interesting elements such as waterfalls, lakes, or historical sites. Allow your little ones to explore, even if it means getting their hands and clothes dirty. Allow them to take breaks along the way. Find a hiking trail close to your home so that they don’t get restless during the drive. Remember, for kids, it is the experience that matters and not the destination.
Pack the essentials
Bring more water and food than you would typically need, as hiking can tire your kids out. Pack high-energy bars specifically designed for children to keep them active and in high spirits. Don’t forget to bring kid-friendly supplies such as tissues, wet wipes, lip balm, rain jackets, socks, magnifying glass, binoculars, and a whistle for each child. Bring a well-stocked first-aid kit and make sure you know how to use it. If you’re hiking with a baby or toddler, consider using a carrier to make the journey more manageable. Choose a well-trusted brand such as Diono that offers high-quality and affordable products.
Dressing up in layers is a must when hiking. Make sure to dress your kids in layering clothing to keep them warm and dry while on the trail. Even if rain is a remote possibility, make it a point to pack rain clothes, and don’t forget to bring mittens or hand warmers. Choose bright clothing to make your kids visible and easier to spot. Ensure that everyone wears age-appropriate hiking boots and remember to pack extra clothing.
Educate your kids on basic safety rules
Hiking with kids comes with its own set of safety hazards. It is vital that you educate your children on the basic safety rules and the importance of staying together. Remind them to stay on the trail at all times and not to explore by themselves. Teach your kids what to do if they get lost or encounter a wild animal. Equip them with a safety whistle and instruct them how to use it properly. Give each child a survival kit but remember to make it small and light enough to carry.
With kids, repetition is the key to learning. Try to hike with your kids at least once or twice a month, and consider making it a family tradition. Hiking often can reduce your kids’ screen time and increase their sense of adventure.
Hiking with your kids is an excellent way to create priceless family memories. Remember to follow these tips to ensure that your next hiking trip runs safely and smoothly.