Hiking with the kids has become one of our favorite things to do. It’s cheap, and fun! We love being outdoors, and we love being able to explore with the kids. These tips for hiking with kids will help to make your hike more enjoyable.
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Tips for Hiking with Kids
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1. Expect to take your time.
Depending on how old your kids are, and their endurance, a simple hike could take longer than you expect. Learning to roll with it, instead of rush it will make a world of difference.
Taking my time is something I struggle with regularly, so I really have to work at it. Forcing myself to embrace it is never something I regret.
2. Do your research.
Take time to research the trail you are hiking. Choose trails based on what you can realistically expect your children to handle. It’s really not worth choosing a trail that isn’t age appropriate for younger children.
In the past, we have mistakenly ended up on a trail that was not age appropriate for all of our children. Both myself and Brent were a nervous wreck the entire time.
In the end, it was fine, but it would have been better if the little ones were able to explore a bit without being so restricted for safety reasons.
3. Bring a carrier.
If you have a baby, toddler, or maybe even early preschooler bring a carrier. We use this one because it’s light weight and unobtrusive if T decides to get out of it, and walk for a while.
Having a carrier ensures we won’t have to stop long before the rest of the kids are ready to give up.
4. Wear the right shoes.
I am a hard core flip flop wearer. Hiking is NOT the time for flip flops though (trust me, I have tried). Choose a pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots, OR a pair of hiking sandals like these.
Tennis shoes aren’t always the best solution for us because our hikes tend to involve water. Walking in wet, sloshy shoes is never fun!
5. Bring snacks and water.
There’s nothing worse than a hangry child. Having snacks, and water is crucial for an enjoyable hike with kids. Plus, it adds a little extra activity, stopping and having a mini picnic.
6. Pack an extra set of clothes, and a towel.
It’s not unusual for at least one of my kids to end up wet, or ridiculously muddy. That might not seem like a big deal, but when they start freaking out because they NEED new clothes, it is.
I’m never upset that I packed extra clothes.
This is one of the rare opportunities we have for screen-free, virtually undivided attention. It’s worth taking advantage of the opportunity to get to know our kids a little better.
8. Discuss safety.
The first couple of times we took the kids hiking it was a mess. They were basically clueless. It’s important to discuss potential dangers, and how to hike safely.
9. Pack a first aid kit.
If you’re going on a long hike, far from reality, a first aid kit is a must. If you’re not going too far, at least pack a few essentials. Bandages and something to clean minor scrapes and such are a must.
10. Have fun!
Hiking is a cheap, and fun activity to involve your kids in. Getting out in nature, and exercising is always a good idea. Have fun!!
Your turn- Do you have any tips for hiking with kids that I didn’t mention? Share them in the comments!! I would love to hear about them!
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