Tips For Hiking With Kids

There are two ways hiking with children can go. Either you’ll have the time of your lives romping through nature, exploring and chatting about this and that, growing a little closer with each mile you hike together. Or, it will be a journey to hell and back with disappointed, hot tired children, and equally disappointed adults marching home in grumpy silence. Obviously, you want the former scenario. Make it happen by paying attention to the basic needs of the kids before leaving the house. Here’s some useful advice for hiking with children without stress.

two girls in the nature

Careful selection of hiking trails

When opting for hiking with children you should be aware of their stamina and fitness levels and select the most appropriate trail carefully. Opting for difficult trails will only exhaust the children and make your journey more fraught and difficult. Easy hiking trails are ideal for beginners but if your kids are more grown up and love physically challenging adventures don’t be afraid to go for a medium. Just as there are adults, there are children who also enjoy outdoor challenges.

Discover inner strengths

Hiking with children is about finding a balance between what they can do already and what they can accomplish next. It is important to let children discover their inner strengths and build up their stamina by challenging their physical limits but they will still need frequent rests and comfort breaks. As you go, decrease the length of time spent on short rests and increase the time hiking between proper comfort stops.

Rushing towards your camping site is not an option while you are hiking with kids. They need proper rest breaks. Stop every now and then to hydrate, eat snacks, and take a few photographs.

kids hiking

Ample amount of food and drinks

You’ll be taking snacks and drinks anyway, but always carry extra for hiking with kids. Children get hungry and thirsty fast and sometimes they just need something to munch on to keep moving. Don’t underestimate the importance of drinks when walking in hot weather with children.

Plan your journey for the morning

Morning is the best time for hiking with kids. Children are more energetic in the early hours of the day and it is easier for them to walk long distances at this time. Morning hikes will also avoid the worst of hot weather and the crowds.

boy and girl on a rock

Appoint leaders

Children perform at their best when they know they are in charge. It’s a good idea to appoint your child as the leader of the family group and let them enjoy the feeling of empowerment. In case of multiple children, rotate the leaders or provide each with responsibility and let each of them learn leadership skills along with learning hiking essentials. This will motivate them and make everything easier for you to manage.

Keep the environment clean

Keeping your camping space clean and picking up all the litter when you leave is essential whatever your age. It becomes more crucial when you have children around as kids learn by what they observe. Be an example of a responsible hiker for your child and clear up your camping area and the surrounding space with the help of your children. It’s an ideal opportunity to teach children that a clean environment is not only important for human beings but essential for wildlife and nature. Remove all traces of your camp fill up any holes you dig and carry all your garbage away with you.

family hiking

Keep chatting with kids on the go

Talking while hiking helps kids skip through the miles. Talk with your kids and teach them some valuable life lessons on the go, share with them your own life experiences, and allow them to express their views and feelings as well.

Let them talk their heart out as much as they want, something often impossible during a busy day at home. Chatting while hiking also helps create strong bonds with your children, boosting their confidence.

Carefully select your hiking shoes

Careful selection of shoes for hiking is a must. Your shoes can become your best friends or your worst enemies. When it comes to kids, the need for appropriate hiking shoes becomes multifold.

Durable shoes with strong grip are a must. Kids love to explore, so choose your children’s hiking shoes so they are comfortable, durable enough to withstand rough weather, and don’t get wet easily. Carry an extra pair of shoes and socks in case they get wet through and to avoid any inconvenience with blisters when hiking. Let your children explore their surroundings without worrying about their feet.

mom and kids hiking

Carry clothes according to the weather

Kids get irritated and fuss when they are uncomfortable. Whether you opt for hiking in summer or during winter, pack enough clothing and footwear, according to the expected weather. Always pack an extra jacket and top in case of unpredicted rain. Rain jackets and hiking pants are a must.

Conclusion

Any parent will tell you that going anywhere with children is a mission. But there is a sensible way to introduce your children to the joys of nature and keep some of your sanity intact. Let them help prepare for their big adventure outdoors and give them ownership and responsibility for their exciting new activity. Be there to guide them, especially hiking in the dark or exploring a tricky trail.

So, brace yourself for weird snacks and strange drinks, for extra hiking socks, jackets, and shoes. Then you can actually leave the house for the big adventure outdoors and enjoy hiking with the kids.

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