Hiking with your children offers an opportunity to bond and have fun as a family. It’s crucial that you make hiking fun for the kids so that you all have a good time. A good family hike takes a lot of preparation and choosing a hiking trail will encourage the kids to explore nature. Here are tips to ensure that your hike with kids is adventurous and fun.
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Tips for Hiking With Kids
1. Choose a Kid-Friendly Trail
When choosing the hiking trail, remember to keep the kids in mind, and select a feature-friendly and easy trail. A fun hike with kids is one with exciting sights such as boulders, a lot of trees, waterfalls, rivers, or lakes. This will help to distract the kids and give them an objective during the hike.
Remember to check the trail’s distance and any challenges involved with the trail before choosing the trail. A long and strenuous trail may be challenging to complete with kids and may require more planning.
2. Prepare in Advance
Proper preparation is key in any hike and especially with kids involved. Pack the necessary supplies required for the hike, such as extra water, food, clothes, sun protection, navigation elements such as a GPS device, map, and compass.
Ensure that you also bring safety essentials when hiking with your children as unexpected things can happen, such as injuries and weather changes. This may include a first aid kit, safety whistles for each kid, and a Swiss army knife.
In terms of clothing, remember to carry rain clothes, hats, gloves, and proper hiking shoes. This will keep the kids warm and dry during the hike. Good quality hiking shoes will protect the feet from blisters, sore feet and provide ankle support. If you are hiking with toddlers, a Mountain Buggy baby stroller is essential.
3. Carry Plenty of Water and Snacks
Snacks and water are essential when hiking as it is almost impossible to hike on an empty stomach or when thirsty. You should pack water and snacks according to the hike’s length and the number of people on the hike. CamelBak reservoirs are an excellent way to bring water since they can have much more water and are convenient to carry.
When packing food for the hike, choose high-energy foods to ensure kids have adequate fuel for the hike. Recommended food and snacks for the trip include fresh fruits like apples and clementine. Some muffins and chocolate also come in handy. For energy, pack some granola bars, a good trail mix consisting of dried fruit, a mix of nuts and seeds.
You may also need to encourage or reward the kids with some snacks like candy. You can add some proteins such as beef jerky and or vegetables like carrots. Bread rolls are recommendable when going for a long hike but avoid fruits like bananas that can break up in the pack.
4. Plan for Your Time
Estimating the adequate time required for the hike will ensure that you have enough time to explore and make it back home. Kids usually wander off exploring and picking things along the way, so make sure you have plenty of time by starting early. This also ensures that the kids have the most energy to complete the hike. Keeping track of the time will also determine the pace you take during the hike.
5. Take Energy Stops
Frequent breaks for snacks and resting will help the kids stay motivated for the hike. Hiking can drain the kids’ energy and wear them down, but with regular breaks, they can recharge and continue with the hike. During the break, you can allow the kids to play a little as they relax.
6. Bring a Friend
Inviting friends along a hike will help give the kids the necessary company to keep them motivated and complete the hike. They will have a companion to play with and talk to, which makes the trail seem shorter. Furthermore, they will take pictures and bond during the hike and want to do it again.
7. Assign Duties
Giving the kids duties during the hike will enhance team spirit a sense of responsibility. You can have one kid in charge of the map and guide you through the hike. Older kids can carry pocket knives and use them on the trail. Other duties you can assign include starting fires or setting the tents.
8. Make it Fun
There are many ways to make a hike with your kids exciting and fun, including singing songs and playing games. Games that you can play with the kids include a scavenger hunt and eye spy. Singing along while hiking will help distract the kids and enjoy the trail.
On a final note…
Kids are resilient and mentally capable of completing hikes, so do not underestimate them. However, do not ignore any concerns and if they complain of injuries or fatigue, ensure you tend to them and take adequate rest. Taking frequent hikes with the kids will build an adventurous spirit as they grow older.
Monica is a passionate writer and content creator. Her interests include outdoor activities, fitness, technology, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. Say hi to Monica on Twitter @monical_lee.
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