If hiking is your favorite hobby, and you would like to take your kids with you in order to enjoy some quality time, keep reading. Family hiking is incredibly rewarding. You will teach your kids to preserve wilderness and love nature. Not to mention the fact that you will be with your family in a healthy environment. If this sounds good to you, read our essential tips for first-time hiking with your kids.
5 Tips for First-Time Hiking with Kids
1. Keep It Easy
Since this is your first time taking the kids hiking, I strongly advise that you keep it easy. Hikes that are too long or strenuous should be avoided for the first couple of times – instead, pick a trail that is slightly shorter, but where children will get to see something unusual, such as waterfall, lake, or stream. It is also important that you establish some resting stops, where all of you can make a break and enjoy the natural wonders around you. Kids will certainly appreciate that.
2. Dress for Success
The key to success when it comes to hiking novices is dressing in layers – it is always easier to take something off when it gets too hot. I always make sure that some rain clothes are in my backpack, because these are great both for wet and windy weather. Aside from that, appropriate shoes are a must-have, and these depend on the terrain. It is always a good idea to bring a change of clothes and another pair of shoes for your kids, because they can get very wet and muddy during your adventure.
3. Warn Them About Berries and Poisonous Plants
As you already know, there are many unknown plants and different kinds of berries that may look edible, however, these are often poisonous. For this reason, you should get familiar with these before you set foot in the woods – and your kids, too. Pointing to them and telling that those should not be touched or picked is essential.
4. Bring Plenty of Snacks
As soon as you notice that your kids are getting tired or uninterested, make a stop and offer them snacks from your backpack – they will immediately perk up! Just make sure that you bring healthy ones, such as fresh fruits and vegetables you have washed and sliced in advance. Granola bars can also be handy, as well as mixed nuts and raisins. Aside from that, water is also highly recommended, because it will help all of you get refreshed and continue with your hiking adventure with ease. Place two bottles in the side pockets of your backpack and you are good to go!
5. Sun and Bug Protection Essentials
Last but not least – sun and bug protection products are as important as everything listed above, because you definitely want to prevent bug bites and sunburn, right? I always have my Ultraceuticals sunscreen with me when hiking with the kids. I love it because it offers both UVA and UVB protection. SPF 50+ is more than welcome when it comes to children simply because their skin is still too sensitive and prone to sunburn if not protected. The same goes for bug protection – a cream or a spray is highly required when going in nature, because it will prevent bites and scratching later on.
6. Put a Whistle on Your Kids
The chances that your child will get lost are almost zero, but on the off chance they get separated make sure they are wearing a whistle. They can blow on their whistle to alert you of their location.
As you can see, there are many things you have to take care of before indulging into a new adventure experience – hiking with your kids. Even though that may seem like it is too much, trust me – it is not. Your kids will get used to spending time in nature very soon, and all of you will enjoy it together to the fullest, without any doubts!
Hiking with Kids FAQ
Over the years I have gotten a few of the same questions often enough, I decide to add a frequently ask questions section to this post.
What is the best hiking stroller?
I have hiked with a stroller, but it wasn’t your typical stroller. I used a bike trailer that could also be used as a stroller when hiking. These trailers are light and their ability to move through different types of terrain are way better than any stroller would be. It is wider than most strollers, so keep that in mind before you take it on a trail!
More often though I hiked without a stroller. In the area I live in, the trails occasionally have steps or get narrow to use a stroller. In these instances I usually kept one kid in a backpack on my back. When the kids were super little a baby backpack baby carrier I could wear will hiking was my go to.
This post was contributed by Zara Lewis. Zara is a mom of two babies and a puppy, passionate about traveling, hiking, cycling and yoga. She loves to write about things that are part of her life that inspire her, mostly healthy lifestyle, fashion and beauty topics. Zara regularly contributes to highstylife.com.