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While some people think they need to hold their hiking adventures once they become parents, that is not just the case!
If you are a hiking enthusiast with young kids, you can still continue your hobbies. Hiking offers so many opportunities for family vacations and outings. It will help your family grow closer by making new memories while teaching them the importance of.
One of the essential things to keep in mind about hiking is that it is not about going from one point to another but exploring the trail with your kids.
We’ve shortlisted the ten important tips for hiking with kids.
Here are ten essential tips to remember when hiking with kids:
Walking on a flat dirt road is boring, while walking a winding trail is intriguing. It makes your hiking experience even better if the trail you’ve chosen has trees for kids to climb on. You should also consider hiking near rivers or lakes so kids can have fun skipping rocks on the water. If allowed, you can bring fishing rods and spend a day trying to catch fish with your little ones. They can also dip their toes in the water and splash around to cool off after hiking for hours.
Make sure you take a change of clothes if your child gets wet while on the trail. You should also bring rain clothes and windbreakers if the predicts rain. Always bring gloves and hats for everyone since mornings can be chilly even in summer. Moreover, make sure your kids have proper hiking shoes so they can trek easily. Lastly, leave a pack of clothes for each kid in the car for the time you’re returning from the hike.
Always tell someone about your plans, including where you are going and when you will be back. Leave a trail map with your route highlighted to let others know where you’re headed. Once you reach the trailhead, make sure to sign the trail register if it is available.
You must bring a first aid kit and ensure it’s kid-friendly. Some first aid kits have sunscreens and insect repellents that are too harsh for children’s skin. Your first aid kid should have the following items:
• Children’s sunscreen
• Children’s ibuprofen and tylenol
• Liquid antihistamine
• Plenty of different-sized bandages
• Lotion to cure bug bites
• Needles, ticks, and tweezers
• A sufficient amount of anti-bacterial wipes
• Moleskin for blisters
• An epipen if you or your children have serious allergies
If you’re trekking in the mountains, make sure every individual in the group has an additional jacket and a stocking cap. You should also bring rain gear, even if it’s highly unlikely to rain. For young kids, it’s a great idea to have a complete set of clothing and extra pairs of socks to combat severe weather conditions.
Hiking with friends is a great idea to make it a memorable and fun experience. However, make sure the friends accompanying you on the hike possess a similar skill level as your family. Otherwise, your plan may backfire, and your kids will get frustrated.
However, kids often distract and amuse themselves while trekking. You will see your children run ahead with their buddies, requiring no encouragement from your side at all. That’s why Outdoor Families Magazine claims that “teenagers love to hang out with friends, and hiking together is a great way to strengthen the bond and have fun with your buddies.”
Bringing a sufficient amount of drinks and snacks is essential for hiking. Make sure to take breaks and drink water frequently to energize your body. Kids may be busy having fun that they often don’t realize how thirsty they are. Plenty of water and high-energy foods will be essential to keep them active and hydrated.
The key to a successful hike is allowing your kids to have fun and stay motivated. You can do this by playing your children’s favorite games on the trail. Look for signs of wildlife like bird holes in trees or count wildflower species. Discuss how long the trek is, how to read a map and use a compass, look for signs of impending weather, and identify plants and animals.
Allow your kids to set the pace along the journey. Let them decide where to stop for drinks and a lunch break. The kids naturally want to explore the new environment and search for birds, spider webs, and bugs. You should also bring some toys for them to play with on the trek – just make sure the toys don’t harm any wildlife or plants on the trail. Besides that, see if they can develop their own ideas and inventions using things like leaves, rocks, etc.
You should start a family tradition of hiking one or two times a month. Your children may love these adventures and outdoor activities when you make a day of it and incorporate activities they like to do on the trails as well. There are numerous terrain, trails, and sights children will surely love. While they spend a significant portion of their time indoors throughout the week, hiking is the perfect way to get some fresh air and exercise while bonding with your little ones.
Hiking with kids means doing everything you can to make it work in the beginning. Then over time, your kids get used to it and start enjoying it. If you follow these tips and finish the hike on their pace, you’re sure to have loads of fun. And always keep in mind to go easy with your children, be safe, and have fun with them.