Hiking is one of the best ways to spend healthy, happy time with family. Getting outdoors into the sunshine boosts everyone's mood, and it allows you to see some of the most stunning places on the planet. One of the added benefits is that hiking is usually a free activity — so you can all have fun without adding stress to your wallet. Hiking with kids is a great family bonding opportunity and a way to teach your kids about nature. It can also be challenging.
If you're planning to go hiking with kids, keep the following tips in mind to ensure the hike is fun, meaningful, and doable for you, your little ones, and anyone else who decides to come along (even your beloved furry friends!).
1. Make Sure Everyone Has the Right Footwear
Everyone who's hiking, including the kids, should have the right shoes before they hit the trail. Get your children hiking boots that are sturdy, protect their ankles, and lace up properly. Also, make sure you get everyone waterproof socks so nobody develops blisters while they walk.
2. Get Your Kids Excited About the Hike by Giving Them a Task
Get your kids excited about the hike by telling them about it in advance. Explain where you're going, the route you're taking, the significance of the area (if it is somewhere historical or protected), and why your family is planning to hike there. It can help to give kids a mission for the hike. For example, count the different kinds of animals you spot along the trail and name them out loud.
3. Invest in a Carrier
If you're going hiking with kids and those kids are little (say, under 5), know in advance that there's a chance you'll have to carry them at some points along the way. Sometimes, kids just get tired, and you're going to need to be able to keep them moving so the trek doesn't come to a complete halt. Investing in a baby carrier for hiking is a great move when you're hiking with kids because it makes it comfortable to carry someone on your back. Worst-case scenario: You don't have to use it. Best-case scenario: Your child slips right in and gets to enjoy the experience when their little legs are too tired to go forward.
4. Bring Snacks
When you're hiking with kids, make sure you put plenty of snacks in your pack. Kids lose energy quickly or may experience low blood sugar, which will cause them to run out of energy and potentially stop them from finishing the hike. Pack a variety of healthy snacks that also have plenty of carbohydrates in them. You may need to give them a quick energy boost along the way to keep everyone moving and happy.
5. Sleep Well the Night Before
Whether you're camping where you'll be hiking or simply going for a day trip, if you're hiking with kids, everyone needs to be well-rested. Make sure you have a very comfortable, cozy tent setup if you're camping, and give each kid their own camping mat, sleeping bag with liner, and proper sleeping attire for the temperature so they can rest the whole night through. Well-rested kids are more likely to have the energy to make it through the hike and feel happy and excited while they're in the process of doing it.
6. Prepare for Hiking With Kids by Shopping at Pike Trail
If you're planning a trip where you'll be hiking with kids, shop at Pike Trail to ensure you can fill a pack with all the hiking essentials you need for a successful excursion. Pike Trail is an online retailer specializing in high-quality hiking and camping gear. At Pike Trail, we strongly believe in selling only the gear we know is reliable and trustworthy. If you're going hiking with kids, you want every piece of equipment you use to be sturdy and safe, and shopping at Pike Trail ensures you're investing in the very best gear available for your family.
Whether you need a pocket blanket to sit on for a picnic, hiking gaiters to keep your ankles and feet dry while you carry a little one through the mud, or a sleeping bag liner to make sure everyone's warm enough while they sleep at night, Pike Trail has the goods you need to make hiking with kids is a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience for everyone participating. Happy hiking!