Hiking With Kids – Summertime is best marked with days that you and your kids spent together as a family.
For one, this can be one of those times where you can spend the entire day with your children. Summer is also the time of the year when your little ones do not have to think of school work.
If you are an adventurous adult and the kids are like balls of endless energy, perhaps going on hiking is best for you. However, hiking with kids is more than just packing your hiking gear and visiting the nearest trails.
There are common mistakes you should know so that you can avoid them.
There is no denying that going on a hike can be tiring. However, your kids can manage it if you keep it fun. Otherwise, your children will only be thinking of hiking as a boring and tiring affair.
Luckily, there are various ways to make hiking with your kids fun.
You can start by planning the hike with your little ones. That way, you know that you are picking a trail that would work for them. Otherwise, you might end up frustrating them because you chose a course based on your preferences.
Thus, pick a kid-friendly hiking trail and let them choose which one they would like, depending on their exciting features.
Other ways to make the hiking fun are to have a scavenger hunt or let the kids take a photo of whatever they find interesting.
Whether you are in for a short hike, always pack some healthy and kid-friendly snacks with you. That’s because your kids will likely spend a lot of energy throughout the trek.
Snacks can help them replenish their energy. It will also motivate them to go on.
Consider making energy balls at least a day before the hike. That’s because they are satiating and easy to carry.
However, remind your little one not to throw their trash willy-nilly. Instead, teach them to pack their food container and clean them when you are on the camping site or back at home.
Here’s the thing: Your kids are not like horses. They do not speed up on the way back to the starting point.
Often, we feel like we are done with our hike as soon as we reach the turnaround. Only to realize that we have to walk back. This can be exhausting for your kids.
That said, only go half the distance you plan to go to whenever you are hiking with your kids. If you happen to have a long-distance hike, remember to take quick breaks in-between walks. And be prepared to spend the night in a designated camping ground.
You can only give a tired hiker two choices: Let them walk on their own or ride in the pack. And when it is about your kids, you cannot drag them down the trail.
This is especially true if you are hiking with an infant. Thus, it would be best to bring a carrier and be prepared to use it.
We are not just talking about whether you or your partner should carry the baby. It is also about having a suitable baby sling that will allow you to carry your baby while carrying a backpack.
Meanwhile, you can use a backpack-style carrier if your infant is at least six months old. That said, here are some features you should look for in a baby carrier:
- Rain or sun hood
- Grab handle
- Removable day pack
- Adjustable suspension
- Lower gear storage
Keeping these features in mind ensures that you can carry your kids and other hiking essentials on the trail.
Picking the right outfit can also make or break your kids’ hiking experience. Hence, you should ensure that you and your children are appropriately clothed.
On a warm summer day, that could mean wearing a dry-fit shirt and a sturdy pair of hiking boots. That way, you are all comfortable even if you are sweating. It also ensures that you will not deal with sore feet later on.
However, you should pack a rain jacket just in case it rains wherever you are hiking.
There is a difference between hiking solo and hiking with kids. And we are not just talking about bringing the children with you.
The former allows you to conquer the trail. The latter, on the other hand, will enable you to spend time with your little ones. Thus, do not push the kids too far, too fast.
For one, they do not have the stamina that you have when hiking. Hence, pushing your arbitrary schedule to your children will stress the heck out of you.
So, make sure that you avoid the mistakes listed here, and you and your kids can enjoy a fantastic hike together.