Hiking with kids, our best tips

By Stef Zisovska
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Hiking with kids can be a real nightmare, and it’s better you face it from the start. It’s not impossible to have a  great time alongside your children on a hiking trail, but the truth is it’s not as simple as when you go on your own or with other grown-ups. But for it to be a successful adventure you need to be prepared and to keep calm even when you feel like pulling your hair out. Hiking with small kids can often be a test of anyone’s patience. Follow these useful tips before you go on a hiking trip with your kids.

Make safety a priority

Outdoor Family

Before heading to the wilderness let a friend or member of a family know where you and your kids are going and how long are you staying. In a case you get lost, make sure that person has a photo of your family, so the rescue crew can see who are they are looking for.

Buy everybody good shoes

Don’t feel bad about the money you need to spend to buy good shoes for your family. Hiking in the mountains means exposing your feet to a lot of pressure and they’ll get a lot of hard work. That’s why you need to make sure that all your family’s feet feel comfortable and ready for a long walk.

Always carry a first aid kit and fire starter kit

Band-Aids, anti-itch cream, Ibuprofen, whistles for each member of the family, waterproof matches, a lighter, and a pocket knife are some of the things that must be close to hand at any time of the hike. You can always add things according to your family’s particular needs.

Bring a map of the region you’re visiting

Teach your kid to read a map

Try to find a map of the trail and teach your kids how to read it. It’s going to be useful for them to learn something new and it will be fun to see them in a role of little explorers. If your kids get bored easily, get a compass as well and let them “guide” you on the trail.

Bring a lot of water

Drinking water is essential for your well being, and it is very important to bring a lot of water when you go hiking with your kids. If you are close to a water source then bring a Life Straw that you can use to drink directly from a river, and the water will get filtered through the straw. Also, think about getting some hydration bags for your kids because it’s easier when they carry their own water and that will make them feel important and useful. If you are planning a hike in a dry area where there are no natural bodies of water, then you would have to carry a lot of extra water bottles in your car.

Bring plenty of snacks that your kids like

Everybody gets hungry while hiking, but especially kids. Always prepare more snacks than what you think they can eat. It’s better to add a little bit more weight to your backpack than having cranky kids in the middle of nowhere. Prepare high-protein sandwiches, nuts, protein bars, dry fruits, and candies.

Let them get dirty

Let them play

Jumping around in the mud and playing games in the wilderness is exactly what your kid needs, so don’t prevent it. Kids enjoy getting dirty, and maybe you should even join them and play their favorite game without worrying about your shoes and your clothes. After all, you can wash them all as soon as you get back home. Take your kids hiking and teach them to respect nature! Good luck!

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