Hiking With Kids Made Easy:  A Step-by-Step Guide

by Major League Mommy
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In the 21st century, we observe mobile phones not only in the hands of parents but also in those of children. Screens have become an easy distraction for people of all ages- even toddlers who get mesmerized by catchy shows and songs.

This is why it is now more important than ever to take kids on outdoor adventures- because the adventures of nature are an addiction of their own- and a healthy one at that! It is essential to introduce your kids to nature because they are future generations and must learn the importance of appreciating and preserving it.

One popular outdoor activity is hiking, however, it can often seem like a major task for parents to prepare for it. But we’re here to help! We will highlight all the recommended tips and tricks that parents should utilize to make their family hiking trip successful.

So let’s get to it.

kids hiking in mountains | Imgorthand from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com
Photo credit: Imgorthand from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com

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1) Start With Shorter Trails and Allow the Kids To Explore

Kids need to adapt to different experiences and fall in love with them to be able to be willing and excited to do them again.

This is why you must start with easier hikes, which means selecting shorter trails and those with some element of interest for your kids. This can include trails with lakes, rivers, or pathways surrounded by flowers or wildlife. By exposing your children to interesting landscapes, nature itself will keep your family entertained.

Parents also need to keep an open mind and understand that the purpose of these hikes is not to reach a certain destination or get a specific number of steps in. Family hikes are about the experience and the joys of the moment, therefore, if your children want to wander around or even sit down to observe and explore- you should allow them to satisfy their curiosity!

2) Be Prepared for Anything- So Pack Smart!

The outdoors can bring with it accidents and all kinds of surprises so it is recommended that you pack the 10 essentials as recommended by various hiking and scouting organizations.

These 10 items are must-haves to help you in cases of injuries, weather changes, or getting lost with no data service. However, it is important to note that these are only the essentials that you must take with you, there are many other items that you may choose to take depending on various factors.

For example, if you are hiking in a landscape with bugs and insects, remember to pack bug spray. If your family will take a mini-break to splash into a river or waterfall, pack life jackets for the children.

Tissues, wet wipes, and sanitizers are some other essential items to pack especially if your kids like to get down and dirty on the ground while exploring. Remember to pack binoculars and a magnifying glass so your youngsters can observe sceneries and interesting insects. We also recommend taking a bottle of Magic Molecule Spray in your First Aid Kit.

If you are a parent worried about the dangers of nature a recommended tip is to train your kids to identify various factors of risk or concern. This can help them avoid or escape unfortunate incidents. You can also equip them with whistles that they can blow to signify that they are uneasy or unsafe.

3) Consider Working With Kid-Friendly Tour Guides

If you plan on hiking in a terrain you are unfamiliar with, you should consider carefully selecting a tour guide who is well-versed in engaging children.

For example, if you plan on hiking through the desert landscapes of Phoenix, the Wild Bunch Desert Guides have professional tour guides who keep children engaged while providing educational insights throughout the trip. There are guides like this available all over and they can definitely help things run a lot smoother, and in some cases provide extra fun like birthday surprises and other activities during the hike.

When parents hire a professional tour guide, they are typically more relaxed because they have a trained guide on hand to help with any unforeseen circumstances.

4) Dress Appropriately- for the Weather and Comfort!

Your family’s dress attire for the hike must depend on the weather and landscape conditions. Moreover, it is also important to wear comfortable clothes.

If it is wet and humid weather, or winter it is important to wear many layers, especially in the mornings when it can get very chilly. If you know it’ll be a little chilly during your hike, pack some thermal underwear. If you suspect it might rain you should also pack ponchos or rain jackets. Rain jackets can also act as windbreakers- a must-have in windy conditions.

In contrast, if you are hiking in a desert landscape during the summer, you should wear lightweight clothing that offers UV protection. If the sun’s rays are extreme a cap or wide-brimmed hat is recommended to protect from the sun.

Since hiking requires an ample amount of walking, it is essential to equip your family with proper hiking boots or shoes and ensure they have ankle support.

pin on pinterest_step by step guide to planning a hiking trip with kids

Final Thoughts

Once your kids experience the excitement of hiking, it may be time to move on to or add on different outdoor activities like camping.

Lastly, while you enjoy the outdoors with your family, educate your kids about their responsibility to care for the environment and use this as an opportunity to teach about sustainability.

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