Family time out on the woods and hiking? Seriously? Can you possibly enjoy it especially with kids in tow? Of course, YES! There is no rule stating that kids are not allowed during hiking trips so why not introduce them to this fun outdoor activity right?
Hiking is also a great way to awaken the adventurous side of your kids and be able to spend quality time with them at the same time. However, hiking with your little ones and keeping them interested in the trails can be really challenging. Fortunately, we have prepared these ideas and tips for parents who are planning to bring their children on hiking.
- Pack what’s necessary
Remember, you have your kids in tow with you. And believe me, they are already enough to keep your hands full during hiking. So as much as possible, bring only the things that are necessary and needed. You may not be going to the beach but still, bring your sunscreen with you. Pack adequate food and snacks, and plenty of water. Don’t just rely on the spring you might on your way. Get your BPA-free container from a trusted water bottles supplier and fill it with water. You can find good bottles in Safeshine which is the best water bottles factory in China. You might also like to make a sponge necklace to keep them cool. Always carry your first-aid kit too. And don’t forget your hats, extra clothes, and insect spray.
- Choose a child-friendly trail
You might be itchy to take the challenging trail for the adrenaline rush, but for now, choose a trail that suits your kids. If they are beginners in hiking, then look for a trail that is not too strenuous for them. You might like to choose a trail with features like a stream, waterfall, caves, or anything that will continue to pique their interests.
- Let them explore a little
Children are curious in nature. They love to explore especially when they see something that is new them. Let them be. If they want to get down on their hands to see the little creatures on the ground, let them do so. Remember, you are there to gain experience and memories.
- Start early
Expect to have many detours and muscle stretches when you are hiking with kids. In order for you not to rush going to your destination, might as well start early. This way, you will have ample time to really enjoy your surroundings while hiking. Singing songs while on the trail is also a good way to lighten up the mood and keeps them entertained.
- Take turns in being the leader
Know the secret to keep your children excited and interested during your hike? That’s to involve them as much as possible. And letting them take turns in being a leader is one way to do that. This is also another way of teaching them to become more responsible and independent. To spice things up, you might also like to give rewards to the best leader. Don’t forget to give them a compass, whistle, and LED flashlight. Make sure also to orient them on how to use the devices properly.
- Wear layers and good shoes
Remember strategic layering? Even if it’s scorching heat in the middle of summer, wearing layers of clothes is still the wisest thing to do especially when you’re hiking towards the woods. Choose clothes that are lightweight, breathable, and adds protection against cold temperatures. Invest in good shoes too. Comfortable hiking boots and shoes will be your best buddy during hiking trips. You don’t want to carry whining children like sacks of rice because they are not comfortable with their shoes or they got blisters on their feet, right?
- Make memories but leave no trace
Hiking with kids is one of the moments that you want to remember forever. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you and take photos to capture some magical moments. And like the good citizen that you are, teach your children to protect and preserve Mother Nature by not leaving any of your trash behind. You might like to carry a trash bag where you will all put your snack wrappers or any litters inside it.
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the moment. You are there to relax and bond with your kids so let loose a little and just enjoy the trail. The first time is always the hardest. But, you’ll see, after you get back from your first hiking trip with your kids, you will then find yourself looking for dates for your next adventure with the family.