3 Hacks for Hiking with Kids
If you’re planning on a family holiday, whether locally or abroad, hiking is one activity you’ll want to seriously consider. You don’t have to go on week-long treks through the jungle – and your family probably wouldn’t thank you if you did – but day excursions can be a brilliant way to see the sights, spend time together, and tire out your kids’ legs. That way, when you return for dinner you’ll have no trouble getting them to bed so you can enjoy the rest of your evening together! Of course, as with any family activity, hiking needs a little bit of planning to make sure you’re all getting the most out of it that you can. Follow the tips below to ensure your planning, packing, and expectations are all perfectly adapted for a brilliant hiking experience.
Choose the Right Trail
As tempting as it might be to head into the mountains, particularly if you are the outdoorsy type, remember that your kids’ legs are quite a bit shorter than yours! For the perfect family experience, you’ll want to choose a route which offers enough challenge to keep it interesting, whilst remaining suitable for the ability level of your entire family. There are some great guides you can look at, and you can even get your kids to help choose one that they are interested in, making sure they’re just as invested in the trip as you are.
Wearing the Right Clothes
Now, it might be that you’re spending most of your holiday at the beach, with just a day or two’s hiking excursions. Even if this is the case, you’ll need to make sure you’re packing the right clothes for everyone in order to fully enjoy the experience. This means trousers, waterproofs, boots, and practical bags. Of course, you don’t want to shell out on expensive mountaineering gear for a quick family holiday (especially if your kids will grow out of it all in a couple of years), but there are a couple of items that are particularly important. Make sure you’re getting the best hiking socks, or risk blisters and complaints all the way home, and similarly invest in boots that won’t chafe and which offer as much cushioning as possible
Be Prepared for Anything
It’s a motto you might not have heard since the Scouts, but ‘be prepared’ is a hiking mantra you should follow, especially with your kids in tow. If you’re out in nature, anything can happen, even on the most casual of trails. Make sure you’ve got plenty of bottled water with you, and protein-rich snacks to keep everyone’s energy levels up! It’s also a very good idea to bring a physical map (often, mobile networks will fail in remote locations), and to research the wildlife of the area before you go. That way, you’ll know the full range of items you’ll need to bring, ranging from insect repellent to bear spray.
Hiking is a great way to spend time with your kids in the great outdoors. Just remember to be prepared, and choose the right trail for your family!