8 Top Tips for a Successful Family Hike

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Some parents, understandably, avoid hiking with their kids. They might think it’s too dangerous or their kids won’t enjoy it. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Hiking is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. So, you don’t have to put off this fun hobby just because you have kids. 

All it takes for a successful hike is a little preparation. Here are 8 top tips to keep in mind before setting out on your journey.

1. Talk to Them About Safety

Have the safety talk before heading out the door. If you wait until you get to the trails, your kids might be too excited and distracted to pay attention. 

As for what to say, emphasize the importance of sticking with the group. They should always have an adult in sight and never stray too far ahead or behind. 

Explain what to do in the event they get separated from you. The American Hiking Society recommends giving each child their own safety whistle. You can attach it to their bag or have them wear it. If they get lost, tell them to stay put, blow the whistle three times, and wait for you.   

You should also make your children are aware of the dangers of nature. While they can explore, they should know not to touch suspicious plants or mess with animals or their habitats. 

2. Dress for the Occasion

You can incorporate safety into your children’s clothing. Have them wear bright fabrics so you can easily keep tabs on them. 

Their clothes should be appropriate for the weather. When dressing them, take into account how active they are and what time of day you’re hiking. Have options available, as you never know when they may need to layer up or strip down. 

3. Wear the Right Shoes

Part of you and your children’s outfit should be a good pair of hiking boots. It can be hard to find a good pair if you’ve got no idea what you’re looking for. There are sites online where professionals will review this kind of footwear. One such site is Boot Bomb. And according to them, having the right boots for your hiking trip will ensure your trip is comfortable and you can prevent unnecessary aches and pains. 

Especially if you plan on hiking regularly, it’s important to get the right boots. You’ll have a pair that will last a good while and give you the support you need. 

4. Pick the Right Trail

Picking the right trail is crucial. You don’t want to pick something too long or too mountainous if it’s your first go. You also don’t want something that will be too challenging for younger kids. 

Find a kid-friendly trail. It should be shorter and have a nice, easy path. It’s even better if it has places where you can take a break, use the restroom, and fill up on water. 

5. Bring Plenty of Snacks and Water

No one’s going to have fun if someone is hungry and thirsty. 

You should pack plenty of water. Have everyone carry their own water bottle and fill up at stations along the way. If there are no water fountains available, you might want to carry a large jug with you.

As for snacks, you can’t go wrong with granola bars, dried fruit, and other high-energy foods. 

Don’t be afraid to also pack your kids’ favorite chips and candy. It will keep them happy, and they are bound to burn it off on the hike! 

6. Make Stops as Necessary

Hiking can be exhausting. Taking frequent breaks will make sure everyone is well-rested, and spirits remain high. 

You should take breaks, of course, to use the restroom, eat, and refill water bottles. Taking breaks will also let your children play and explore their surroundings. 

7. Give Your Children Responsibility

Perhaps the best way to ensure children enjoy something is by giving them responsibility. They love to feel in charge and have control over things. 

The responsibility doesn’t have to be anything big. Some roles they can take on include: 

  • Carrying their own bag or water bottle
  • “Leading” the group by walking ahead
  • Deciding which way to go when you reach a fork in the path
  • Keeping an eye on their younger siblings (for older children)

8. Make It Educational

There’s nothing wrong with slipping a little education in! Kids are naturally curious; learning new things will keep them engaged and excited about hiking.

Talk about the animals and plants you find along the way. Older kids might enjoy learning how to read a compass or follow a map. 

Conclusion

With a little preparation, you and your family are bound to have a successful hike. If it’s something everyone enjoys, then you’ve found your new family bonding activity!

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