We all know that hiking is a great activity especially when the whole family is involved. It’s a fantastic way of spending some quality time together and really does allow you to escape it all.
With the Easter holidays fast approaching, we’ve put together 5 tips for hiking with kid’s that will help you and the little ones to enjoy some quality time outdoors.
1. Comfortable Shoes
Obviously, on a hike, a good pair of shoes is a must as they’ll have to be able to ascend and descend the terrain over a continuous period of time, which can be demanding on the feet and ankles.
Specifically designed to provide comfort, hiking boots are able to offer support and protection, helping them to avoid aches and pains caused by being on foot all day. Not only that, styles with waterproof and breathable membranes help to ensure protection against external moisture and sweat, so they don’t have to suffer from damp socks and shoes.
We would recommend that you get them to break them in first before setting off for the trail. Without breaking them in, they will be more likely to suffer from sore feet and even blistering so, in order to ensure their comfort, get them to team them up with a pair of hiking socks and wear them a few times beforehand.
2. Let Them Help
An important point to note when planning any hike is that everyone needs to be on board with the plan, which is why we suggest letting them help to plan the day.
Allowing them to help decide the trail, rest stops, what kit you should take and even what day you go on means they are more likely to enjoy themselves and get involved in the day itself. Plus it will help them with their organising and planning skills, which can have a good impact in other areas of their lives including school.
3. Bring Water & Snacks
Nothing works up more of an appetite or thirst like a hike therefore, making sure there is plenty to eat and drink is a must, especially when the little ones’ are coming along too.
Water is an absolute essential on any hike as it keeps you hydrated and energised and when the kids’ energy levels begin to flag, a drink of water is sure to give them a boost. If they don’t like the taste of water then flavoured water is a great option. From strawberry and lemon to raspberry and apple, there are so many different flavours out there that they are sure to love and you’ll not have to worry about them becoming tired and dehydrated.
In terms of snacks, Trail mix is a hiking favourite that provides much needed energy. Made up of nuts, dried fruit and granola, this snack can be either made up at home or bought in ready-made bags. Plus, the kids are able to include what ingredients they want meaning there shouldn’t be any complaints when it comes to snack time. Also, make sure they have snacks such as sandwiches and fruit to cure those hunger pangs.
4. Check the Weather
Before your jaunt with the kids’ to the trails, we would suggest you check the weather forecast. There is nothing worse than being caught out by unpredictable weather half way through a hike. Checking what the weather is to be like will help you to plan what to wear and what to bring.
This is also a safety measure as you’ll have to determine if the weather will allow you to venture out. Wet and windy weather can cause major problems as not only will the terrain be wet and possibly slippy but the higher the altitude you are, the more you will be able to feel the wind, which can affect the little one’s balance. On the other hand, if it’s meant to be a hot day, it might be too warm to go for a hike.
Simply checking the day before and the day of will mean you can make an informed decision and avoid any complaints from the kids’ about it being too warm, sunny, cold, wet or windy.
5. Schedule Regular Breaks
Hiking is physically demanding and it is easy for both adults and kids’ to get tired after a while. This is why we would suggest taking regular breaks in order to build energy back-up and refuel with water and snacks. You can even plan your stops at locations with a view allowing you to bask in your surroundings while enjoying some delicious grub. By planning regular stops, it breaks it up into more manageable chunks making it easier for the little ones to cope with the demands of spending the day hiking.
With all of this in mind, the most important tip is to make sure everyone stays safe and has fun. Hiking is a fantastic family activity as it gets you all exercising and communicating. We hope these tips will prove useful on your next or first family hike and that you enjoy your time spent out on the trail.
Do you have any good tips for taking the kids’ hiking? Let us know in the comments.