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6 Tips for Hiking with Children

By Mei Yee

Have you ever gone for a hike with your children only to realize you weren’t as prepared as you thought? Or do your children complain about the idea of it?

My oldest will complain but is fine once we get out; she still complains about bugs but not about the hike itself. My youngest just loves being outdoors, no matter what the reason is.

Hiking with children is always something where it is better to be prepared. So here is a shortlist of things you can do to help prepare.

1. Always make sure you have the appropriate gear as in shoes and clothing. This way, if you or your children aren’t used to hiking, they will be comfortable and not complain about being too hot/cold or how their feet hurt. They might still do that just to get out of finishing the hike if they didn’t want to go (as mine have done that). But also, this way you have suitable clothing whether it is summer or winter.

2. Find kid-friendly trails, whether it is shorter trails or trails that aren’t steep or both. When just starting to hike, it is best not to have the “go big or go home” mentality. Because you don’t want to overdo it on the hike, it might put the children off of ever wanting to do it again. So always read the information about the trial beforehand.

3. First aid kits. Better to be safe than sorry. You should carry one whether hiking with children or without them.

4. Water. Always make sure you have plenty of water, even if it is a short trail. It’s best to make sure you have enough to stay hydrated during the hike as well as the ride home or the cooldown period.

5. Snacks. If the hike isn’t going to be a long one, I would say leave snacks in the car. But if you are going to be hiking for more than an hour or two, then snacks would be something good to have. Try to avoid foods that could be easily broken in your backpack.

6. Check the weather beforehand. If there is a high chance of rain, I would say don’t do it. If you’re alone and don’t mind the rain, then sure go for it. But with children, that could put a damper on things as they might not like the rain, or the rain and hike combined might have them in a tantrum-throwing mood. Also to make sure it won't be too hot to avoid any heat-related illness.


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