Taking Kids Hiking: How To Prepare

For seasoned hikers, taking the kids along will invite new joy and challenges into your favourite routes. For those who are new to hiking altogether, plenty of prep will be key to ensuring that you and the kids have a stress-free time and enjoy it enough that they’re asking when you’re going next. Let’s look at planning, equipment and on-the-day tips to ensure that your family day out is a success.

Picking the Right Hike

This will depend entirely on the age and abilities of your kids, not to mention your own physical fitness. Hiking is a wonderful workout, but if you aren’t quite sure how much you can manage then you should start small. Ask friends for recommendations and do some online research into hiking routes to prepare. Take into account the severity of the climb, whether there are paths or not and the length of the route.


Hiking Gear

It’s important that you and the kids have sturdy shoes and waterproofs, plus a few thin layers so you can adjust according to the weather. Shoe shopping with kids can be a challenge, especially when the shoes need to work hard. Here are the things to look for when shopping for your child’s hiking shoes:

  • Ankle support. Boots shouldn’t restrict ankle movement, but they should still protect against things such as blisters that can come up while travelling for long distances.
  • Comfort. If your kids aren’t used to wearing bulkier shoes then it may take a bit of getting used to. Make sure that you take them to try on new boots with thick hiking socks so you get the right size, and take them to wear new shoes on shorter walks before heading out for a day of hiking.
  • The right fit. Ensure that the heel stays in place, since a floating heel can result in blisters.
  • Boot Type. Unless you are planning steep, rocky routes, it’s likely that a light pair of hiking boots will serve you well as you tackle routes with kids. For weekend or occasional hikers, a light pair that fit well should keep you comfortable on long walks.

Once the boots are sorted, you’ll need thin layers with a waterproof coat in case of downpours, and a comfortable backpack to fit your water, food and spare layers. Depending on the age of the kids they might also want their own backpack, but make sure they know it’s (supposed to be) up to them to carry it themselves!

On The Day

Check the weather at your destination ahead of your hike to make a decision about your plans, and don’t be fooled by sunshine at home. A lot can change in an hour’s drive, and you don’t want to get caught out. Check out these tips for preparing for a road trip with kids if you’re planning a longer drive to get there. It’s a good idea to think of a back-up plan in case the weather dampens your hiking plans. Finally, make sure you’ve packed some great snacks. Fresh and dried fruit, nuts and cereal bars are all good options, but remember that you’ll have to carry everything with you, so don’t overload yourself.


The guest author of this blog Rajhu S Goraai is a regular contributor on top business blog. Connect with him on Linkedin.

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