Trekking is fun. But persuading your kids to get off the iPad and prepare for a hiking trip can be very challenging. Many parents give up their hope and start believing that backpacking life comes to an end after having kids. Well, truly speaking, hiking with kids can be fun. It is rather a great way to educate them to connect with nature and have gala time with family.
If you are planning to take your kids outdoor this summer for a hike, then you might want to read through a few tips and tricks that can help you better plan your hiking trip. There are several things you can plan into your hike and share your love for outdoors with your little ones. Just keep these tips in mind, plan, pack your bags and lace up your shoes.
Make Sure You Have The Gear for Hiking With Kids
Packing the Essentials: When trekking with kids, it is crucial for you to make sure that you have all the kid’s essentials, especially stuff like first-aid kit, rain gear, bug spray, extra clothes, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, flashlight and water.
Snacks: More than adults, kids need more fuel for a hiking trip and small snack breaks are also a great way to keep your kids motivated to move up the mountain. You can always opt for easy-to-carry snacks like nuts, dry cereal and energy bars. Rather, you can encourage them to pack their own snacks in their backpack.
Right Gear for Hiking: When hiking with kids, it is always advisable to be extra cautious. You must be sure that your kids have the right kind of gear for hiking like hiking boots or chaco sandals, jacket, hat, walking stick and even a compass, if required.
Get Ready for your Hike
Be Ready to Become an Encyclopedia: Most of the times trekking with kids becomes more of a science class. Children are curious. They closely observe different things surrounding them like trees, plants and birds you pass by. So, you can always prepare yourself for question & answer sessions, before you plan your trip. This is a good way to keep your children engaged in the hike.
Become a Storyteller: If you have chosen a trail to any architecture rich site, you can always choose to read about the place before hand, like its history, demographics and traditions. During hiking you can tell stories and ask questions to make it more interesting for the kids. This encourages them to explore more and stick to the trail, till the end.
Simple Hiking Tricks for Hiking with Kids
Choose a Trail Close to Home: If it is your first hiking trip with your kids, make sure you choose a trail that is close to your home. While hiking with kids, you may not be able to make it to the top every time. At any given point of time, your kids may be tired or hurt or simply not interested anymore. Often, this becomes the time to head back home.
Integrating Technology: If it is too difficult for you to get your kids off their tablets or phones, integrate your technology during your hike. For example, you can put your smartphone on airplane mode and use it as a camera. Otherwise, make use of different apps to explore the plants and birds to make it even more interesting.
Inviting Other Families: You can also connect with other families and friends with kids to hit the trail. This is a good way to make your hike successful. It will also offer a different hiking experience to you while chatting with others.
Encourage Your Kids to Lead the Way: Make your kid the leader of your hike. Maybe even give them a compass so that they can lead the way. If you have more than one, change the leader role after a while. This is not just a key to a successful hike, but is also a good way to teach leadership.
With proper hiking gear, snacks and ample curiosity, you can surely make your hiking trip is truly enjoyable, exciting and memorable for your family.