Hiking with Kids: What You Need to Know

We love hiking…almost as much as camping. There are some important things that definitely make the experience better. Here is a short list of things to think about before your next hiking excursion with your kiddos.

Know your kiddos

I know, I know…we all know our kiddos. What I mean is, be aware of their limits and work within those. We have been on hikes with other families and we have been on hikes with just us. What makes all of them go better? When you only worry about making your kiddos happy. Trust me, the second you forget that, the second your hike could be miserable.

So, how do you do that? Go at their pace, stop when they need to, get water when they want. Don’t focus on keeping up with anyone else. It will make a huge difference.

The distance does not matter

It is not the distance we go, but the scenery along the way.

One of my favorite hikes was at Chase Point, Scenic State Park, Minnesota. It wasn’t the easiest hike, but once we got to the top of the trail, the views were amazing. You could see water everywhere you looked, there were tree roots for the kiddos to hop over, and there was a fantastic breeze that blew the bugs away. No one even thought about the fact that it wasn’t particularly long. Just how much fun it was.

Be in the moment

Have you ever found yourself watching your kiddos view the world?

One word – Amazing.

They don’t have a care in the world. Well, wait, that isn’t exactly true. They have many cares in the world, but look at what they care about, that bug scampering across the path, that interesting rock near that tree, the cool stick-what can they make with that!? And, in the case of my ultra-sensitive, old-soul little man, what happened to this place before we came here. Yes, he is a thinker.

Hiking is a great time to just be. Feel the breeze on your face. Meditate on life. Watch your kiddos discover new things.

Pack snacks

Do your kiddos eat…a lot? Imagine them burning all those calories hiking. I know, we value that–hello weight loss! But seriously, you need to bring fuel for those little bodies.

We have a few go to snacks that are good and not too bad for the kiddos.

  • Trail mix-or as my family has always called it GORP
  • Granola bars
  • Apple sauce or apples
  • Pretzels, crackers, chips
  • Lots of water!

We are a water drinking family, so we usually have one water bottle per person, and then I usually bring an extra one full of ice. Not only do they need calories, but they need water too.

So there you go, a quick list for hiking happiness. By following even just one of these tips, hopefully you will find yourself and your kiddos having a better hike. And want to get out there all the more!

Now get outside and start hiking!

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