Hiking is a wonderful exercise that helps build fitness, discipline while promoting a love for nature that blossoms over the years. Although kids will be reluctant to go at first as it is a demanding and difficult experience you can still show them the good sides of the outdoor world. Whether you do this during the spring, summer or fall they will enjoy a wonderful time as they learn more about what they can find outside. Planning an event like that might seem stressful at first, however you need to remember small steps are what counts with kids. Teaching them to appreciate nature will have a positive effect on the future generations. Here are some tips for how to take your kids hiking safely.
How to Take Your Kids Hiking- Preparation Is Key!
- Keep the hike easy
In the beginning you should avoid taking your kids on difficult hikes. Remember that they need to have a positive experience if they want to return and do it again. Pick a trail that has specific features that are plain to see while offering a beautiful landscape. Hiking is all about the adventure, about seeing what is beyond the next hill. Children are born explorers and if you play your cards right they will see the chance to do so as truly magical in nature. Stick with them and if you see they are too tired offer them to return home. Never push them as you will most likely have more stamina than they do.
- Take your time hiking with kids
There is no sense in doing things in a hurry. This is not a race so give yourself a day to explore and wander around and never rush things. Hiking is about the journey, not the destination so make sure you have enough time to enjoy every aspect of what you see and experience. Besides your kids will want to see everything they can as they are naturally more curious than you are about the world. Keep hiking fun!
- Hiking preparation is key
This applies for any hike or time spent outside and beyond the touch of civilization. You need to pack the bare essential at the least when you’re hiking such as water, safety whistles, trail mix food, a rain poncho, field guides, compass or GPS receiver, sunscreen, flashlight, lighter, flashlight and a knife. Depending on the age of your child and how much you have taught them the lighter and the knife can be omitted. You must however make sure you children know how to survive an extreme situation and how to fend for themselves if they need to. Not doing so would be irresponsible and foolish.
- Wear clothing for hiking
Layers are very important when you’re hiking so make sure your child has clothes they can take off. As you move and walk your core temperature rises, the muscles move and your blood pumps faster so you they will get hot eventually. Make sure they have their own little backpacks where they’ll be able to store them. This will teach them they are responsible for their own hiking packs and supplies. A great pair of hiking boots or at least athletic shoes is very important too.
- Take hiking breaks
Hiking will use up a lot of the energy of your kids. They will get unhappy as you drag them along with you and for that reason you should take breaks as frequently as you must. You can keep them motivated by working with water, food and even stories. Set the break area ahead of time like “when we make it to the top of that hill” or something similar so they can prepare for it.
I hope you enjoyed these tips for taking the kids and hiking. I hope you are inspired to take your kids hiking!