Sharing amazing travel adventures with your kids means making memories for a lifetime. It’s something you’ll gladly look back to and remember with a smile on your face. If you’re a hiker, you already know the thrill and enjoyment of exploring each new hiking trail. So, wouldn’t it be amazing to bring your kids along and have the whole family together, outside, having fun? Of course, it would, but you do have to prepare for hiking with your kids.
Hiking can be a challenge for kids, especially if they’re younger. And, you don’t want them to face any difficulties that might prevent them from falling in love with this activity. All you have to do is make hiking easier for your kids. If you’re not sure how- we’ve got a list of amazing tips that’ll help you do it.
1. Boost the Excitement
Mental preparation is important when your kids are about to face something as challenging as hiking. This is why we recommend you take some time to prepare your kids mentally and boost their excitement.
You can begin by casually speaking about your previous hiking adventures and how much fun you’ve had. Then, suggest that you go for a hike together. Talk to them about:
- how physically demanding it may be
- how determined they need to be
- how much fun you’re going to have together
Kids love challenges and proving they can do things their parents are skeptical about. Talk about your upcoming hike with excitement and have them pumped up for this adventure.
2. Dress Them Properly
To make hiking easier on your kids, you just need to make sure they’re having fun. But, if they’re uncomfortable, sweating, or cold, the entire trip will go to waste.
So, dress them properly to ensure nothing’s between them and a super-fun hiking experience.
Here’s how to dress your kids for hiking:
- dress them in layers, so they can adjust their clothes during the hike
- get them super-comfortable and durable hiking shoes
- bring rain clothes
- bring change clothes
This way, you know your kids will be comfortable, dry, and happy the entire hike.
3. Give Them Some Control
It’s always a good idea to have a plan for your next hike. You should decide which trail to take, how many breaks to make, and what to do along the way.
But, when kids are in the picture, flexibility is key.
This means you can’t expect them to fit your plan perfectly. Instead, you need to be prepared for making changes along the way. Your kids will enjoy hiking much more if you allow them to:
- set the pace according to their physical abilities
- suggest minor trail detours to explore something they see
- take some control over the hike
You still need to be in charge of making responsible decisions and keeping everyone safe. But, allowing the kids to take an active part in organizing the hike will make it far more enjoyable and thus easy for them.
4. Include Interesting Gear
Another way to make the hike easier for your kids is to make it more dynamic and diverse. It takes time for some kids to fall in love with hiking, so bring out the fun equipment and gear.
You could bring:
- trail maps
- a camera to make videos or take pictures
- a notebook to write down what you discovered
- a music player to sing along the hike
Try to make the hike more kids-oriented and diverse to ensure your kids love every second of it.
5. Bring Food and Water
Kids need the energy to make it through the hike without feeling exhausted and worn out. This is one of the crucial things for making the hike easy for them, so don’t take it for granted.
We suggest you:
- have your kids bring a bottle of water they can sip out of constantly
- bring energizing but healthy foods and snack
- make enough breaks and remind them to eat and hydrate
Remember, chocolate bars and sugary drinks are not your best options. They’ll quickly raise your kids’ sugar levels, but quickly bring them down as well. Instead, have them drink water and snack on dates, nuts, fresh and dried fruit.
If they’re well-energized and hydrated, the hike will run smoothly.
6. Make it Educational
Kids are natural explorers. They’re curious and eager to learn. This is why you should try and make the hike educational and valuable for them.
This doesn’t mean you need to talk about the history of the place or make them learn facts. It simply means you could tell engaging stories about:
- the animal species that live there
- famous hikers who hiked the same trail
- peculiar plants, herbs, and flowers
Be prepared to answer any questions they might have and encourage them to make observations as you progress up or down the trail. Also, teach them about the importance of environmental protection and make sure you leave no mark while hiking.
Your older kids can even write reports on what you did, saw, and learned. Who knows, they might need this information for writing a school paper. SpeedyPaper can help them polish their writing for school or any other purpose.
If your kids are learning fun facts and things they’re interested in, they’ll hike their way to the end with ease.
7. Choose The Right Trail
Choosing the right trail for your hike with the kids is another factor that will influence how they feel about it. The hike should be adjusted to their needs and possibilities.
This is especially important for kids who’re just getting started with hiking.
So, choose a trail that is:
- interesting in terms of things to see and do
After a couple of successful hikes with the kids, you can move on to a bit more difficult hike that requires more time to finish.
As you go, help your kids understand that it’s all about the process and not about arriving at the final destination. This will encourage them to enjoy every moment more and understand the true value of hiking with their family.
Hiking with kids requires a bit more preparation and work on your side, but it’s worth it to share such lovely moments as a family. To make the hike easier on them, just think of it from their perspective.
Use the tips we’ve listed above to ensure you and your kids enjoy every second of your next family hike.
Author’s bio: Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at Writeload. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.