I’ve gotta be honest here…it’s easy to get caught up in the wild world of kids daypacks, raincoats and boots and forget all about the basics when it comes to hiking with kids.
In fact, I’m almost done writing a book full of detailed pro-tips to make every hike with kids awesome so I know all that stuff is important. Stay tuned, details coming soon!
But in reality all you need are 3 simple things for a great time on the trails with little ones.
Check out this short video. I shot it i-phone selfie-style on a hike a few days ago. You might notice the absence of things like my high def camera, a microphone, pretty hair, make-up, and a script–shooting this video was completely spontaneous.
If you don’t have time to watch the video here are my 3 tips:
1. Proper clothing & footwear is essential for both you and the kid. It sucks being too cold or too hot, right?
2. Bring plenty of food and water. My rule of thumb is 1 snack in the car on the way to the trailhead, 1 snack on the way home, and 1 snack per hour. It seems like a lot of snacking…but my kids are really motivated by food! (so I am…) I also keep a case of water in my car and a steriPEN in my pack so we never have an empty water bottle or sippy cup.
3. The hardest thing for me about hiking with kids is giving up mileage and speed goals. Learning to slow down, relax and let my kids play more than hike is a constant exercise in patience…but oh so worth it.
I know that many of you are either past the little kid stage or not there yet. If that’s you feel free to share it with a friend who is at that stage in life!
What are your easy, nitty-gritty tips for hiking with kids? Is there anything you’d add to the list?
How to Hike with Babies & Toddlers (video playlist)