Do you hike with a child or someone who acts like a child?

If you do this post is for you.

Monday morning was chaos at our house.

I blame Sunday.

I’d been out of town all weekend for work, when I got back into town the fridge was empty so I fed my kids junk food for dinner.

Then they stayed up way past their bedtime.

Instead of picking up things around the house and getting ready for an early morning hike on Monday I just kind of zoned out in front of Netflix.

Don’t even ask me what I was watching, I can’t ¬†remember.

On Monday morning when I announced at 6:30 that we needed to be in the car and on the road to the trailhead by 7 there was whining of epic proportions.

My 3-year-old wanted to stay at home and play with trucks.

My 2-year-old did not want to get dressed.

My husband needed to scamper off to his day job.

Eventually, we made it out the trailhead, onto the trail and had a blast hiking and splashing in a lake.

(We always do, no matter how cranky we are, we’re happy within minutes of breathing some fresh mountain air.)

But emotions were too high as I searched for hiking socks, granola bars and raincoats before the hike.

Waaaayyyy too high, all of the drama could have been avoided if I would have done 3 simple things.

I should have fed my kids a better dinner and kept their hydration in check on Sunday.

Fast food does not good hiking fuel make (I don’t care what all you McLovin’ thru-hikers say, for a simple day hike we’re not looking for fatty, dense calories just quality food that will sustain the body.)

I should have spent 15 minutes putting our packs together on Sunday night rather than run around like a mad woman while my children were full of drama on Monday morning.

I should have prepped my kids ahead of time.

Before they went to bed on Sunday I should have told them that we’d be leaving early in the morning to go on a hike.

I should have also reminded them that when they woke up on Monday morning instead of dropped the bomb on them mid-cereal bites.

My family is pretty terrible at routines, but when I decided on Tuesday that we were going to hike again this morning I instantly started preparing.

And you know what, this morning getting my kids out of the house, strapped into their car seats and on the mountain was SO easy.

So there you go, 3 tips to help prevent pre-hike meltdowns!

What do YOU do to keep everyone happy the morning of a hike?

-Rebecca

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2 comments on “3 Tips to Prevent Pre-Hike Crankiness

  1. Those are good ideas, Rebecca. The one thing that will produce a cranky hiker in our family is the 4-year-old falling asleep in the car on the way to the trail head. Pretty much every time that happens we have a massive hiking fail. I’m not sure how to prevent it, but hopefully it’s something she’ll grow out of soon!

    • Yes! You’re so right. I find myself singing, “now, don’t you fall asleep” to my kids often as were driving to trailheads.

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