Playing outside has been scientifically proven to benefit children’s physical and mental health immensely. Being outside leads to increased activity, which in turn reduces the risk of obesity. It also improves a child’s mood and increases the ability to concentrate.
Getting children outside in the modern world isn’t always easy. In a world of distractions and things to do, it sometimes takes an effort to get kids moving. One outdoor activity that children can enjoy with the whole family is hiking.
Hiking with children of any age can feel a little overwhelming because it comes with a unique set of challenges. However, with a bit of preparation and some patience, you can have a stress-free hiking experience with kids.
Continue reading to learn five tips to help you on your next hiking expedition.
1. Choose the Right Outdoor Clothes
The right clothes and shoes can make a world of difference when hiking with children. Look for clothes that are warm, protective, and comfortable. You can check out these outdoor clothes for kids for ideas of what to choose.
2. Plan for Exploration Stops
Some adults like to get from point A to point B on their hikes without stopping. When hiking with kids, however, expect them to want to stop and explore. Plan for a few short exploration stops between your starting point and your destination.
3. Bring Snacks and Water
Any parent will tell you kids are always hungry, and hiking is no exception. Bring a few simple snacks that can be eaten while you walk, like lollipops, pretzels, or apples. Ring pops are especially great because they take a long time to finish and are easy to carry.
If you’re planning a longer hike, make sure you bring a picnic lunch. Something light but filling, like sandwiches, is a good choice. Always remember to bring as much water as you can comfortably carry to keep yourself and the children hydrated during your hike.
4. Invest in a Backpack Carrier for Younger Kids
If you think you’re tired after a few miles of hiking, imagine how younger children with much smaller legs feel. That’s why it’s highly suggested parents with children under the age of five or six invest in a sturdy backpack carrier to carry the kids in intermittently. This can allow the youngest kids to rest without pushing back your timeline too far.
5. Keep up a Conversation as You Walk
Children do best when their attention is kept. After an hour or a few of hiking, their attention may start to wander, and they’ll start up the “I’m bored” conversation. Try keeping up a conversation as you walk to help keep their attention and help the miles pass without you stressing out.
Do You Have More Questions About Hiking With Children?
Hiking with children can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. While it does come with unique challenges, using the helpful tips above can help make the event less stressful for everyone.
Do you have more questions about hiking with children?
Feel free to check out our other blog posts. You’ll find information on this and related topics to help you dive further into the matter.