3 Tips for Fun Family Hiking

3 Tips for Fun Family Hiking

You are ready to go hiking with your young kids, but you’re not sure what to do to make it as fun as possible for everyone involved. Hiking with kids is different from hiking with only adults, but it’s worth it to introduce kids to the beauty of nature, and to enjoy quality family time outdoors. Here are a few tips to up the odds of having fun on your family hikes.

3 Tips for Fun Family Hiking

Plan for the Elements

Even in the woods, you may encounter enough sunshine to get a sunburn, so always wear high SPF sunscreen when you head out for a hike. You will also certainly encounter a multitude of bugs, unless you’re hiking in the winter. Use a bug spray or cream that contains DEET or other effective repellent to minimize bug exposure. Everyone is still likely to come out of the woods with a bite or two, however. Make sure that you have mosquito bite relief on hand ahead of time to reduce the itching and complaining.

Make it Fun

Most kids don’t enjoy jumping onto a trail and walking several uninterrupted miles straight through. For younger kids, be sure to start small. Also, choose trails that have interesting features for kids to explore. Water in streams or ponds is always a draw. While you’re hiking you can sing songs as a family or play word games together to stave off boredom. And if all else fails and your kids still protest when you mention hiking, simply don’t call it hiking. Get everyone out the door and go play in the woods. You might know that you’re hiking as your play moves through the woods, but you don’t have to tell them that.

Pack Snacks

A promise of small, frequent snacks can often keep a reluctant young hiker moving forward. Bring snacks they like, and bring a variety. Good old raisins and peanuts — GORP — is a tasty traditional trail snack. You can add in small chocolate candies or pretzels to make it more interesting. Fresh fruit such as clementines and apples are also good choices on the trail. Be sure to pack plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated, and also pack a trash bag for wrappers and peels so that you leave no trace in the woods.

It takes a mindset change to enjoy your hiking experience with children. Taking it at their pace and keeping it lighthearted can make family hiking fun for kids and adults.

3 Tips for Fun Family Hiking

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