Planning a hike with the kids is certainly a challenge whether you’ve hiked all your life or you’ve just jumped on the bandwagon. It’s important to realize that kids have their own needs and as a result, your hiking plans will require special attention. Below are some considerations before you go and some great tips for hiking with your family.
If you’re used to hiking, but never with kids, you should plan to take a much slower pace that you would normally go for. You certainly have to be realistic about the distances your children will be able to cover and if you don’t know how far that is, go for the lowest possible estimate. If you don’t plan the route properly you might end up feeling more stressed than relaxed upon your return.
Something important that may easily be forgotten before a holiday is a trip to the doctor. When travelling abroad you should always seek medical advice in the instance that you and your kids need vaccinations. When you contract your surgery you should make an appointment and let your GP know the ages of your kids and if required, bring everyone’s vaccination records along. If any of your children have existing medical conditions, make sure you’re aware of any specialists in the area you’re travelling to before your trip.
When walking it’s important to remember that rather than getting from start to finish, your kids will want to pay attention to their own interests – this means factoring in time to let them explore. Plan the route you take based on the speed your youngest or slowest child – remember that you might have to carry them some, if not all of the way.
Pick an exciting route where the scenery and nature is varied and diverse as the kids will stay engaged for longer. Some route suggestions might include following a canal or a river as on a hot day there might be an opportunity for a swim as well as the chance to take in the water’s wildlife.
Packing the right items is essential on a hiking trip as it’s likely that you’ll be away from any conveniences for long periods. Make sure you’ve got the right foods, the right clothes, a map and compass of the area or a GPS. Water is important too – ensure you’ve got enough to last your trip and more. Once you’ve got all these things checked off you’re a lot closer to being ready to go – Just don’t forget to take the kids.
More hiking tips.