Tips for Hiking with Your Family
Hiking is a great activity. Not only do you get to be up close and personal with nature, but hiking also provides excellent physical exercise, which provides benefits for both your body and your mind.
While you might enjoy hiking, trying to get the whole family involved can be a bit of a challenge. Getting the kids interested in something that doesn’t involve the use of technology can be difficult. It’s not impossible though. Here are a few tips that can help you make hiking fun for the whole family.
Take it Easy
When hiking with kids, you’re most likely going to have to slow your pace down a bit. Pushing your kids too hard, especially in the beginning isn’t just going to wear them out. It may turn them off from hiking altogether. Pick an easy trail to begin with, something that’s not too long or strenuous.
You should also expect your kids to get distracted. You might move along at a decent pace without any stops, but your kids are more likely to get distracted. They may see an animal or want to explore into the trees a bit. Enjoy the experience, take in the sights, and learn something new together.
Plan for Some Stops
You already know how much a good hike can take out of you. Your kids are likely to get tired along the way, and tired kids can quickly become cranky ones. Plan to take several breaks so that your kids can rest their legs, get a drink, and eat a quick, energy-boosting snack.
Dress in layers when going out for a hike. Even if you start light, make sure that you have extra clothes in case you or your kids get chilled. Providing your young explorers with kids rain pants and jackets can be beneficial in times of rain or if it’s a bit windy. Pack hats and gloves for chilly mornings. Good hiking shoes are also a good idea for keeping their feet comfortable.
Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes for everyone, too. If it’s wet or raining, at least a few of you will likely come back a little damp and muddy. A fresh set of clothes will make the ride home (or out to breakfast) more pleasant.
Play Games Along the Way
Simply walking along a trail might get a bit boring for kids. Plan to play some games to keep their interest and make the adventure more exciting. Create nature-themed bingo cards and have your kids mark off squares when they find something that matches a word on their card. Make a scavenger hunt list (but be sure your kids don’t actually take anything). Have them look for signs of animals or use a book to identify different flowers or birds. Turning a walk through nature into a game can help to make the adventure more fun and engaging.
Make Hiking a Habit
Going out on a hike is a great activity to do together. It’s also something that you can do over and over again. The more you hike, the easier it becomes, for both you and your kids. You don’t always have to go along the same trails either. If your kids express a genuine interest in hiking, turn it into a regular habit.
Pick a day of the week or a few days out of the month that you can devote to hiking. Look online for different trails near your house or within a set distance away. Take weekend getaways occasionally to explore trails a bit further away. If you’re planning a family vacation, look for trails near where you’re staying. Taking some time to explore nature will give everyone a chance to truly appreciate everything it has to offer while enjoying each other’s company and getting fit in the process.
Hiking can be a great activity to do as a family. You can experience new things, create amazing memories, and get (and stay) fit together.