5 Tips for Hiking with Kids

After a very long, wet winter that turned into a very cold not-really-spring, we’ve found ourselves at summer! We’ve been taking every opportunity to explore outside with our nature bag.

Hiking is a great way to stay active as a family. You can bring kids hiking at any age! If you want to hike with your kids, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t have a strict time frame: Kids hike slowly.  On my oldest daughter’s first on-foot hike it took us an hour to get to a lake with both of us walking, and 10 minutes to get back with her in the Ergo.  Bring a magnifying glass and local field guide to explore and identify anything that captures your child’s attention, and enjoy watching your kid discover the natural world. 
  2. Start small: Think flat and short. You can work your way up to more difficult hikes as your child gets older and more experienced.
  3. Bring a carrier: For babies, unless you pick a flat, paved trail, a carrier works better than a stroller.  Even for toddlers it’s good to have a carrier in case they get tired. My youngest spent some hike time in the Ergo until she was 3. A good rule is that the bigger the kid and the more they’ll be carried, the more structured you want your carrier to be. My favorite for little ones over 3 months is the Ergo Sport- it’s lightweight and easy to pack but still structured enough to give good support.
  4. Make your kids comfortable: Bring snacks and water!  For preschoolers and up you can find kid-sized camelback water backpacks. Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn, and dress in layers.
  5. Take safety precautions: Bring a small first aid kit. Let older kids know if they get lost to stay where they are, and give them a safety whistle. 

By making hiking a routine family hobby, you will instill this healthy habit in your kids! Happy trails! 

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