Tips for Backpacking with Kids
Taking Kids on a Hiking Trail
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Backpacking with kids can be a rewarding experience, both for them and you. But there are some essential things to remember when taking kids on a hiking trail. Aside from safety and first aid preparation, here are some helpful hints to help make hiking with kids as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Wear Comfortable Gear and Clothing
Comfort is key when it comes to hiking with kids. Hiking shoes or boots should match the weather and terrain. Clothing should be lightweight and offer protection from the natural environment, such as repelling mosquitoes. Be sure to dress everyone for the weather.
Alternate Transport for Smaller Kids
Remember that tiny feet can tire easily. Parents of smaller kids may want to bring along a backpack carrier or all-terrain stroller. These are generally lightweight and can be used for the entire hike or just when the young child needs a rest.
Bring Plenty of Snacks and Water
In order to maintain endurance and energy, kids need to stay hydrated and nourished. Healthy snacks and a good supply of water can take care of that. Be sure an adult is carrying the main water supply, as that could get overbearing for children to manage. Ideally, each person should carry their own full water bottle. Beyond that, one or more adults can carry extra water.
Take Frequent Breaks
Don't forget that kids may need more frequent breaks than adults when hiking. This includes stopping for snacks and drinks. But it also includes simply resting or taking breaks to use the restroom. The point of the trip is to have fun, not to overwork the kids. Remember to take time out to enjoy nature along the backpacking trail.
Plan Route in Advance
Planning out the desired route in advance is the safest way to go when bringing kids along. You don't want to get lost while trying to create a fun time for the kids. It helps if you take a trail you've taken before. That way, you'll know what to expect. This way, you can show things to the kids and you know the distance and what to expect along the way.
Have a Fun Destination
Backpacking with kids can be enjoyable with or without a specific destination. However, making plans for a specific fun destination can be exciting to the kids. Think about the hiking area. Waterfalls and other natural landmarks are something kids can look forward to at the end of the trail. This can be a great motivator to keep going.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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