If you are looking for help on your next outdoor adventure, then you have come to the right place. Imagine all the sites you will see: the waterfall cascading down the mountainside, deer running along, and kids rummaging through the forest. Without further ado, I give you 10 Family Hiking Tips for Safety and Fun.
Let’s get started.
1. The Key is to Pick a Good Trail
You only move as fast as your slowest kid. If the steep and rugged trail is slowing everyone down and you’re the only one climbing up, then something is wrong. The trail needs to be for everyone.
If you’re going with a baby, it might not be best to choose the sunny 10-mile trail.
In other words, keep it easy and simple. You don’t want to get your brain twisted not being able to find the trail. A low key trail is the best note for a family hike.
Don’t go hard. People lash out when they are exhausted. I know I do.
Also, be sure to give you and your family plenty of time. This is a leisurely hike after all, not a walking marathon. You want to go at the group pace and enjoy the surrounding scenery.
2. Dress for Success
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing and inadequate modes of transportation.” Ron Swanson is right. If you and everyone else wears the right kind of clothing, then the rain, sleet, snow, and dust won’t get to you. When everyone is cozy, comfortable, and warm, then everyone is a happy camper.
Keep everyone bundled and always bring the rain jacket. You never know when the weather might change on you.
3. Protect Against the Sun
No matter your skin tone, the sun still affects you. If you want to maintain your cute baby face (yes! I can see you through the screen… Just kidding! :)), then lather up with some sunscreen. It might seem a little tedious, but your future wrinkled self will thank you.
Slap on the shades, grab your hat, and put on some sunscreen. The sun is merciless today.
4. Pack a First Aid Kit
When it comes to kids and the vast majority of hikes, I find cuts and bruises to be the rule rather than the exception. It’s okay. Everyone is full of energy and accidents do happen. It is alright. If you just grab a band aid and gauze, then the kids will be just fine.
Look! They’re back up and running again.
5. The Ten Essentials and Then Some is a Safe Bet
You probably already know what the ten essentials are, but you probably don’t know what I mean by ‘then some.’ This means to bring along wet wipes or tissues, lip balm, field guides, camera, and safety whistles for each person. All of these items will be sure to help you out.
The safety whistle is important in case someone gets lost. Accidents do happen, even to the best of us.
6. Pack Plenty of Snacks and Drink Lots of Water
I haven’t seen any anger which could not be solved without food and water. If my body is taken care of, then I am feeling good. The same can be said for hungry teens and toddlers. They need plenty of food to fuel their bodies for the day ahead.
7. Be Sure to Plan Plenty of Refueling Stops
Toddlers are like bolts of lightning. One minute they’re running around like a bat out of hell and the next they are snoozing away. A hike is steady though. They need the time to recoup their energy. A hike is meant to be steady eddy. You need to enjoy yourself after all, not stress yourself out with work, school, or family.
Stop, sit, and ponder life.
8. Make it Fun
In other words, ‘gamify’ your hike. Who can find and name the most vegetation? Make it a scavenger hunt. Who can be the most patient at waiting for Mom and Dad to catch up? Use your imagination to come up with ideas. Because you’re reading this article, you must be a creative person.
You literally live longer when you laugh. Smile and embrace the day with a hug. It’s going to be a relaxing, fun fueled day. Who knows what kind of fantastic surprises await you?
9. Let Someone Else Know about Your Plans
Accidents happen. It’s okay. All it takes is a quick text to Grandma about where you are heading and when you will be back. It does not take much.
A short, quick text goes a long way. Most hikers get lost and stay lost because they did not let someone know about their plans. That is the number one reason. Nature won’t forgive you, but people will if they send out a search party looking for you. It doesn’t take much time to send a text.
10. Take the Time to Smell the Roses
Life happens really fast. It goes from 0 to 100 real quick. You will be in your elder years before you know it. With that being said, you need to slow down and appreciate life. Fortunately you are doing so already by going on a hike. Congratulations! You are living life on your own terms.
Now you need to really take a deep hike. Turn off and get rid of the electronics. Take it slow, focus on your breath, and you will be just fine. Frequent stops let you appreciate the surrounding scenery.
Are You Looking to Take a Load Off?
Well you should now be all set to go. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it.
Before you go though, you should check out one of my previous articles, The Best Lightweight Folding Camping Chairs of 2019 (I update these types of articles on an annual basis :)). When you are taking your next break on your hike, you will appreciate the seat for your tired butt. A good chair goes a long way. Check it out.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share this article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!