Tips for Hiking with Kids

7
Jun
2013


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Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Seven

Summer is the perfect time to get a bit adventurous and head out on a hike.  Even if your family has not done much hiking, it is still a great activity to fit into your summer plans.  It is inexpensive and a fabulous way to get some exercise while experiencing nature and all that is beyond your neighborhood.

Here are some tips to make your first hike as a family a success.

Find the Perfect Trail

Finding just the perfect trail can be as easy as asking a friend or looking up trails online.  In our local area, we have a trail association which has a great site that gives information on trails, the length, the difficulty and more.  It makes picking a hike simple and easy.  Look online to see if you have a similar site for your local region.

Get the Gear

The first thing is to choose clothes that are appropriate.  Most of us already have comfortable pants/shorts and shirts that fit the bill, but if you are looking to expand your hiking wardrobe, there are a lot of fun items you could add to make your hike even more comfortable.

Comfortable shoes, sneakers or hiking boots would be fine, as would light clothing in layers (depending upon the weather), and a slicker to carry just in case of rain. Bring binoculars as well because you never can tell what wonderful sights may await you and your family.  Make sure you check local second hand stores for clothing and shoes.  Especially for kids, these items are often outgrown before they are worn out.

First Aid

No matter how hard you try, someone will surely get a cut or scrape – so be sure to carry along a small first-aid kit with a lavender young living oilfew bandages and antiseptic.  I love throwing in my Lavender oil and a few bandages, perfect for those incidents that can happen.  Did you know Lavender is used as a swiss army knife of essential oils – for all things skin related?  

Self-Sufficent

When your family ventures out on a hike, this is especially a great time to help your children care for their own needs.  By providing their own small backpack for them to bring their own supplies of water and snacks you will be teaching them responsibility and also learning how to anticipate their needs.  I love this small, lightweight and packable backpack just for this use!  We talk about learning that responsibility in the 10 Strategies of a Successful Summer Action Guide – teaching them to care for themselves goes along way!

Be Respectful

Much has been advertised and written about the importance of preserving nature and all living things. Teaching our children about nature and animals who inhabit our planet is not only a necessary exercise, but one from which children can learn all about specific habitats, the creatures who live in them, and the need to preserve them for their generation as well as the generation to come.  Helping kids remember to stay on designated trails and to not mar and mark areas which are to be left in their natural state will keep areas intact for generations to come.

Learn about the Environment

While most kids can learn about nature from textbooks, it is walking among the different trees and flowers, discovering different species of birds and insects that makes it real for them and easier to relate to and understand.  Before you venture out on a hike, grab a few small pocket books from the library on the different  birds, plants and animals in your neck of the woods.  This will make for great learning while you are hiking.

Has your family done much hiking?

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Help Susan Help These Children!