Saturday, May 7, 2016

13 Tips for Hiking with Kids


The lovely weather is begging for a hike! Here are a few tips for embarking on a hike with your kids:
  • Look for a nature center. If you choose a preserve with a nature center involved, the children will enjoy some hands-on learning activities and other exhibits to offset the walk. Plus, nature centers make finding a restroom easy!
  • Research flora and flauna first. If you research the flora and fauna with your kids before visiting, they will have wildlife to be on the lookout for.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Sneakers or hiking shoes, pants or longer shorts with long socks, jackets if necessary and hats will make your experience easier.
  • Bring water and light snacks. Dehydration is definitely a concern. Plus, being caught in the wilderness hungry is certainly not what you enjoy while trying to delight in nature.
  • Bring sunscreen and bug repellent. Even if it isn't buggy out, you may encounter an area along your hike that is. We usually apply repellent before. But, bring it along in case! We also usually apply sunscreen before so it is active. However if you are out longer than expected, you may want to re-apply.
  • Pack lightly. Extra bags will be a drain. If the kids get tired, you will not want the extra baggage to handle.
  • Create a scavenger hunt. A mission will provide extra entertainment for the kids.
  • Check out distances and terrain before going on the hike. Check ahead to see the distance between different sites on the trail. Check the terrain as well. This will prepare you and give you an idea of where you may have difficulty with the kids.
  • Start out with a shorter hike and build up to longer ones. You do not want to be too ambitious with kids. If you choose a hike that is too long, they may not be willing to try the experience again.
  • Choose a preserve with a body of water. Often, you can find wildlife in and around a body of water. 
  • Check for ticks. Do not forget to check for ticks when you get home. 
  • Bring binoculars and/or a compass. Kids will enjoy using the instruments and it will add some novelty for them.
  • Check the weather. Just because it is sunny outside, it doesn't mean it will be sunny an hour from now. Take a peek to avoid being caught in poor weather.
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