Aug08

Sharing the Joy of Hiking with Kids

Categories // Hiking

Hiking Fun for Kids of all Ages

Picture yourself hiking along a trail, winding through deep forests, past mountain lakes, and across fields full of wildflowers. Hiking is the perfect way to explore new places that you can never reach by car. With the power of your own two legs, you can climb mountains!

Shoes and Boots

Wearing the right footgear is critical to having a good hiking experience. Nothing’s worse than getting a blister half way through your hike and having to hobble all the way back in pain. If you’re going on a long hike, wear boots or sturdy hiking shoes with two pairs of socks (a thin inner pair and a thicker outer pair). Why two? Because what causes blisters is the friction of your foot rubbing on your sock inside your shoe. If you wear two pairs of socks, the outer pair moves with your shoe while the inner pair moves with your foot. The friction is between the two socks, not between a sock and your skin.

What to Take
It’s always smart to carry a small backpack or fanny pack on your hike, so you can take important emergency items. For a day hike, you should take the following:

Water
Sunscreen
Sunglasses and/or a hat with a brim
Jacket, warm shirt, or sweater
Map
Small first aid kit with bandaids for blisters
Snacks
Map
Flashlight and waterproof matches
Pocket Knife
(read more about the 10 Essentials)

Setting the Pace
When you’re hiking with a group, it’s a good idea to put your slowest member in the front and have a grown-up hike at the back. As a hiker, it’s your responsibility to make sure no one gets separated from the group.

If you’ve decided instead to alternate who’s going first, set up a rule for when you’ll stop and wait for everyone to catch up. Maybe you’ll decide that every time the trail bends, the leader will wait for the pack. At the very least, the leader should wait for everyone any time they reach a branch in the trail.

Fun on the Trail
As you hike, you can talk with your friends, sing songs, tell riddles, look for wildflowers, or just enjoy the silence. Or you might come up with your own trail game.