5 Tips for Hiking with Kids | New England Hiking
Updated: Oct 7
How to hike with kids in tow.
Although I wouldn't categorize us as AVID hardcore hikers, we do love being outside and adventuring with our kids. Ever since they were babies we have done our fair share of hikes. Below we give you some tips on what has helped us have many successful hikes over the years.
If your kids are under 5, prepare to carry them
We always try to encourage our little hikers to go as far as they can, but their little legs will need lots of breaks. Sometimes this is just a few minutes on my husband's shoulders. We never owned a hiking pack, we always just brought our carriers. We owned an ergo and a lillebaby and they worked great for us.
Bring an exorbitant amount of snacks and water
Nothing can put a damper on a hike than your kids whining about being hungry. Bring lots of snacks, pack a lunch, and bring fun “hike only” treats. Also carry lots of water especially if it is hot outside.
Smother them with sunblock and bug spray
The bugs can be so ruthless to little kids. Use lots of bug spray and sunblock to keep their skin protected.
Check for ticks before getting in the car
So. Many. Ticks. It took me a couple of years to stop being so squirmy with these disgusting little bugs. Usually when we find them after a hike they are still crawling so we just flick them off. Keep a pair of tweezers in your pack just in case they already get embedded by the time the hike is over. I always throw them into a piece of tape and fold the tape over to…..dispose of them. It is also a good idea to check your car later after you get home because sometimes they make it into the car without being noticed. An unfortunate downside to hiking with kids, but manageable.
Have games ready to pass the time
If you are going on hikes that will last longer than 30 minutes it is a good idea to have some games ready in your back pocket for when the kids stop being in awe of the natural surroundings and start getting bored. This usually happens to us after we summit a mountain and are on our way down. A favorite one for us is 20 Questions. You could do the “I’m Going On A Picnic” game or “This or That’... anything that could pass the time.
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