If you are an avid RVer, it’s pretty likely that you’ll stay in some absolutely beautiful campgrounds that practically beg you to go on a hike or two. I’m not a regular hiker myself, but there have been plenty of instances in our full-time adventures when a good hike just felt right.
That said, my husband and I have a five-year-old son, and hiking with small children can easily take the fun right out of the hiking experience. Unfortunately, this is likely to leave everyone feeling pretty negative in the end, which nobody wants after what should be a pleasant hike.Luckily, there are ways to avoid those negative feelings and make a hike fun for everyone. Below are some tips to make your next hiking adventure with kids as stress-free as possible.
Most children are happiest in the morning hours. Therefore, hitting the trails before lunchtime is generally a good idea when you’ve got little hikers tagging along. By heading out right after breakfast you can ensure your child is in a good mood and full of energy while also avoiding the hottest part of the day. Best of all, you’ll be back at camp in time for an afternoon rest!
Carefully considering what you put in your hiding pack is always important. However, this is even more true for those who are taking kids along.
For instance, an adult may not necessarily pack much in the way of snacks for a two-hour walk in the woods. However, little tummies need to eat often, and a hike that long will likely require at least one snack stop. Therefore, crackers, raisins, trail mix, or popcorn should be added to the family backpack.
Plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat for each hiker should be thrown in as well.Make it Fun
Most adults are content to take in the scenery and have some light conversation during a hike. Children, on the other hand, often find this incredibly boring. By adding some play into your hike and allowing the kids to take the lead from time to time, you can make your family adventure a lot more fun for the youngest hikers.
Some suggestions for upping the fun include:
- Organizing a scavenger hunt
- Allowing the kids to choose which turn to take
- Stopping to check out bugs, plants, or animals
- Splashing in streams or creeks
- Playing “follow the leader”
By using these tips and keeping little legs in mind when planning routes and rest stops, your family will be having fun on the trail in no time! So what are you waiting for? Head out into the woods and start exploring!