Tips For Hiking With Children
Hiking with children can be quite a challenge, although, if done right, it can be a wonderful & rewarding experience for the entire family.
Before you even present the idea of a family hiking outing with your children, do your research. Find out what hiking trails are available in the area that you want to hike, whether that be locally or a place that you will be visiting on vacation.
Where To Obtain Information
In addition to researching information online, you can contact your friends who have gone hiking with children in the past. Find out what places they would recommend. Be sure to also find out places they would NOT recommend. For the trail(s) they would recommend, find out WHY they would recommend that specific hiking location. Make sure their recommendation sounds like a good fit for your family. They may have older kids than yours & perhaps the trail they recommend would be too hard, for say, your younger children to handle.
Also, contact the local and national parks for the area you want to hike. Get their thoughts about whether the trails they have available would be appropriate for your children’s ages. You can ask them for any additional resources that they may know of, to obtain more information.
When discussing hiking with friends who have hiked with their children before, find out the pitfalls & through their trials & tribulations, find out what solutions they have used to correct those issues or what they avoided altogether to prevent the stress of those issues. You will also want to ask them what went over well during their hike(s) & what didn’t.
The more hikers you ask and the more questions you ask, the more information you will have to work with when making your decision. A lot of what you will learn from them will help you ensure that your family has the best time.
If you don’t have any friends that have gone hiking with their children, you can reach out to the local hiking or nature clubs. These hiking enthusiasts will have first-hand knowledge of the trails in the area.
Choosing A Trail
When choosing a trail to hike, be sure the trail is age appropriate. If you have young or inexperienced children, when it comes to hiking, choose a trail that is rated as: “easy”. An “easy” trail is generally 1 – 2 miles and is usually flat. If your children are older or more experienced, you may be able to choose a trail that is rated as “moderate”. A “moderate” trail is more of a challenge. The terrain may be longer, more rugged and possibly steeper than an “easy” trail.
Now, go out and have fun choosing that great hike for yourself and your family!
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