Exploring the outdoors is a wholesome activity for the entire family (including the dog) to enjoy. Hiking provides physical exercise, reduces stress, and boosts creativity.
Find the Right Trail
Before heading out, do your research. Find the right hiking trail for you and your family to safely enjoy. Trails generally run from easy to extremely difficult with numerous obstacles. Finding the best one for your family requires research. If you are uncertain about where to start, set out on an easy trail than work your way through the rest.
What to Pack
If you are just beginning, day trips are the best. Heading out on the trail for a day gives your family a chance to familiarize themselves with the trails and the equipment.
Do you need ideas for the basics for backpacking essentials for day trips?
- Backpack: Use a high-quality backpack to protect your basic hiking necessities. Even younger children can carry a lightweight backpack.
- Water: Staying hydrated is critical when hiking.
- Food: Pack plenty of food to get you through your hiking trip. Small children may require frequent stops with extra snacks. Pack to meet each family members’ needs.
- First Aid: Bringing a first aid kit is essential for handling minor scrapes and cuts on the trail.
- Compass: Do not always rely on your cell phone. If your battery goes dead, you may need an alternative navigation device.
- Hand Sanitizer: Use to clean your hands before eating.
- Mask: Once you are on the open trail away from people, you will not need a mask. However, certain areas of the park may require a face covering. Be respectful of others. Pack a mask to follow any restrictions.
- Extra Socks and Hiking Shoes: If you accidentally get your feet wet, having additional foot attire is a priority, especially with children. You want to make hiking a positive experience.
Before You Hit the Trail
Before heading to your destination, check the weather forecast. Dress in weather-appropriate clothing. Remember, clothing layers are the best option for being outdoors. If you are uncertain what to wear, add an extra layer. If the weather is too warm, a sweatshirt is easy to remove.
Hiking is not a race to get through the trails as fast as possible. Take your time with your family. Pause to view numerous scenic areas or enjoy nature.
Ask your children open-ended questions or make up stories. Being outdoors increases creativity. Encourage conversation among your family about the experience. Bring your camera or use your cell phone to take lots of photos to create a memory book. Wildlife and nature discoveries can lead to a lifetime love of the outdoors.