10 Good Tips For Hiking With Children
Hiking with children can be a fantastic experience for the whole family. Nature welcomes both young and old, who can enjoy themselves under the open sky.
Of course, it can happen that the youngest get tired before the trip is over. Therefore, we have gathered 10 good tips, so you are as well-prepared as possible and, above all, so that you all have a good shared experience.
- Bring snacks
Is there anything more motivating than knowing that you will soon have something delicious to eat? Bring snacks on the trip and have some cozy eating breaks. Involve the children beforehand so they can help decide what to bring on the trip and thus know that they have something to look forward to. You can bring everything from packed lunches, carrot sticks, raisins, biscuits, to chocolate bars and much more.
- Choose a route that suits your level
If you are completely new to hiking, start with a route that is not too long. Maximum of 3 km if you are walking with younger children. It can quickly become overwhelming for children if the trip is too long and their little legs get tired. Also, be sure to choose a route where you know that you will pass a playground or something else that will make the children happy.
For the more experienced, it is also essential that the route matches your level and interests in nature. Read the route descriptions carefully so that you will experience exactly what you want to see. It could be that you love collecting pine cones and therefore want to go through a forest or have to go through a town to get an ice cream.
- Talk about the trip before you leave
Talk to the children about the trip - preferably several days before departure. Go through the things you can experience along the way and possibly let the children suggest what to do if you encounter challenges. It could be that you already know that the youngest will quickly get tired of walking, which is why you can talk about bringing the stroller. If you share your own enthusiasm, there is a good chance that it will rub off on the children, and they will also start looking forward to the trip.
- Make the trip a game
It's okay to have a fun experience hiking with mom, dad, and siblings. Therefore, you can choose between different methods that help make the trip and its completion a success. Are you buying an ice cream on the way? Or is a piece of chocolate distributed for each kilometer? It could also be that you get a sticker to put on the wall at home when the trip is completed. Small rewards can greatly motivate children.
- Create nature bingo
Another good method to ensure good mood and involvement is to create a treasure hunt. Select some things in advance from home that you know you can find on the trip and create an A4 sheet with pictures/drawings of the items. When you find the items on the trip, the children can cross them off when they have found them. The game also gives an opportunity to learn about nature when you talk about the different things. It could be about what color or shape they have, which animals live off them, etc.
- Pack according to the season
Depending on when you leave, it is a good idea to pack a bag with things you may need along the way. Here are some things you may want to consider bringing:
• Warm clothing, possibly rain gear
• Wet wipes
• Food and drink
Remember to bring a map
A map is a fantastic thing to have with you. You can point out things you have passed and visually show how far you have come. This is especially important for children. Not everyone finds it easy to understand the number of kilometers walked and hours remaining, but virtually everyone can understand a line on a map and how far they have progressed along that line.
When you start longer day trips, it is naturally also good to have a map on hand so you can find your way.
It can be hard to walk long distances when you're a child and don't take strides as long as adults. So, take many breaks where you can take a break from walking, get some energy to continue, and use the time for play, talk, and food.
Make sure children have the proper ankle and foot support since you will undoubtedly encounter more uneven terrain than on paved roads.
Protect your back
If you're walking with small children, a carrier can be an advantage since many terrains are impassable with a stroller. Be sure to invest in a good, sturdy carrier that is as good for your back as possible.
If you're starting to go on longer trips, such as during vacations, it's also good to buy backpacks that are gentle on your back. It can, therefore, be an advantage to buy backpacks with a hip belt, so some of the weight is removed from your back.
Find the best hiking trails for families with children in the Aarhus Region.
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