Hiking with Kids

Benefits of Hiking

Hiking is, by far, one of the most popular outdoor activities because you don’t need any special equipment (like rock climbing or mountain biking), just the clothes on your back and a good reliable water bottle. Its popularity is, in part, due to the fact that a lot of us live just a short drive away from a hiking trail or walking route. Oftentimes overlooked as a type of exercise, walking is a very important form of cardio for our bodies. Before cars or horses, our ancestors used to walk a lot – whether they were hunting and foraging for food or looking for shelter. It’s a form of travel that is very well ingrained in our genetic makeup. Hiking allows us to exercise while surrounded by nature, which is not only good for our physical health, but also for our mental well-being. We live incredibly busy lives, where it’s not unusual to sit at a desk all day and not unheard of to breathe unclean, polluted air. Hiking, while a very good form of exercise, is also very social in essence, allowing us to take in and enjoy the great outdoors in the company of family and friends. The fresh air clears up our lungs, while the amazing scenery nourishes our souls. When it comes to toddlers and young children, hiking teaches them how to respect nature, and instills in them a bond to the outdoors which they won’t relinquish easily. Embarking on a trail with small kids might seem a bit daunting to new parents. However, according to The Lake and Stars, your first hike with your child can go smoothly, as long as you do a bit of preparation.

How Do You Prepare?

Hiking in nature is not that different from going on a very long walk to the park. You will, of course, need plenty of food and water with you. You can turn it into more of an event by packing a blanket and having a picnic. Depending on where you’re going, it can get chilly, so make sure you and your family are bundled up. Above all (and I cannot stress this enough) make sure your child is wearing comfortable shoes that suit the trail and support their growing feet. A lot can go wrong when choosing hiking boots for kids. They have a lot less experience using their legs than you do, so even the slightest discomfort causes them a lot of pain. If the shoes do not offer enough support, it might make it difficult for them to keep up with your pace. Depending on the terrain, their boots need a stiff sole if the trail is rocky; but softer soles are more comfortable on grassy or muddy tracks. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you might benefit immensely from buying shoes that are weather insulated. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your kid’s shoes (as they will outgrow them pretty quickly), but they need to be of good quality so they don’t hurt or damage their tiny feet. After all, the last thing you need is to carry your crying toddler halfway up the hill while they scream about how much their feet hurt.

Author: James Richardson