101 Tips to hike (like a pro) with your kids runrepeat

This article is about one thing, taking that lovely little kiddo of yours out into nature and on a hike. Don’t worry we’ll throw in few suggestions about things you don’t normally find in an adult’s pack too. Hint number one, wet wipes will be your new best friend, and if you can find a magnifying glass to carry along, you’ll be the coolest trail parent out there.

#27: Hit the gym! If you thought hiking before kids was tiring, wait until you have an extra 20-40 lbs squirming around on your back. We know babies don’t weigh 40 lbs, but you’ll be carrying more than just Jr., like accessories you didn’t even know existed before you had children. Think you’re ready? Tackle a practice hike with a loaded pack just to make sure.

#30: Powdered formula is lighter to carry and doesn’t have a time-sensitive nature to it.

Pack a pre-measured amount in a ziplock bag along with a water-filled bottle. If you’ve got a hungry kiddo you’re prepared, if not you can save it for another time. Do not premix at home, baby formula usually needs to be consumed or refrigerated within an hour of mixing.

Your small, wonderful, sleepy kiddos have sprouted legs, strength and the energy to take on the world. This is the stage where your patience will be tested, but you’ll also be reminded how amazing the world can be when viewed through a child’s eyes. Literally, moss on a rock will become a subject worth an hour’s exploration. Relish this time, and build that bond!

#34: Continue to wear your trusty child carrier. Although your tot can walk, they may not be ready to fully commit to a hike on their own 2 feet. A time will come when they’ll lay down and create a superhuman magnetic bond with the earth. At this point think twice about continuing onwards and opt for closing the distance between you and the car instead. Believe it or not, most kid carriers are rated up to 50lbs, so even a 5-year-old could potentially fit.

#39: Kids love having their own gear to carry. Find a comfy, well-fitting backpack and fill it up with snacks, extra clothes and brightly colored accessories like a bandana, water bottle, survival bracelet, or sun hat. Building a little responsibility into your trial adventure is a nice perk and the pride of carrying their own items will be clear.

#52: Most hiking articles out there can’t get away without mentioning Leave No Trace, and we’re no exception. Although priority number one is to keep everyone safe, part of your role is to teach our future stewards how to take care of the planet. Brush up on your LNT ethics, and teach those tots how to leave a place better than they found it.

Things will start to get easier, well some parts will anyway. You probably won’t be following ants on your hands and knees anymore and your kids will be able to start carrying some serious weight, taking some of it off your shoulders. You can start picking destinations to reach and extend your hikes to longer distances. It’s time to start polishing your youngster into a real hiker!

Once your kids crest into their teen years there’s not really a ton of tips or advice you’ll need. If you’re children started hiking with you at a young age, this may be the culminating years of all your hard work, seeing the spark of real passion for the sport being expressed. Foster that and you’re on the easy path. By now they know the rules, how to be safe, and probably have most of their own gear.

Hiking with kids is not easy. That’s why this list is over 5000 words, and why you read every one of them. When you get the hang of it though it’s ultimately rewarding and can be an amazing experience for you and your little ones. Figure out your system, be prepared, and if you remember 10% of these tips you’ll be sure to see smiles the next time you hit the trail. A few closing tips, then we’ll let you get out into nature.

One last tip, a bonus #102! Remember to reward your kiddos after each hike. Make the post-hike ritual a special one, be it an ice cream cone or shake at the local fountain, that special dinner you only make a few times a year, or some extra time in the VR goggles. Whatever it is, make it known that their effort was appreciated, and they’ll be hooked for years to come!

RunRepeat.com helps you find the best hiking footwear, from hiking shoes and sandals to mountaineering, day-hiking, and backpacking boots, at the best prices on the web. When you’re ready to purchase your next pair of hiking boots be sure to check out RunRepeat before you buy. We also write a ton of articles about the activities we love to do, read more today.