While there are many key benefits of taking a family hike, it can also take a lot of preparation, especially where young children are concerned. Planning is going to be the difference between an enjoyable hike and a difficult one.
That’s why this guide is here to help you plan for a successful family outing.
What are the Benefits of a Family Hike?
Taking a hike with your family is a great opportunity for quality time spent together. Not only that, but it’s the perfect opportunity for physical movement and exercise, which means the whole family can get a good dose of fitness along the way. Family hikes can also be good opportunities for younger children to learn more about the outdoors and get used to more adventurous activities. Overall, a family hike can be a rewarding experience and one that benefits the mind and the body.
As a bonus, it’s free to take a walk outdoors, which means saving money for your family too.
Remember to check out our Hiking Checklist as well.
How Can You Plan for a Successful Hike?
Below are some key points to think about when planning for your family hike.
Think About Difficulty Levels
There are many beautiful hikes around the world, but the terrain and difficulty will always be different. While a new hike may look appealing, will it be too hard for your family to navigate, especially with young children? It’s important to consider a route and incline type which will best suit your family’s experience and stamina. It’s okay to challenge yourself, but always take into consideration how younger family members will handle more difficult hikes.
Make Sure to Take Safety Must-Haves
Safety is naturally important on a hike, so you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need for maximum protection. Make sure to apply sunscreen before you leave and take a bottle with you. As well as that, take a basic first aid kit in case of accidents and to protect your family’s eyes, make sure to get sunglasses. I mostly buy sunglasees from Just-glasses.co.uk. Always take a means of making an emergency call, and take something secure to store your valuables.
Always Pack Supplies
Food and drink are essential for a long day’s hike, especially water, no matter your age. Take a reusable bottle with you for every person, and pack energy-boosting essentials like fruit, energy bars, and pre-made sandwiches.
When considering younger family members, think about their normal eating routine and what they’re most likely to respond well to so that you can make sure you have everything you need when they get hungry or lack energy.
Don’t Travel Too Far
If you’re planning for an extremely long car ride just to get to your hiking destination, this can risk tiring younger children out before you even begin your hike. You then have to contend with a long drive back home, too, which could mess with their usual sleeping routine.
So think about the distance to travel to and from the hike as part of your planning, and think about options closer to home if you don’t want to drive too far.
Give Yourself Enough Time
You’ll always want enough time to go at your own pace and fit in regular stops for the family. It’s likely younger children will want to stop regularly, whether that’s for a rest or to explore in a little more detail. You don’t want to feel pressured to finish your hike by a certain time, as this will ruin the hike for you and make it feel rushed.
Giving yourself enough time includes planning for the number of daylight hours you have and the travel distance there and back.
Using these tips, you’ll be well on your way to an enjoyable family hike.