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Hiking with Kids and Family: Best Equipment and Important tips for parents

Hiking with children

Hiking is a healthy and adventurous activity. Hiking with children and family is fun and it restores our strong connection with nature. Professional hiking requires special arrangements and good planning to make it a pleasant experience. If you are not well planned and prepared it can create problems on the hiking trail. There are some factors which we must plan before leaving for a hike. You can go on hiking for hiking or even you can plan to celebrate any event or birthday of your child on a hiking trail.

Important:Always start with easy and short hikes and then gradually increase the length, technicality, or toughness level of the hike as you learn about the essentials of hiking, your fitness level, and your capacity for hiking.

Easy level of hiking with children and family does not require any special gear but you must have basic and essential equipment because equipment protects you from the roughness of hiking and your family is able to enjoy the journey.

 Click to read article 14 benefits of exercise and physical activity for children.

Family hike

Some Basic Equipment for Hiking with Children

Note: These basic equipment are your asset for hiking again in the future. Therefore get the reliable equipment. There are some reliable and specialized companies providing such quality equipment.

a.Rucksack / Backpack: Appropriate size according to the age of the family member. It will be good to have a waterproof backpack with an external waterproof cover. When you are hiking with children and family it is important to prevent clothes rainwater and moisture.

Hiking with kids

A Good quality North Face Hiking Bag Available at Amazon

b. Hiking shoes for children and family: With good grip and waterproof for children and each member of the family. 

Hiking shoes for kids

You can buy these best hiking shoes for kids available at Amazon

c. Hiking Poles: Preferably retractable/foldable for each member of the family. Children will enjoy and also learn to use hiking poles. 

Hiking stick for kids
                                                                                                   Best Hiking Poles available at Amazon

d. Raincoat:Children especially enjoy the colorful raincoats 🙂 It is important that every member should have a raincoat when they are on a hiking trail where rain is expected especially. 

Raincoat for kids

e. Trousers:Lightweight, flexible and multi-pocket are very useful on hiking trails. When children are hiking with you, they can keep their candies, edible items, tissue papers or other things in their pockets.

Hiking tousers

f. Wind-breaker  / parachute jacket: When you are on a hiking trail, it protects your body from direct winds and light raining even. During hiking, it will be difficult to wear heavy jackets even in cold and we sweat. When we are sweating and cold air touches our body, this temperature variation can affect our body. Windbreaker prevents direct cold air from touching our bodies.

Hiking jacket

g. Clothing according to weather. Plan your clothing kit according to weather conditions especially when children are hiking with you.

Hiking gears

h. A knife: A hiking or trekking knife has so many uses and it is an essential part of a basic survival kit. 

Hiking knife

i. A rope: Just like a hiking knife, having a rope in your hiking kit is also an essential part of a survival kit. On the hiking trail, teach the usage of all such hiking equipment to your children.

Hiking rope

j. A sheet to sit on the ground: Whenever you are hiking (especially long hikes) we need some rest, we need to sit for food or we can have a tea break. Such a camping mat or a groundsheet can make this part of the hiking tour comfortable (especially when you are hiking with children and family).

Camping mat

k. A small tent (optional): If you want to teach camping to your children or have additional fun on the hiking trail.

Camping in wild

l. Protrek / satellite watch (Optional): Using a protrek or satellite watch on a hiking trail is a satisfying experience and fun. Children usually enjoy such amazing gadgets and learn a lot. However, such watch is not essential but will be an added benefit to know about the topography of your trail, height gained, temperature, atmospheric pressure, and breadcrumb map (in case of satellite watch) or you can also feed a map to follow (in case of satellite watch). There are some smartphone applications that provide such features.

Adventure watch

How to Plan?

Before you start hiking with children and famliy, get information following the two most important points.

Get a weather forecast about the area you are going to hike with your family and children. Make a plan accordingly.

Get detailed information about the trail route and its characteristics. Consulting a local guide or a professional hiker in your circle, friends or family can be beneficial. Also, discuss the possible risks on trial and solutions.


Food arrangements

Get the required food and water according to the length of your journey. Keep candies, dry fruits, or packed foods for your hiking tour. On the hiking trail, children and adults need energy. You can manage all this at home and even there are brands taking care of this issue. Simply, you can order food and get free from worry. You can plan to cook on the trail if you love cooking outdoor but need to know if it is allowed on that trail and some special points for this purpose are available. Follow the guidelines accordingly. Take care of drinking water as it is consumed more than usual on hiking and keep asking children if they need to drink water so to avoid dehydration. Manage to maintain the comfortable temperature of drinking water. Otherwise, children could be reluctant to drink the water if too cold or too hot.


Food for hiking

Security rules

Based on information gained from the tour guide, professional hiker (as discussed above), and signs/instruction boards on the trail be clear about the security of the family and devise rules. Ensure that these rules are being followed appropriately but with fun rather than doing undue strictness. Supervise the children and do not leave the children/family members alone or too far while hiking.

Best hiking trail in USA

Topographical Map

If the map of that hiking trail is available in printed form, you must get it. It will be added benefit if that map is topographical. To enhance the fun and learning of kids, give that map to your child (if old enough to understand the map) and ask him to “Guide” the “team” of your family. But be with your child if he/she faces any difficulty in interpreting or reading the map.

Kids reading the trail map


First Aid Kit or Prescription

You can keep these basic and essential first aid items while leaving for hiking.

An antiseptic, pair of scissors, Tweezers for splinters, Paracetamol, Sterilstrip®, for closing superficial wounds, Anti-diarrheal and stomach-ache medicine, anti-mosquito lotion (if there are mosquitoes in that region where you are going to hike). Also, keep the screen and hat in your backpack.

Depending upon the availability/unavailability of mobile service you can make your communication plan accordingly. In some areas, even some companies provide satellite phones for rent.


 Enjoy your Hiking with Children and Family 🙂

(For any further queries/questions, you can ask below in the comments section)


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