Tips on How to Go Hiking With a Toddler
You want to share your love of hiking with your child, so it only makes sense to start them young! However, that does not come without complications. It is important to plan when you are taking your toddler hiking, and that includes a lot of patience. In this article, we are going to give you the best tips on hiking with your little one, and we hope it goes well for you!
Realistic Expectations and Being Prepared
Having realistic, or no, expectations can make your hike way easier, especially if it is your toddler’s first time out on the trail. What are your goals for this trip? You may set a goal to just bond as a family, or to just go for a short hike and see how your kid does. Either way, just relax and go with the flow because it will only be a matter of time before your toddler gets tired and will need to rest or eat.
Being prepared on the trail is a must, so be sure to pack what you need like a first aid kit, water, snacks, and sun protection so you can have a fun day on the trail and not have to worry about anything. Know where you are going and have your cell phone battery charged. Now, you can have fun!
And, speaking of fun, if you want a unique memory from this vacation, we recommend getting a small drone to capture your trip from a great point of view. If you don’t know how to choose the best one, take a look at reviews of drones for beginner on MyDroneLab.
Let’s admit it. Your child is going to get tired on the trail. That is why having the best hiking stroller can be helpful. You will want something that is light and easy to carry. It should be something that your child is comfortable in and includes a shade so your children won’t have to worry about the sun in their face. They may even fall asleep and you can get in some extra miles on the trail!
Food and Water
Your child will need to eat while you are hiking so bring along some snacks, or even a lunch, to enjoy while you are outdoors. This can give your child a chance to fuel up and take a rest from the trail. Many national parks have trails that include kid friendly playgrounds and more, so your child can let loose a little and you can take a break.
Snacks can include granola, trail mix, and other smaller foods that will give them the energy needed to sustain the hiking trail.
Water is a necessity. It is easy for a child to get dehydrated, so you will want to make drinking water for them fun. Get them a cool water bottle that they can have for themselves and teach them how important it is to drink water. Kids like to have their own gear, too, so keep that in mind. If you have both food and water, you and your child should do well for an afternoon out.
Bring Appropriate Clothing and Equipment
Your toddler can carry their own backpack so you can be sure to put an extra change of clothes, diapers, and a jacket in there so they can be ready for any weather. If you are out on a brisk day, layer yourself and your child so you can both stay warm during the hike. Your extra outfit can be worn on the way home if needed.
Bringing another pair of shoes is not a bad idea either, since there can be puddles and mud along the way.
Also, don’t forget to bring something for yourself as well. For example, you may be interested in a camera or some high-quality optics to admire the surroundings while your kid is playing. You can learn more about optics you could use while traveling on the Optic Gear Lab site.
Create Games and Goals along the Way
Your toddler can get bored easily but just walking. That is why you need to engage them in games or competitions and create goals along the way so their brains can stay active and they won’t feel bored or want to go home.
For example, you can play I Spy, do a scavenger hunt, play the Alphabet Game or even hide and seek. Making things into a competition can also keep your kid active. How many steps until you get to a certain point? Have your child count. Who can skip rocks into the river? Let your kid try! You can have a race, count pine cones on the ground and more! The sky is the limit, along with your imagination.
Creating goals is important as your child can have something to look forward to. Does your destination have a playground? Does it have animals or a landmark? Have your child look for these places so they can see how goals are achieved! Your child will feel accomplished and it will only make them love hiking more, which is what you want, right?
We know. Kids are a handful. They require a lot of patience, which can be hard when they are screaming and crying or tired. All you can do is plan ahead and hope that things go well. By having a plan, snacks, water, a stroller and a lot of patience, you can succeed.
Plan ahead of time where you are going and what you are taking. Have a nice breakfast before you go so your kid won’t be hungry. Keep a positive attitude and remember your goals. You want to bond as a family and get your child to enjoy hiking and the outdoors like you do. Be prepared to have a slow paced day that is going to be fun for your exploring child! Remember your patience.
Do you feel better now that you have some tips on how to take your toddler hiking? We sure hope so! By being prepared, having a ton of patience, and having the necessities, you can make memories with your child outdoors that will live on forever. Your child will grow to take on challenges, be fit, and try their hardest at whatever they are doing, from the bottom of the trail to the mountain top. Now that you armed with information, you can start planning a fantastic outdoor hiking adventure with your toddler and the rest of your family!
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.