There are many variables to look out for when going hiking with kids. Check out these useful tips and tricks to ensure you’re ready to bring the kids along.

Mom and Baby in a Camping Hammock
Ren Fuller

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Take a Trail with a Reward and Indulge Their Curiosity

Keep the kids motivated by letting them know that you actually have a goal, such as a waterfall or view. Stay spontaneous. When something grabs the kids’ attention, follow their lead.

Set a Reasonable Pace

Frequent stops for drinks and snacks will reduce the risk of burnout. When it’s time for a break, we love these packable hammocks for one or two($85)

Keep Everyone Together

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There are the unlikely megahazards—mountain lions and bears—but also a whole host of lesser dangers that can ruin a hike: cactus spines, poison oak, and skunks. Don’t let the kids run ahead or fall too far behind. Give them a whistle to blow in case you get separated.

Hiking Tip: Go with a Ranger

National and state parks often conduct outings led by rangers. Sometimes just being part of a group with an upbeat guide will keep children engaged.

This Came from the 2021 Waters of the West Issue—Read It Here!

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