Starting with the very first day you ever held your new bundle of joy in your arms, you began to celebrate each magical moment: the first smile, first crawl, first word, first step. And for those of us who eat, sleep, and breathe the great outdoors, another cherished moment we look forward to is none other than the first hike.
Whether you're an experienced hiker or a newbie, hiking with your little monsters can be an incredible adventure — that is, if you know what you're getting yourself into and are totally prepared for curious kids on the trail. Feeling a bit nervous? Don't worry; The Natural Patch Co. is here to help!
Read on for our complete guide to hiking with kids.
The Ultimate Guide To Hiking With Kids
If you're a pretty experienced hiker, you may be wondering what the big deal is. After all, this isn't your first rodeo, and you know how to hike. Sure, having experience on the trail is great and all, but hiking with the kiddos can add a whole new dimension to your hiking experience.
You see, as an adult, you are solely responsible for this tiny human. And while you may be used to hiking with your buddies and looking out for each other, hiking with children takes it up a notch— well, many notches.
That being said, you might be thinking it's best to just leave them at home, only to take them hiking when they are much older—but don't do that! Why? Because hiking with kids comes with quite a few spectacular benefits.
Here are some of them:
Benefit #1: Provides Quality Family Time
Hiking is hands-down one of the best ways to spend quality time with your little ones. Every family deserves time off from modern-day conveniences.
When you hit the trail, you can disconnect with technology and really get to know your kiddos. This will help immensely to strengthen the bond you have with them, and you can make some great memories along the way.
Benefit #2: Opportunity To Experience Mother Nature
Hiking is an excellent opportunity to escape the endless mirage of concrete buildings, freeways, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It's also a great chance for your kids to witness how beautiful Mother Nature is.
From the peaceful tranquility that comes with being away from the city to the unbelievable sights and breath of fresh air, nothing makes you appreciate something more than experiencing it firsthand. And with this comes respect and appreciation for the vastness of the earth and all the wonderful things it provides.
Benefit #3: Offers a Fun Way To Exercise
Hiking gets everyone moving and off the couch, which makes it an undeniably fun and healthy hobby to pursue as a family. You will be able to work nearly all of your muscle groups while enjoying your hike together.
This way, your kiddos will be able to have fun while strengthening their tiny bodies and exercising at the same time. Just be sure to take plenty of breaks along the way!
Tips For Hiking With Kids
Now that you're totally convinced to bring your little ones with you on your next hike, let's go over a few ground rules to help keep your hike kid-friendly, shall we?
1. Stick With Kid-Approved Hiking Trails
Many parents don't know what the appropriate age is to start taking their kids hiking, but the truth is that there isn't one. In fact, we say the sooner, the better! As long as you are prepared, you can start hiking with your kids when they are infants.
At first, your wee ones will enjoy the natural world from the safety of a baby carrier, but we all know they grow up way too fast, and before you know it, they'll by looping bunny ears on their own hiking boots and racing you to the top of the hill on their own two legs.
2. Keep Them Properly Hydrated and Well Fed
This one is crucial as skipping over your child's basic needs can be quite disastrous. When packing your hiking bag before hitting the trail with your kids in tow, it is of the utmost importance that you pack protein-rich snacks to keep them full and lots of H2O to keep dehydration at bay.
A hungry child is a cranky child and can lead to some serious melt-downs along the trail. A lack of water, on the other hand, can quickly turn into a medical emergency if your little one becomes dehydrated.
When kids are hydrated and full, not only do you minimize the risk of a potential emergency, but you'll notice that they tend to possess explorer superpowers, making the hike much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
3. Don’t Forget To Pack ALL the Essentials
In addition to snacks and water, it's really important that you also pack the essentials like a first aid kit, sunscreen, and, most importantly, mosquito repellent.
Believe it or not, mosquitos are considered the deadliest creatures on the planet as they are responsible for over one million deaths each year. They carry and transmit extremely dangerous diseases and leave behind unbelievably itchy bumps with every bite. Needless to say, keeping our favorite tiny humans away from these pesky little vampires is indispensable.
There are many different types of insect repellents on the market, but they are often pack-jammed with harsh chemicals and questionable ingredients. That's why we made BuzzPatch — an all-natural mosquito repellent patch infused with a healthy combo of essential oils that are perfectly safe for your kids. What's not to love?
4. Watch the Weather Closely
Icky weather conditions can make things extremely uncomfortable, scary, or even dangerous for kids. Check the weather before starting your hike, and be ready to head home if the skies turn dark and stormy.
Wrapping It Up
And there you have it — our complete guide to hiking with kids.
Hitting the trail with your little ones is an excellent way to bond, exercise, and experience Mother Nature. Just don't forget to pack BuzzPatch — the natural way to combat pesky mosquitoes!
BuzzPatch is made using non-woven fabric patches infused with a powerful combination of Citronella and other essential oils. And unlike commercial topical sprays which contain DEET or Picaridin, BuzzPatch is not only easy to apply but environment-friendly.
Happy kids. Happy parents. Say goodbye to mosquitoes the natural way, and check us out today!