Tips and Tricks for Hiking with Kids

July 14, 2014


Tips and Tricks for Hiking with Kids

  • Ask if they want to go on an “adventure” not a “hike.”
  • Let them set the pace.
  • No death marches!
  • Take breaks based on kids’ needs and wants, not yours.
  • Carry an arsenal of distractions: lots of games, lots of enticing snacks.
  • Have a destination at hike’s end. Water locations (lakes, rivers, waterfalls) are particularly good, especially if the kids can play in them.
  • Children up to age 3 tend to “wander” not “hike.”
  • 3-year-olds may be able to hike up to a mile on easy, flat terrain.
  • At age 4, longer hikes may become possible, with distance increasing from 1 mile to several miles over the next few years.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.