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Hiking with Kids

At what age did you start taking your kids on hikes? I really want to start taking my 6 1/2 yr old, but I'm worried he'll run outa steam.

Can you share your experience/tips/advice for hiking with kids? We also have a 3 yr old daughter and 2 dogs :)

Answer Question

Asked by klickitykat at 12:30 PM on Jun. 12, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 13 (1,031 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • Since they were babies. We started in the forest preserves that had an actual paved/maintained walking path. They were pretty common where we used to live so we could take the stroller with us.
    Now we actually hike, uphill in rugged terrain. The kids love it (they are 10, 9, 8 and 5). They were so proud of themselves hiking to the top of this waterfall a few months ago. That actually had a paved path but it was a mile hike and all up steep grade. I only made it 1/4 of the way and was too out of breath and dizzy to go further (I was coming down with something at the time and didn't know it... was sick the next day). We need a backpack carrier to go on any more, though because the baby is too big to be carried and most places aren't stroller accessible (he's 11 months).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:40 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • if you start out keeping them in the carry packs then they get used to it and by the time they can walk well they want to still go. make the trips a bit shorter until you really know how far they can go and not get tired

    Answer by takes_a_village at 12:42 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • Oh, tips:
    Bring lots of water (big bottles for everyone) and go slow. Take breaks (I bring a camera and it forces everyone to stop so I can get pictures) frequently especially if climbing uphill. And now that we live in the Pacific Northwest we have to worry about bears so we have to keep all the kids in sight (didn't have to worry about that when we lived in IL, lol). My 10yo was freaking out when she saw the bear warning on our last hike. I told them they make so much freaking noise a bear would hear them coming a mile away and hide but it's still a concern. Along with steep drop-offs and narrow paths (single file walking). We still only go short distances on the rugged paths because we're not used to the altitude/difficulty of the hike (we've only lived here 10 months).
    Oh yeah: proper shoes. We all had flip-flops on last time, lol. You can't get far with flip-flops when you're hiking.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:44 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • My daughter has been hiking with us since she was a baby. My husband and I would wear her. Now we take a back pack (I don't remember where I got it) that has legs that come out and can become a chair. If she does get tired we can let her sit on it. It works and we don't use it as often as you would think we would. She is now four and loves hiking.

    Answer by Peajewel at 3:53 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • i would start slo so he gets used to it and to carrying a bag

    Answer by ilovemyboys84 at 8:31 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • At around seven for both of the older ones but I have seen babies too.

    Answer by Madelaine at 9:40 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • My son wants to go and he's 4.

    Answer by Samanthamommy at 9:48 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • My kids have been hiking since they were each 4 or 5.

    Answer by slw123 at 10:24 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • I take mine of kid friendly hikes. They are mostly flat trails with benches along the way so we can take lots of breaks.

    Answer by aj23 at 10:35 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

  • We haven't been on hikes

    Answer by heathermichelle at 12:21 AM on Jun. 13, 2011

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