Hiking is a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and bond with your kids. But it can be daunting to know where to start, especially if you’re new to hiking with kids.


This guide will give you all the information you need to get started hiking with your kids, from choosing the right trails to packing the perfect gear.

Choosing the Right Trails

The first step is to choose the right trails for your kids. If you’re hiking with young children, you’ll want to choose trails that are easy and short. Trails that are well-maintained and have plenty of shade are also a good choice.

As your kids get older and more experienced, you can start exploring more challenging trails. But it’s always important to be aware of your kids’ abilities and limitations.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing trails for your kids:

  • Length: How long is the trail? Younger kids may not be able to handle long hikes.
  • Terrain: What kind of terrain is the trail? Is it mostly flat or does it have hills?
  • Elevation gain: How much elevation gain is there? This can be a challenge for young kids.
  • Shade: How much shade is there on the trail? Kids can get easily overheated in the sun.
  • Trail conditions: Are the trails well-maintained? Are there any hazards, such as steep drop-offs or slippery rocks?

Packing the Perfect Gear

Once you’ve chosen the right trails, it’s time to pack your gear. Here are a few things you’ll need:

  • Hiking boots or shoes: Comfortable shoes that provide good support are essential for hiking.
  • Water: Bring plenty of water, especially on hot days.
  • Snacks: Pack some healthy snacks to keep your kids energized.
  • Sun protection: Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential for protecting your kids from the sun.
  • Rain gear: If you’re hiking in the rain, be sure to pack rain gear for everyone.
  • First-aid kit: A first-aid kit is always a good idea, just in case.

Keeping Kids Motivated

The key to hiking with kids is to keep them motivated. Here are a few tips:

  • Make it fun! Hiking should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
  • Set realistic expectations. Don’t expect young kids to hike long distances or challenging trails.
  • Take breaks. Be sure to take plenty of breaks, especially for young kids.
  • Play games. Games are a great way to keep kids entertained on the trail.
  • Look for wildlife. Kids love to see animals, so keep an eye out for wildlife along the trail.
  • Reward your kids. When your kids reach their goals, be sure to reward them.


Hiking with kids can be a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and bond with your family. By following these tips, you can make sure that your next hike is a success.

Additional Tips

  • Involve your kids in the planning process. Let them help you choose the trails and pack the gear. This will help them feel more invested in the hike and make them more likely to enjoy it.
  • Be patient. Hiking with kids can be slow going, so be patient and don’t get frustrated.
  • Have fun! Hiking should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So relax, take your time, and enjoy the scenery.