My family does a lot of hiking together. We enjoy exploring new trails with our kids. Sometimes we go on short day hikes and other times, the hikes may take all day long. It just depends on where we go.
You don’t need to take along a ton of hiking gear for simple day hikes with children. I have learned from experience that mom and dad usually wind up carrying everybody else’s stuff! So we now plan out exactly what we need to take and leave the rest behind. Every family member has a small backpack of hiking essentials to carry.
The latest tweak to our family’s hiking gear are the hydration backpacks. We recently went on a hike and I ended up carrying multiple water bottles for the kids and myself. It isn’t much fun to hike with your hands full of water bottles. I decided there had to be a better way for us to bring water on hiking trips. And hydration backpacks are the answer! This kind of backpack holds water plus has enough room for smaller items.
Water is our #1 hiking essential. It is important to stay hydrated. Other hiking essentials we bring on the trail include:
Other Helpful Tips:
*Don’t forget to wear the right kind of shoes for your hike. Flip flops and sandals may work on easy trails, but they are not always the best choice. Lightweight hiking shoes are good for shorter day hikes.
*Check the weather forecast on the day of your hike. If rain is in the forecast, you will need to be prepared with rain gear. Remember to check temperatures and dress appropriately.
For my kids’ faces and ears, I love to use the Kids Stick Sunscreen. The sticks are an easy-to-carry size and don’t take up much room in our backpacks. We have to remember to re-apply our sunscreen every 1-2 hours as recommended while we are out hiking. It is so important to me to protect my children’s skin from sunburn, long-term sun damage and skin cancer. I am also a fan of Sunscreen Spray because it is so quick and easy to apply. I use that a lot for myself and the kids, too.
Do you like to go for day hikes with your family? What hiking essentials would you add to this list?
See our hike to Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.