Hiking can be a phenomenal way to get outdoors with your family, so long as the weather isn’t too tumultuous, and is a great way to help keep your kids fit, as well. However, underestimating hikes has led many a family to more stress, worry, and genuine risk many times. Here are a few tips to prepare for a family hike to ensure that you stay safe from trouble.
Choose a trail that you can all do
The number one tip that you should drill into your head is that you need to know the trail. You have to make sure that it’s doable and safe for all members of the family, taking into account their age and fitness level. You might want to check out reviews of the trails at places like familytravelsonabudget.com as well to make sure that you know specifically want to expect, as well as how long it is likely to take.
Expect changes in the weather
It’s a good idea to check up on the weather forecast to make sure that the day of your hike is likely to be dry, sunny, and safe. However, you shouldn’t get a false sense of security. Make sure that you bring rain gear if there is even the slightest chance of rain and, you might want to have everyone carry a spare change of clothes just in case.
As the parent, you’re most likely going to be carrying the majority of the essential gear. This should include sunscreen, water, snacks, and any other essentials that might come to mind. Not only should you make a checklist of everything you need beforehand, but you should also make sure you’re using survival gear like tactical backpacks from ecogearfx.com to make it easier to carry that load. The right backpacks will distribute weight more evenly around your body, making it much more achievable to carry what you need.
Ensure your children know what to do if they get separated
It might be a parent’s worst nightmare and you should make sure you use the buddy system so that no one is ever truly alone. However, preparing kids by teaching them what to do if they get lost is crucial. The basic steps of this tip are to stop where they are, find a tree to shelter under, make a nest, and don’t move from that spot. Teaching them how to use an emergency whistle can help them, as well.
Dealing with wildlife
Being respectful and cautious of any wildlife you see is crucial. If your path is blocked by a wild animal that has no intention of moving, backing away safely and canceling the rest of the hike might be the right idea. Otherwise, carrying things such as bear spray featured at bearsmart.com is a good idea. Whatever you do, make sure your family knows never to approach wildlife, even if it’s not behaving aggressively.
A good family hike is all about preparation. There’s no such thing as too much of it. Make sure you’re ready for the route, the weather, and the hardships of hiking before you head out with the family.