Hiking with Kids is a fun activity families can do together.  My kids love to hike and are always ready to don their hiking shoes and hats! Here are five must-have items to bring along when hiking with kids:

1. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks!

You never want to run out of snacks while hiking with the kids.  When kids get tired AND HUNGRY, beware, you are in tantrum territory!

2. Lots of Water ( and a huge plus if you have Propel, Gatorade or another electrolyte replenishing drink)

While the kids love hiking, you want to ensure they are drinking plenty of H2O along the trail or they might get dehydrated, which increases risk of heat stroke.

3. Sun Hat with UPF for optimum sun protection

Make sure you buy one that has a strap so that it won’t come off easily. Also breathability is a must so their little heads don’t get too hot and sweaty.

4. Sunblock (sweat proof and waterproof a plus) with a High SPF and Insect Repellent (Deet free)

For all the skin that your hat and hiking wear doesn’t protect, you will want to cover in sunblock to ensure your little one doesn’t get a sunburn while on your hike. To keep the bugs at bay, use a deet-free insect repellent on any exposed skin, especially ankles, neck, and arms.

5. Baby/Child Carrier (with sunshade if possible)

When your little one gets tired, it is imperative to have a kid/baby carrier so that you can carry them so they can rest. Obviously if your little one is too big to be carried, you will want to take plenty of breaks, preferably in shady areas along the trail to ensure they are not overdoing it (and so they are able to make it back to the car or campground).

This list is for the most imperative items, in my opinion, but there are plenty of other types of hiking gear that can help make your hike more enjoyable for the kids and yourself. For example, hiking poles are a big hit with my kids and they enjoy using them whenever they can (see photo below)! Happy Trails!


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  1. You didn't mention bug spray very important

  2. Not an "essential", but we recommend taking along a fun "Nature Scavenger Hunt" for the kids to do! They are fun, educational and can make the hike more fun if the kids get bored.

  3. Cynthia Baum

    Bug spray was mentioned in #4 with sunblock 🙂

  4. Bee Lin

    can't wait our first trip will be in June 2015, sounds like FUN!

  5. Bee Lin

    can't wait our first trip will be in June 2015, sounds like FUN!