As spring break is almost here, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors as you bond with your brood. Hiking is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle as there has been evidence that spending time in the outdoors can be beneficial for anyone’s physical and mental health. A study has found that hiking not only improves balance and stability, but it can also prevent mental illness. But before going on a hiking trip, it is essential to plan and prepare accordingly in order to ensure the success of this outdoor activity.
Apart from choosing where to go, wearing the right clothing and footwear and bringing the right gear will make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. Here’s how to gear up when preparing for a family hike.
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
The mild weather may inspire you and your kids to wear lightweight clothing, but for a hike, you’ll need to wear something more substantial than a cotton t-shirt and shorts. Parents and kids should dress in comfortable trousers or hiking pants made of a breathable fabric. Dress in layers that you can peel off if it gets too hot. A long-sleeved button-down over a shirt or tank top is perfect for a hike. A pair of durable yet lightweight hiking boots is a must for everyone as you don’t want anyone complaining about having sore, aching feet. Pair hiking boots with thick socks to protect feet against blisters. Have everyone wear a hat or a baseball cap, and you’re ready to go.
Pack the essentials
Have everyone prepare his or her own backpack for the trip. Kids and parents should have extra clothing, rain gear, a bottle of water, sunscreen, insect repellent to guard against mosquitoes and ticks, a hand towel, and a flashlight. If anyone is taking medication, definitely bring medicines too. Parents can put a small first aid kit in their bag as well as a knife or multi-purpose tool and a water purifier. Encourage kids to leave their phones and other gadgets at home so everyone can fully focus on the hike and appreciate the beauty of nature. However, parents should bring a GPS or a mobile phone in case of an emergency.
Don’t forget the food
Going on a hike can work up an appetite, so it’s important to take enough food for you and the kids. Don’t just stop by a convenience store and load up on junk food and soda—you can prepare healthier options that will give everyone some much-needed energy for the hike. Try making some homemade trail mix, and cut up some fresh fruit and vegetables to munch on during the hike. For a more filling snack, make healthy sandwiches. Sliced ham and veggies on whole wheat bread is a tasty option, while peanut butter, raisins, honey, and cinnamon on raisin bread makes for a sweet but still healthy treat. Don’t use mayonnaise in any of your sandwich fillings as this can cause your food to spoil.
Ensuring that you and your family has everything that you need for a day hike can make your trip more enjoyable for everyone. Follow these tips to gear up for a family hike and have fun as you bask in the beauty of the great outdoors.
Photo by Jon Flobrant