The Ultimate Guide to Hiking with Kids: Safety Tips and Tricks
July 14, 2023

Hiking is an excellent way to spend time with your kids, enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise. However, hiking with kids requires more preparation and planning than hiking with adults. Here’s the ultimate guide to hiking with kids and safety tips to make your next family hike successful:


Choosing the right trail

When hiking with kids, choosing a trail according to their age and fitness level is important. Look for well-maintained trails with clear markers that are not too steep or rocky. Avoid trails with dangerous drop-offs, narrow ledges, or difficult terrain.

Dress appropriately

Dressing your kids appropriately for a hike is essential for their safety and comfort. Make sure they wear comfortable, sturdy shoes with good traction, and dress them in layers so they can adjust to changing temperatures. Sunscreen and hats are also important, even on cloudy days.

Pack enough water and snacks

Hiking can be tiring, especially for kids. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks to keep your kids hydrated and energized. Encourage them to drink water frequently, even if they don’t feel thirsty.

Bring a first-aid kit

Accidents can happen on a hike, so it’s essential to pack a first-aid kit and emergency supplies. Include band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, insect repellent, and any medications your child needs. Bring a whistle or other noise-making device in case of an emergency, and teach your kids to use it if they get lost or separated from you.

Teach your kids about hiking safety

Before you start the trail, teach your kids about hiking safety. Show them how to read trail markers, stay on the trail, and avoid dangerous areas. Teach them to watch for wildlife and what to do if they encounter a snake or other potentially dangerous animal.

Stay together

It’s important to stay together as a group when hiking with kids. Keep an eye on your children at all times and make sure they stay on the trail. If you need to take a break, find a safe spot off the trail and make sure your kids know to stay with you.

Pace yourself

Kids have shorter legs and less endurance than adults, so it’s important to pace yourself when hiking with them. Take frequent breaks, especially on uphill sections, and make sure your kids have a chance to rest and hydrate.

Respect wildlife

Teach your kids to respect wildlife by observing from a safe distance and not approaching or feeding animals. This includes birds, squirrels, and other small animals, as well as larger animals like deer or elk. Make sure your kids understand the importance of not disturbing or harming the natural environment.

Check the weather

Before you head out on a hike, check the weather forecast. Avoid hiking in extreme heat, cold, or storms. If you do encounter bad weather, find a safe place to wait it out or turn back if necessary.

Have fun!

Finally, remember that hiking with kids should be fun! Take time to enjoy the scenery, play games, and explore nature. Encourage your kids to ask questions and learn about the environment around them.


In conclusion, hiking with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires planning, preparation, and patience. By choosing the right trail, dressing appropriately, packing supplies, teaching kids about safety, staying together, pacing yourself, respecting wildlife, checking the weather, and having fun, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hike with your family.