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How to Start Hiking with Your Kids

Are you looking to get started hiking with your small human(s)? 

I’ve teamed up with one of the incredible Trailblazers Community members (@wanderingdoyles) who loves getting outside/hiking with her kids.

She is a WEALTH of knowledge and helped make this short + sweet blog happen in order to help lower the barrier to get more lil’ Trailblazers hittin’ the trails early!

🍭 Get them stoked with snacks/candy/sandwiches! Maggie and her family love suckers and gummy bears. She gives them snacks/candy at the ½ way point and once completed!

💧 Bring lots of water and LOTS of snacks! More snacks than you think.

🎒Let the kids wear their own backpacks and carry their own little gear! Start with what you have and build as you can. Maggie’s kiddo’s backpacks have water bladders (easier to stay hydrated), binoculars, notebooks to draw what they see on the trails, mini first aid kits, headlamps, compasses, snacks, and an emergency blanket.

📍Choose a trail with exciting features and cool destinations! You can use AllTrails or get on Google to find neat trails near you that are engaging and fun for the kids.

♥️ Expect pushback and “I don’t want to do this” for the first 20- 30 minutes. Kids normally settle in after that and don’t want to leave.

🐿️ Keep them engaged with activities or games as you hike. This is where the binoculars and notebook come in handy. Maggie’s 5-year-old currently loves looking for animal tracks and IDing them with her animal track book.

🥾 BONUS: With kids under 4 — a hiking backpack like Osprey Poco Child Carrier can be helpful to get you started and going. Maggie likes to let their little one get in and out of the carrier as they go along on the hikes.


“Hiking with kids is a slow process. It takes time for them to adjust and enjoy hiking! However, the experience and memories they have will last. My 5-year-old still talks about a hike in the Smoky Mountains from two summers ago. By the way, that hike was all tears for both my girls for 50% of the hike, but it’s still the hike they talk about.” – Maggie ♥️

Meet the author

Bethany Taylor

I’m a PNW-based outdoor educator, adventure athlete, highly-caffeinated creative, all-women adventure trip host, safety advocate, and obsessed dog mom. I am here to help you chase more stoke-filled days outdoors with confidence through education and empowerment.

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