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    Posted on Sep 26, 2015

    22 Tips For Hiking With Kids That Every Parent Should Know

    How to take to the trails with toddlers in tow.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed Life

    1. Set up a Make-Your-Own Trail Mix Bar beforehand.

    Blair / The Seasoned Mom / Via theseasonedmom.com

    It will help get them in the hiking ~zone~ and give 'em a treat to look forward to! More inspiration here.

    2. And bring along plenty more snacks and water.

    3. Make sponge necklaces to help keep your little ones cool.

    The Crafty Crow / Via thecraftycrow.net

    Learn how to here.

    4. Choose the right hike.

    kata rokkar CC BY-NC / Via Flickr: katarokkar

    Pick something easy and pretty with plenty of stimulation and a small, if any, incline. Or as Matt Johnson of REI recommends, try to stick close to home so you can manage naps, feedings, or any meltdowns with ease.

    5. If there's a reward, even better.

    Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter CC BY / Via Flickr: cambodia4kidsorg

    If the hike culminates in some awesome waterfalls, spectacular views, or a fun place to play, it will be that much more fun!

    6. Make it into a scavenger hunt.

    Fritzie / Via frugalfritzie.com

    Make your own or use this handy print-out here.

    7. Bring a book.

    Like this outdoor workbook, found here, or try The Curious Nature Guide.

    8. If you've only got one kiddo, ask if they want to bring a friend.

    rumolay CC BY-NC-ND / Via Flickr: 92997382@N00

    Adults can get boring, but a buddy makes everything more fun.

    9. Start early.

    Jeff Turner CC BY-SA / Via Flickr: respres

    Everyone's energy will be better (including yours) and maybe you'll even beat the crowds or weather.

    10. Pack knowing that at some point, you will be carrying most if not all of the load.

    Take A Hike Arizona CC BY-NC-ND / Via Flickr: takeahikearizona

    It's inevitable.

    11. That being said, don't skimp on layers.

    NBC / Via metro.co.uk

    Pack more clothes than you think you'll need. Strategic layering is a hiker's best asset.

    12. Grab a trail map at the trailhead as a reminder of what's to come.

    Daniel J. CC BY-NC-SA / Via Flickr: aladaze

    It'll help keep kids pumped to be hiking and let them try out their navigation skills.

    13. Take turns on who gets to be hiking leader.

    Virginia State Parks CC BY / Via Flickr: vastateparksstaff

    14. And give each kid a ~important role~.

    USFWSmidwest CC BY / Via Flickr: usfwsmidwest

    Someone can be on the lookout for birds or woodland critters. Another tyke can be the Hike Cheerleader for when folks get tired, or put everyone on Safety Squad and looking out for each other.

    15. Take plenty of rests.

    jankgo CC BY / Via Flickr: liljango

    Don't just dole out water and snacks on the go: Take the time to sit and rest, take some pictures and enjoy the scenery.

    16. Teach your little ones what to avoid.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed Life / Via buzzfeed.com

    This extensive photographic list is also great for kids.

    17. And come prepared for as many incidents as you can.

    Positively Splendid / Via positivelysplendid.com

    Like this cute and portable first aid kit that'll fit in practically anything, and don't forget bug spray and anti-itch cream!

    18. Bring wet wipes.

    A Nation Of Moms / Via anationofmoms.com

    Perfect for after snacks, adventures in the mud, and bathroom breaks. Oh, there will be bathroom breaks.

    19. If you've got tots that can talk, chat 'em up!

    youtu.be

    This is a great chase to share stories with your kiddos and get their opinion on things. And the more you engage them, the less focused they'll be on how tough the walk is.

    20. If you're trekking with a wee babe, make sure you're familiar with your carrier and that it is comfortable for both of you.

    jocelyndale CC BY-NC-ND / Via Flickr: jocelyndale

    This is no time to break in the new Baby Bjorn.

    21. Keep track of time.

    Disney / Via gif-database.tumblr.com

    Know how far and how long you've walked so you can make sure you all have enough stamina to get back. Better yet, research how long the hike is estimated to take beforehand.

    22. Know when it's time to call it quits.

    Seth Stoll CC BY-SA / Via Flickr: sethstoll

    Let's face it, you know when your little one is getting tired better than they do. Don't hesitate to call it a day before the tantrums start, but be sure to give your little one props on a hike well done!

    Got your own awesome hacks for hiking with kids? Tell us about it in the comments!

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