Hiking With A Family
Hiking is a fun activity that an entire family can enjoy together. Children of any age are able to actively participate in a hike. It provides much needed exercise for children and adults alike. It also gives the family an opportunity to enjoy nature and learn about the surrounding environment.
How to find a hiking trail
For people who are are not familiar with their local hiking trails, there are many resources that provide help. One of the best resources is the Internet. Try searching for hiking or hiking trails and the name of the city. City government websites also usually have useful resources. There should be a list of trails available online or over the phone through the Parks and Recreation department of the local government, or some other related department.
How to choose amongst the offerings
When choosing where to go hiking, gauge the abilities of the family members who will be participating. Many online sites listing hiking trails will describe how difficult the hike is and have reviews from people who have been on those hikes. For people not used to hiking, start with an easy hike. The easiest hikes tend to be shorter than two miles, with very little change in elevation.
For families with young children, stick to hikes less than one mile long. For very young children, be prepared to carry them, or choose a trail that is stroller accessible. For people who are planning to hike frequently with very young children, there are backpacks for carrying children that can be very helpful.
What to bring
The most important thing to bring is enough water. Some trails have drinking fountains, but that is relatively rare. Frequently, all require water must be carried in. It is usually best to overestimate how much water is needed. Especially in dry areas, dehydration is a serious risk. It is usually not considered safe to drink out of local sources of water, such as rivers or lakes. Water sources may be polluted with chemicals, and may also contain harmful bacteria. Drinking unclean water can cause very severe reactions.
If the family is accompanied by a dog, they need to first make sure dogs are allowed in the hiking area. Dogs usually love to go hiking but require their own set of supplies. Bring bags to clean up after the dog. Most hiking trails require that dogs remain on a leash during the hike, and this is safest both for the dog and for other hikers and dogs on the trail. Dogs also need their own supply of water. They are equally liable to become dehydrated, and can't say so if they are. Be sure to be aware of how the dog is feeling during the hike.