Five Quick Hiking With Kids Tips!

Hey, hey, hey! August is here, full swing, and I am praying for an easier month than the last few weeks of July. Our current situation is totally a laid back end of summer….but I have so many more things left to do on our summer goals list! We have a few fun Fridays picked out and I want to desperately go on a nice little day trip to the ocean still.

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(A half way smile from the 13 year old?! No way!)

While the summer is still going, and since you can hike well into fall here, I thought I would share with you five quick tricks I use to make hiking easier on this mama. Whether you’re a fellow mom to many, a daddy, or a babysitter, these tricks are fast ways to make hiking easier and in turn more fun for mama. Because we all know-if mama isn’t happy, nobody is happy.

  1. Use small bags, like these Ipsy make up bags, for packing snacks! I started Ipsy about two months ago and so far I’ve loved the actual make up sent. I’ve also really loved the bags, but I quickly realized I wasn’t going to be using them all for make-up; I have a large make-up bag and while these ones were super cute, I don’t travel often and wouldn’t have a use for them in that sense. I thought about giving them to the kids, but they are so cute, I didn’t want to send them to that abyss(though I did hand off this graffiti one to Doodle for a pencil bag!) I found out the bags are actually the perfect size to carry a few snacks while hiking! They’re essentially weightless unlike the containers, but they are not wasteful, unlike the regular plastic bags! If you have any extras hanging around, wash them out and use them to hold snacks in.
  2. Make the kids carry their own things. I can already feel a few judgey eyes, but hear me out. I have five kids. When we go hiking, they each have their own water bottle. I don’t think asking them to carry that bottle is that bad, especially when I’m also carrying my 20 pound 4 month old! Plus, they love the chance to carry their own things. Monkey begs me to carry the regular bag, despite it possibly weighing as much as him.
  3. Sunscreen needs to reapplied every few hours. You may roll your eyes at me, but I know far too many people who don’t. This isn’t a parenting tip, it’s a safety tip. Bring that with you! Also a safety tip? Have an emergency box set and bring it with you. Even just a band-aid can take away a half hour of crying, because it comforts your babe who just fell.
  4. Know where you’re going or at least have an idea of how hard it is. My kids are seasoned hikers by now. We’ve hiked plenty of miles this summer. I write the posts on what the trails are like for each age because I want people to see what they are like and how hard they are or are not. It’s dangerous to start a trail with kids and have no idea what you’re in for. I try not to take the kids on hikes places where I haven’t been or the oldest hasn’t been!
  5. Have hair pieces! (If you have children with longer hair, or you have it yourself!) I swear by these so much, I may or may not keep five in my emergency pack at all times. If you’ve seen Spy Kids, you know, an elastic is the most important spy gear!

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(What I see during hikes. Man, I love his face.)

And a bonus tip? Always have your cell phone charged! As an amateur mom-tographer I love to take photos of my kids and the scenery on these hikes. But honestly, it’s a pain to lug my nice camera out there. It adds to my list of things to carry, there’s no waterproof or fall proof container for my 600$ DSLR. My phone is a fair trade off to capture these moments. And emergencies. I know I harp on this a lot, but as a mom of 6, I’ve had our fair share of emergencies. It’s so important to always be prepared.

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Any other hikers out there? What tips and tricks do you have? I’m always looking for more!

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