Hiking

Add the points applicable to your activity

Family Unity: Add 10 pts
Work together to make it to your destination
Health: Add 10 pts
Learn to create healthy food and make wise eating decisions
Education: Add 10 pts
Learn to use a compass and other backpacking and survival skills

Preparation

You’ll want to make sure you are prepared for pretty much anything when you go on a hike.  First things first, make sure you take plenty of water and don’t buy your hiking boots right before you go.  You’ll want well-worn in shoes that are less likely to give you blisters.  Also, don’t forget to leave an itinerary with someone back home or back at camp. Here’s a list of other things you may want to take – of course it depends on how long of a hike you are planning on and what type of environment you’re in (forest & dessert hiking are very different).

  • Water
  • Food & Snacks
  • Poncho
  • Pocket Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass (+ GPS if available)
  • Flashlight & Batteries
  • First Aid Kit & Moleskin (for blisters)
  • Hat
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen & Lip Balm
  • Handkerchief
  • Cell Phone and/or Radio
  • Matches

Safety Tips

  • Check the weather before you leave.  Make sure you pack and dress accordingly.
  • High altitude can cause nausea, headache, shortness of breath, etc.  Go back down the trail if you start to feel the effects of high altitude.
  • Layer clothing rather than wearing one big heavy coat – that way you can adjust to the temperature more effectively.
  • Don’t drink untreated water from streams or lakes – you can get sick.
  • If you get lost, stop walking and try to draw attention to yourself by blowing a whistle or yelling

Hiking with Kids

Hiking with kids is definitely going to be a slower trek than one with all adults & teens.  Children love to look at and explore everything.  Try to remember that and be prepared for it before you leave.  It will keep you patient and help you remember the reason why you are out hiking in the first place.  Let it be an adventure but remind the children that if they will be quiet along the trail, they may be able to see more wildlife.

If the children become bored or “tired” too quickly, try coming up with a scavenger hunt along the way.  Challenge them to be the first to find a “bird with blue feathers” or a “big round rock”.  Just don’t give them an object too small that they will be looking searching every inch around them.

PS – if your children are still young enough to carry a sippy cup or bottle around, you will probably want to bring a few extra – funny how those things can slip right out of little hands right off a drop into a creek.

Snacks

  • Trail Mix, Granola, Dried Fruit, Nuts
  • Bread, Bagels, Crackers
  • Snack Bars & Energy Bars
  • Fruits & Veggies
  • Lunch Meat, Cheese