Getting outside and heading up a trail is such an exciting feeling! It’s important to make sure that you’re maximizing your fun by knowing how to get outside and head up that trail safely.
There are certain precautions you take when you go out with your children places, but taking them on an adventure like (trying to) climb up a mountain requires some extra care and attention.
Hiking safety guidelines
Don’t go out alone
Try and find another enthusiast -or convert a non-enthusiast- to join you. Not only will having the extra company motivate your kiddos to keep up with their friends and give you some adult conversation, but you’ll now have two sets of eyes and ears to help out with making sure that everyone is safe.
Text a friend, partner, or family member and let them know where you’re going, who you’re going with, and what time you should be expected back. In case anything was to happen you would be more easily accessed if emergency crews knew where to start looking.
Bring enough food and water
This kinda applies to everywhere you go with kids, but especially when you can’t just go purchase something that you need. Hiking is hard work and kids need LOTS of fuel for their little bodies. YOU also need lots of fuel to keep up with their little bodies, so make sure you pack enough food/water, and then some! Don’t forget the jellybeans!
Make sure you’re fit
You don’t have to be able to run a marathon, but making sure that you’re in decent shape will make your hike with kiddos safer. You need to be able to catch up, as well as quickly get everyone off the trail in case something should happen.
Make sure that you’re all wearing appropriate footwear for the trail. Runners and hiking shoes are your best bet.
Wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to move easily! Dress in layers; you’re all going to be working hard on that trail, so the option of less clothing will be a great one! Bring a hat, too. It’ll protect you from the sun and ticks or other bugs.
Take a look at our Jellybean Rating to see what you’re going to be getting yourself into so you can assess what potential snags you might encounter. It’s also a good idea to take a peek at the weather forecast. Hiking in the rain can be slippery and a little less ideal with kids.
Brush up on your animal safety. Bears and cougars are the top animals you may encounter here in British Columbia and you need to know what to do in case of a run in. Learn about bear safety here and cougar safety here.
Bring along a map of the trail. Sometimes there are spots along the trail that you’re not sure where to go next. Having a map will help you get to where you need to go safely.
Chances are you won’t have reception where you are, so you won’t be able to refer back to any online information. Download or write down anything that you may need to reference.
Pack what you need
This is a list of the things that you’re going to need to make sure you have the most fun on your little adventure:
-first aid kit
Gear up your kids
Give your kiddos their own pack filled with water, an extra snack, a whistle, and a light jacket. If ever there was an instance where your child was separated from you they would have some essentials. Explain to them that if they ever did get lost that they can blow 3 short blows on the whistle to indicate an emergency, stay near a tree, and wait for help.
Teach your children to STAY TOGETHER. This ensures that everyone is as safe as possible. Make sure that you always stay on the trail while keeping together as a group.
Using all of these tips will help ensure you’re providing your children with the safest experience possible. Chances are, your adventure will go off without a hitch, but it’s crucial to be prepared for any scenario!