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Friday, July 14, 2017

Tips for Hiking Families by Trisha Roberts

Hiking is fun for the whole family!

Hiking is a great outdoor activity for any season, but especially in the summer and fall months. Whether you choose to travel on a paved path in the local park or trek through thickets and trees in the timberlands, preparing in advance can make for a safer, more enjoyable experience.

Be Prepared:

I have a backpack that is stocked and ready for any expedition. It includes:
  •          Sunscreen
  •          Insect Repellent
  •          Binoculars                    
Binoculars are Great to take on a Hike!

  •          Bandages
  •          Small Water Bottle
  •          Whistle                                                              
    Take a whistle for each person when you hike
    Whistles for Safety

  •          Inexpensive rain poncho
  •          Snack Bars or Trail Mix
  •          Hand Sanitizer
  •         Tissues or a small roll of toilet paper
  •          A plastic bag for trash

Children should carry a backpack that weighs not more than 10-15% of their body weight.  For example, an average 7 year old weighs 50-60 pounds; their pack should not weigh more than 5-9 pounds.

Heavy backpacks can spoil a great hike
Don't overload your child's backpack!

What to Wear and Take:
  • Long, loose sleeved shirts allow air flow but protect against sunburn, discourage ticks and mosquitos, and help prevent scratches.
  • Hiking boots that fit well with absorbent cotton socks.  Try to “break-in” the boots slowly by taking short hikes or wearing them around the house before tackling a longer hike. A sturdy pair of tennis shoes also works well.
  • Consider a wide-brimmed hat that can be great protection from the sun.
  • Each person should wear or carry a whistle for emergencies.
  • Spray bug repellent around the cuffs of sleeves and neckline of shirts and at the ankles.
  • Apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Take at least 1 8-ounce bottle of water or Gatorade.
  • If available, take a map of the park or area you plan to hike.  (This can be a great teaching tool.  Consider taking a compass and/or GPS tracker, too!)
  • A walking stick can be helpful for longer hikes or paths traversing hills and mountains.
Hiking sticks help make the adventure more fun

Teach children safety:

  • Teach the “Buddy System”—each person should be paired with a family member or friend.  It is each person’s responsibility to know where their partner is at all times. Make sure that everyone understands the importance of staying together--no one should wander off alone. 

  • If someone should become separated from the group, they should blow their whistle (ideally the “SOS” pattern of 3 long blasts, 3 short blasts, and 3 long blasts).

Whistles on hikes
Instruct Children to Blow their Whistle if the are Lost

  • Instruct children to identify and avoid contact with poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak.

Poisonous plants you might encounter on a hike

Poison Oak
Poison Oak
Poison Ivy should be avoided on a hike!
Poison Ivy

Additional Options:

  • Have someone bring a bird identification book.
  • Download an app to a smart phone that can help identify leaves and trees.
  • Study in advance the insects or small animals you might see on your excursion.

Remember to Enjoy Every Moment! Give Thanks for the Beauty around Us!

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

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