What to Pack When Hiking with Kids
What to Pack When Hiking with Kids!
Hiking is something that is good for the soul. We have always been a walking kind of family. My parents always took us for walks and it became a family affair. I have so many great memories of exploring nature, watching birds or finding tadpoles and turtles in the ponds.
Now with our own kids, that tradition continues. We enjoy getting out into nature and we think that life is better in hiking boots. For us, making sure that when we do go on our hikes, that we all have proper fitting shoes. Ones that are supportive and that can stand up to rocky terrain, mud and even water.
Take a Hike!
That’s why when Merrell Canada offered to suit us up into some of their boots, we were stoked. A good hike starts off with a good pair of shoes.
Read on for a list of what to pack when taking a hike with kids, top family friendly trails in Ontario and our hike in Ojibway Nature Park.
What to Pack When Taking a Hike with Kids!
- Water– It is absolutely essential to stay hydrated. Even for short walks, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A good rule of thumb is to drink one quart of water for every 2 hours hiking. Darasak and I always carry extra because the kids usually just carry one bottle.
- Whistles– Everyone should carry one just in case that you get lost. It’s a great way to find each other.
- Cell Phone– It’s necessary when an emergency arises. Plus, it’s an amazing tool to have with its GPS. Make sure to bring along a recharging battery pack so that you always have a charge.
- Skin Protection– Even if the day is overcast, you’re going to need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Wearing protective clothes (long sleeves, pants) and using insect repellent is a must. Don’t forget to pack hats and even an extra pair of socks. If you’re prone to sweating in your socks, this will help you to avoid blisters.
- Snacks– It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, in a busy metropolis or the middle of nowhere, they ask for something to eat. Since hikes can burn up to 700 calories (depending on trail) you need to have fuel to keep them going and feeling okay. When we find a spot, we take a rest and enjoy a snack. We bring granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, fruit leather and protein bars.
- First-Aid Kit– This is important in case of an emergency. Darasak and I both carry one in our backpacks. I have a list of what we carry in our first aid kit, here. But, a basic kit should contain assorted bandages, gauze, moleskin, pain relievers, antihistamine and an epi-pen if you or your child need it.
Top Trails to Hike with a Family!
Now that you have all the essentials for what to pack when taking a hike with kids, you’re going to need to find trails that you can all enjoy. Here’s a list of ones that are great for families!
With the celebration of our great country’s 150th birthday, we are making it a point to take more hikes. You can cross out some of these from this list since you can pick up a Canada Parks pass and get FREE admission. Here’s the full list. The list below are great trails for families and not all covered under the pass.
- Ojibway Nature Park
- Waterfront Trail, Whitby
- Crawford Lake Trail, Milton
- Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Provincial Park
- The Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Trail
- Middlebrun Bay Trail, Thunder Bay
- Lime Kiln Trail, Ottawa
- Dufferin Islands Park, Niagara Falls
- Pinery Provincial Park, Lambton Shores
- High Park, Toronto
While we love paved out trails, what we love even more is getting off the beaten path and exploring. The girls especially love doing this since you can find so many things along the way.
One of the things that I enjoy about hiking is that we can find a spot to explore and I can sit on a log and just sit in silence. Out of that silence, you can hear nature come to life and then you start spotting all different types of birds and even deer make a swift appearance.
These Boots Were Made for Walking!
Gabby and I both wear almost the exact same size and we both got to break-in the Siren Sport Q2 Mid Waterproof. They come in various colours and we received the Beet Red and Crown Blue.
They are designed for wild and women (young women too) and they’re engineered for the way women move. That way, you can have support, alignment, and stability.
Lead the Way!
Darasak tends to be pretty adventurous and he leads us through the trails. He’s always been pretty quick on his feet but, he relies on a good pair of shoes. He had the chance to try the Moab 2 Ventilator and he said how much he loved how he didn’t have aching feet afterward.
These hiking shoes are available in 6 colours and they’re made from durable leathers, a supportive footbed, and Vibram® traction.
My FAVOURITE part of going on hikes is that I get to get up close and personal with birds. Even if it’s through the lens of my camera. On our hike at Ojibway, we were able to see quite a lot of birds. I was able to capture two of my favourite birds and a couple of elusive ones too.
We saw the blue jay, cardinal, red-bellied woodpecker and the downy woodpecker too. I absolutely adore taking pictures of them and that’s why you’ll always find me walking the trails.
Get Out There!
Now you know which trails to explore, what to pack when hiking with kids and the shoes that will help you walk your next adventure.
For more information visit merrell.ca and you can pick up a pair at Sport Chek! Plus, don’t forget to pick up a pass so that you can celebrate our great country’s birthday in nature.
Do you go on hikes with your family?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.
We love going on hikes. The trails at Pinery are some of our favourites! They look like great hiking shoes!
The Pinery is awesome. They really are great hiking boots.
I love the photo’s and it makes me miss hiking so much!
It is so much! Thanks so much. 🙂
What great shots of the birds !
Thanks so much, they were fun to capture. They are quick!
Those close-up photos of the birds are amazing! I need a camera like yours for our hikes.
Thanks! It is one of my favourite things to do, birdwatching is more fun than people think.
I used to adore walking, it is something I dearly miss since my mobility went downhill and these are some great tips of things to pack.
It is so much fun, hopefully you can get back out there.
This is definitely a great list of items to bring with you when you’re hiking with kids. Looks like your family had a great time!
We always have a great time but, it is always a good thing to be prepared.
Excellent suggestions! I would have never thought to take whistles along, but it totally makes sense. I am also loving those sturdy shoes since footwear choices can make or break a hike.
It really can make or break a hike. Yes, whistles are helpful if you get lost.
Hiking is so much fun! Last weekend we explored the Warsaw caves. We hiked to the Kettles and climbed through the caves for hours! It was a great experience! I never thought of taking whistles with us! That is a great item to pack! Thanks for the list!
My pleasure, hope it helps. Sounds like you had an amazing time.
Beautiful trails! I love the birds! Nothing better than getting out in nature and those hiking boots are GORGEOUS! I want them in Beet Red!
Yes, the boots in beet red are amazing. Comfy too!
We have a lake and trail behind our home and I agree with all the items you’ve listed! We haven’t done a picnic this year yet, I’m looking forward to a dry weekend to be able to do it!
That is awesome, we have great trails too and it is awesome to get on them.
These are all great things to pack when hiking, especially the first aid kit! I am terrified of getting hurt somewhere where an ambulance can’t reach me! LOL!
Always great to have it on hand for sure. 🙂
These are all very important stuff to bring in outdoor adventures. The boots look very comfortable.
The boots are super comfortable. 🙂
You will definitely need all this while hiking with kids. Especially lots of water and skin protection.
Yes, lots of water for sure Pam.
When we go hiking, we pay special attention to our shoes. I love the shoes you’ve highlighted, they look comfy and cute. What great tips on packing for a hiking trip with kids.
Thanks so much Terri, I appreciate it!
Water, snacks, and a reliable first aid kit! I think those are the top 3 must haves, it’s good to have everything you need especially when you’re with the kids. This is a great guide for that.
Thanks so much, hope it is helpful. 🙂
First, what gorgeous photos you took on your hike! WOW! It is so important to be prepared when taking your family out for a hike no matter where you are. You need to be prepared for emergencies!
Yes, you are right! 🙂 Always good to be prepared!
What great tips and information. Hiking is on our family bucket list so this was a great read.
Awesome! Hope it helps. 🙂
I’ve never been hiking before, yet this is such a helpful write up providing different trails in the country.
Awesome! Hope it helps!
I would love to take a family trip hiking in Canada. It is so beautiful there, and we love to hike. I never thought about taking a whistle but that is such a great idea! Love those hiking boots. I need to get a new pair!
These are great for you then. So comfy and stylish.
I hike around Times Square from time to time. Does that count? LOL. But honestly, I do need to find a good hiking path around NYC, and it’d be great for my 7 year old to join along too. I’ll make sure to come back to this post when that time comes!
Awesome, glad it will help!
Wow, those birds are beautiful! We have been doing a lot of walking and running with my kids for the summer.
That is great, the weather is awesome lately too.
Such a gorgeous trail! I think you covered all the bases as far as what you should bring. Those tips can easily be applied to a trip without kids. I think the most important things are a heavy duty set of shoes and water which are both things you’ve got covered!
I agree Monika, you are right!
I’m so excited for Canada 150th birthday! It’s an important day for big celebration. Love the picture of the birds. Hiking and bird watching sounds awesome!
It is fun!
Love these boots! The colors are fantastic and they look comfortable yet supportive. Hiking is so much fun, especially when you have the right equipment.
Yes, all of this!
Look at those pretty birds! And those trails look so pretty. I would love to take a walk through them myself someday.
Yes, get out as often as you can!
Great tips! I always have a first aid kit with me in my purse, my car, and especially in my back pack when we go out hiking. Those shoes you featured in this post look like they are just the right kind for this summer activity. Pretty colors too!
Yes, they are really awesome and it is always great to be prepared.
Hiking is so much fun. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve always been a fan of hiking, especially with the kids. It gives them something to do and gets us outside away from technology.
It is so much fun!
Love the boots,some nice shots Nancy !