A family hike is a wonderful way to explore nature, get exercise and create memories. Best of all, a hike is a great way to get those kiddos tired so they sleep well.
Here are some tips to make hiking fun and safe for the family.
1. Wear the right shoes. We love our slippahs here on Maui, but when going for a real hike, pop on some sneakers and make sure they fit right.
2. Put on that sunscreen. Load on the sunscreen before you head out and be sure to bring more to put on after the kids are sweaty from walking.
3. Take it easy. Choose a trail that your kids can walk the entire way – that means there and back. Start with a mile-long hike and work your way up as the summer progresses.
4. Bringing a smaller keiki on your walk? Pop on a carrier like an Ergo for good support that won’t break your back and also offers shade from the Maui sun.
5. Bring snacks. Pack a lunch of sandwiches, trail mix and fruits. Let the kids help prepare by making their own trail mix or helping to cut up the veggies and fruit.
6. Stay hydrated. Pack water for everyone. Make it easy by having mom or dad also bring a Camelback – a backpack that’s just for water and can be enjoyed via a long straw that reaches your mouth while on the go.
7. Take breaks. Be sure to stop along the way and rest and observe your surroundings. If on a country trail, read the mounted descriptions on where you are.
8. Bring tools. Have your kids bring a compass, a map, binoculars and a journal to write down what they see. Let each one take turns being the guide or leader.
9. Cheer them on! Keeping your little one engaged and give them a “way to go” as they hit each new mark on the trail.
10. Make memories. Give each child a disposable camera to take photos during their hikes. At the end of summer print them out and let your kids make a photo journal. Include any treasures they brought home or drawings they did of the trails.