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Tips for Hiking with Kids + Giveaway

Hiking with children can be tricky but it can be so fun with these tips!I plop in the passengers seat, sweating and out of breath as if I just came back from an arduous hike. Ironically, I just finished getting things ready and kids in the car… to go on a hike. Sometimes the preparation and anticipation of an event are more tiresome than the actual event. Take hiking for instance. PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_3Hiking can be super simple and easy going if it is just you or any group of adults. Just pick up your pack and go. Now put children in the picture and it is a whole different story! You really need to plan. For everything. We’ve gone out A LOT as a family and with multiple children we feel like we have our preparation down. Is it tiring? Yes. But as long as we are mostly prepared (and with 4 children something is bound to happen that we may not be prepared for) then this family outing can go smoothly and enjoyably. PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_4Here are our tips for hiking with kids:

  1. Bring sustenance. Do your kids eat like 423432 times a day? Because mine would if I let them. I don’t even know why they always want to eat. So make sure you have some hearty snacks in case they get hungry or in case you need to stay out longer than planned. Sometimes kids may get bored and need a distraction. We like to set up milestones for them. For example: let’s get to that peak and we can sit down and have a little snack. We really like these snacks.PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_5
  2. Bring the right gear. This may seem obvious but we’ve heard kids (including ours) make an otherwise calm and easy hike into a nightmare. Their feet hurt. They are freezing. They are too hot. Adults can handle it a little bit better but kids with even a tiny bit of discomfort can really blow it out of proportion. However, I know if its cold and wet I would probably be miserable as well. So, dress appropriately and be prepared for the elements. Here in Seattle we have to worry about the rain so having waterproof jackets and boots is key. Our friends at Northside (you can get their boots on Amazon, too!) sent us the kids and Lorin some boots to test out. And that we did! We went for a leisurely hike last week after a downpour! The kids loved jumping in puddles and not having their feet get cold and wet. As for the traction, they were great on the slick rocks and muddy trails. The high tops were supportive especially when going on uneven ground. And the kids loved having special shoes they could wear and get muddy on our hikes. No more Mom telling them they can’t jump in the puddles! Ashton and Oliver both got the Snohomish Jr. which are true to size, have a hard toe, have a loop in the back to put their laces through which helps tighten the ankle support and are waterproof. Adelle got the Caldera Jr. because she liked the yellow on them and because they had her size in this boot. This one also runs true to size, has a hard toe and loop in the back but they were not waterproof but have mesh which makes them breathable. Lorin got the McKinley which is a sturdy and waterproof boot. The only thing we wish it had was that loop in the back for more support on the ankle. It is a great leisure hiking boot at an affordable price.PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_9
  3. Don’t go during nap time. Do I have to explain this further? Just don’t push your luck unless you are ok carrying kids back to the car.PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_6PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_7
  4. Do your research. I don’t like not being prepared. I like to know what I am getting myself into. My husband carefully researches the hikes so we know where we are going and how long it should take. We make sure it is within our skill level and age appropriate. Because we have very young kids we don’t take them on a steep and long hikes. Asking Facebook groups or friends about tried and true family friendly trails will give you a good feel if the hike is ok for your family. Also make sure there is somewhere to use the bathroom before you start! You could just go along the trail but it may be best to use the bathroom where it is intended- hah! PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_8PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_2
  5. Know your limits. Quite often we don’t make it to the top or finish the trail. We see our kids are getting tired so we just turn around and hike back. And that’s ok! The point of these hikes is to enjoy our surroundings and the company- to build and strengthen our relationships. We don’t want to make these family activities unenjoyable so we try our best to read their cues and know when they are done.PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-boots_1I know it is cliche but for us it isn’t about the destination but about the journey. And to help you on those little adventures with your family, Northside would love to give one of you your choice of a pair of boots! I will be hosting this giveaway here and on my Instagram account so head over there for another chance to win! Winner will be announced March 11 on my Instagram account on the giveaway picture. {GIVEAWAY CLOSED!}PNW-kid-friendly-hikes-with-northside-bootsComment below to enter to win a pair of Northside Boots!
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**What is something your family likes to do together?

16 thoughts on “Tips for Hiking with Kids + Giveaway

  1. […] you just take the time to look. We’ve gone on many adventures in nature (you can read my tips here!) but now we want to explore our city. I was so excited when OXO Tot sent us some goodies to […]

  2. Loved this post! Going to use these tips!

    1. Hope it helps, Portia!

  3. We’re over on the Kitsap Peninsula. Illahee is a great place to camp, hike, and walk along the waters edge! Picnics overlooking the pier is great too! Then the Cascades.. Just to go and explore is always fun!

  4. We like to go for walks or ride bikes together!

  5. We love to spend a nice, long day at the beach…playing in the water, walking along the shore finding shells, building sandcastles in the sand (and even relaxing in chairs reading!)

  6. We love Stewart Falls, easy but beautiful! We want to hike somewhere by Mt. Rainier when we go to Washington, let me know if you know a good kids hike around there.

    1. Stewart Falls is really beautiful. Our kids loved that hike. We are definitely going to explore Rainier so I will let you know!

  7. Great tips! We love to explore the city and beyond with Hike It Baby Seattle. Our parks and trails are first class, and as an alternative to traditional hiking, there are so many neighborhoods and breathtaking views to experience.

    1. I’ll check out Hike It Baby Seattle! The city is fun, too! But my husband hates the crowds. Haha! Seattle has some beautiful areas for sure!

  8. […] P.S. Don’t forget to enter the outdoor boots giveaway in the last post! […]

  9. We bike together 🙂 cindygaarder@gmail dot com

  10. we like hiking and biking

  11. Ooh Love those boots. My family loves to hike, mountain bike and camp together. Basically all outdoor things. (:

  12. We love going hiking at Stuarts Falls and Rock Canyon, the kids and my husband choose most times to go hike up bridal veil falls, not my first choice, but getting to spend time outdoors is priceless.

  13. We love camping! I love hiking too, but not so many places you can go hiking in Texas 🙂 My husband loves the beach, so we try to make at least one trip a year to the beach.
    I love your pictures! I’ve been craving a trip outdoors for months now; I think now I will plan a trip 🙂