Something that all of us at Thomson Family Adventures enjoys is hiking. We hike on family vacations and in our spare time. Whether we are exploring the mountains of Chiang Mai or looking for waterfalls in Costa Rica, we love to be out and hiking through the wilderness. I like to hike whenever I have the chance. On my last hike I recognized a few things that could’ve made the hike a little bit better for the kids I took with me. These cheap and easy tips I thought of after my last hike might make your next family hiking experience extra special for your kids! And always remember, when hiking on a family vacation with TFA, we always make sure to have these little details covered to make it the best experience possible.
Recently, I hiked in the New Hampshire White Mountains with two 11 year old girls, my daughter and my niece. We did a backpacking trip over Mt. Wolf to Eliza Brook where we spent the night, and the next day we did North and South Kinsman and then hiked out. The girls had to carry some of their own gear, but they are young so I wanted to make sure to keep weight down. While total weight is important I missed an opportunity, with just a few ounces I could have really improved their experience. For $8.25 and less than a half pound I could have been a hero.
Hot Chocolate (1.5 oz., $.25)
Let’s face it, mornings in the New Hampshire White Mountains are cold. I prefer hiking in the early spring and early fall (before and after bug season), two seasons characterized by chilly mornings. Getting kids out of bed is never easy, but in these conditions it is even worse. A cup of hot chocolate waiting for them outside the tent would have done wonders to improve the mornings.
Light (.07 oz., $5)
Much of the White Mountain National Forest does not allow camp fires. As a result when then sun goes down there isn’t much for kids to do. Having a small light which can be hung within the tent would have given them a place to go and hang out after dinner. This would have given them their own space to laugh and gossip in and they would have loved it.
Candy (4 oz., $2)
Oatmeal, ramen noodles, granola bars, and trail mix are the obvious foods which kids have come to expect when hiking, camping, and backpacking. But how epic would it have been if I had whipped out Swedish fish or gummy worms when we were struggling with elevation gains on a gray and overcast day. I could have lifted their spirits with unexpected treat.
Hand Warmer (1 oz., $1)
Pitch one of these into the bottom of a cold sleeping bag a little while before going to bed, and your bedding changes from a thankless cold nylon bag, to a toasty warm haven. After a long hike on sore feet, this would have made them giggle with joy.
PS: They had a great time anyhow and both want to go again. Next time though, I am taking my own advice!