Planning a family trip to the local national forest is a fun way to encourage everyone to exercise. Hiking as a family is an effective way to burn calories and strengthen muscles in both you and the kids. Exploring the great outdoors can often times be a bit tricky with children. Everyone must be prepared for the trip to ensure no one gets cranky or injured by the the end of a long day of hiking.


1. Packing

A well packed backpack is crucial for even the shortest hikes. Be sure to include items on your packing list like plenty of drinking water and healthy trail snacks. This is key even if you only plan to be gone for an hour or two. Packing some trail mix and bottled water will ensure future interest in hiking because children love getting a chance to enjoy their favorite snacks in new locations.

2. Make it Educational

Some children may not necessarily want to know the species of every single tree in the forest, but it is important to make them aware of poisonous and irritating plants to avoid. This will of course prevent the itch of poison ivy rashes and will ensure that the youngest hikers won’t be tempted to sample brightly colored berries.

There are also other dangers in the forest besides plants that can be avoided with the proper information. Snakes and other dangerous animals can be thrilling to kids with a sense of adventure, so it’s important to teach them to recognize and avoid them from the very first outing.

3. Stay Fun

Kids will have more fun and feel included if you plan the hiking trip around the things they’d like to see in the forest. Waterfalls, extremely large trees, and cool rock formations are great sights that children may enjoy. Pick trails that include these amazing features and you’ll be sure to pique their bright imaginations.


4. Watch Out!

Be sure to lead the way and make your children aware of small hazards that come up on the path. Holes, large roots, and logs can cause nasty falls or sprains. You don’t want to have to administer first aid in the middle of the forest. Don’t expect young nature lovers to keep their eyes on the ground when there are millions of other things to see around them.

5. Don’t Forget The Stick

Hikers of all ages need a stout stick to help them cross tricky portions of the trail. Kids will also love swinging it like a sword or poking at things to explore like the myriad of insects that can found in a rotten log. A good blade can help you trim up a sturdy stick that you may find as you start out, so look into purchasing a butterfly knife if you don’t already have a trusty trail knife already.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your family hike becomes a fun, high impact activity that the entire family can enjoy.

Author Bio
This article was written by Dixie Somers. Check out Blade Ops if you are looking to view more butterfly knives or outdoor knives.



  1. […] nothing like enjoying the outdoors together as a family. The kids have the chance to explore nature and, as a parent, you can discover the great outdoors all over again through the eyes of your […]

  2. […] with my son at all, I would have to brave the sun and take on some of his hobbies. I began to do outdoor activities with him and it really helped us bond and we have such a better relationship because of it. Based […]

  3. March 14, 2013 at 8:51 am — Reply

    I wouldn't have thought of hiking as a family activity. My Mother never would have gone for it. She's a true diva, lol. The tips are good, but I need motivation to get a hike set up! I like family fitness like activities.

    • March 14, 2013 at 9:17 am — Reply

      See I was a Girl Scout for 10 years (yes, I know, I was a nerd. lol). So I grew up going for hikes, camping, and all that jazz. Now, me and the family live ten minutes from Stone Mountain park here in Georgia. That's easy motivation. I'd be crazy not to take advantage of that for a family activity. I think if it's practical like in my case, go for it… but if you're a girly girl, (like apparently a few of my readers… *cough, cough. lol) indoor activities, like you mentioned, are where it's at. 🙂

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