Our family loves to go hiking around Connecticut and when we go camping. Along the way, we’ve learned packing the hiking gear kids need helps create more enjoyable family hiking adventures!
Hiking gear kids need for enjoyable family adventures
Wear good shoes
Your choice of footwear depends on the length and technical difficulty of your hike. Make sure shoes offer support, fit well, and no flip-flops! Wet rocks, leaves, and roots can become dangerous slipping hazards.
Bring water for everyone
Pack plenty of water for everyone. These are still our favorite water bottles although they aren’t quite big enough to last a long hike, so usually we refill them from our own bottles. (Hubby always carried a gigantic HydroFlask!).
Wear high quality socks
Choose a sock that helps make hiking comfortable with a cushioned bottom and a quality natural fiber, like wool, to wick away moisture, so feet don’t blister. I’ve discovered a new sock brand I’m totally in love with : Farm to Feet socks are made with 100% American materials – merino wool from American sheep – in a sustainability focused manufacturing site! Each sock design has a theme from a famous American hiking area!
The Farm to Feet design has a seamless toe closures, smooth across the top of the toes – if you’re a hiker, you KNOW how this can reduce the irritation and blistering on the top area of your feet! Plus, the Comfort Compression goes from the top of the foot through the arch for support and comfort. Farm to Feet guarantees their socks for life – 100%!
Men’s, women’s, and kids socks come in various weights (mid-weight and lightweight are best for a day hike).
- The Damascus lightweight hiker has 3D Active Knit Technology with multi-dimensional weave to help the wool manage moisture and heat (sooooo comfortable!)
- Their No Fly Zone socks have built-in insect repellent technology! Yes! Isn’t that amazing! the socks will keep ticks, mosquitos, and other insects away – and the repellent lasts for many washes!
- Check out the Kid’s Kittery mid-weight hiker sock – a great hiker with fun colors and stripes that kids will enjoy putting on!
See all the great footwear on the Farm to Feet website!
Bring along binoculars for exploring
Kids love to spot birds in trees, or turtles snoozing on logs. Help them be sharp-eyed explorers by packing a pair of binoculars to spot details in nature. HABA’s Terra Kids Binoculars come in a handy carry bag and magnify 4x, so kids can get a closer look at that turtle in the pond without getting close to the edge. These are a fabulous starter pair of binoculars that are just professional enough to work well for kids, yet easy to use and lightweight for them to carry (and not so expensive if they end up damaging them). Find at HABAusa.com ($19.99).
Tote some handy tools for collecting
I encourage my boys to bring their journals with them on a hike, and we often stop to draw or write down things we spot, or do a nature rubbing. With the GeoSafari Adventure Pens, your kids can journal and collect samples at the same time. Perhaps they’d like to test the soil or water – collect some in the water pen. What about a bug they found? Put it in the land pen (it has airholes!). Or place a leaf to identify later on in the pen. The light pen has a flashlight that will allow them to look into nooks and crannies. And of course, all the pens write so they can jot down their observations! Find these cool Adventure Pens at Educational Insights ($26.99 for a set of 3; can be purchased individually).
Don’t forget the medical supplies!
Bumps and bruises, mosquito bites… it’s all part of the hiking package. Bringing along a small medical kit (and having a larger kit in the car) is the best way to keep your hike safe and enjoyable. We love the Me4Kidz MediBuddy first aid kit because it slips easily into a pack and contains over 50 common items you might need to treat a few boo-boos on the trail (bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads). Plus the hard plastic case is reusable and keeps items from getting crushed. Throw in a few cool Metallic Tattoo bandages and the kids will cheer up quickly after a scrape! We also like to bring Cool It Buddy Instant Cold Packs for a longer trail hike because you don’t have to rush back to camp to get a cold compress. The Little Buddy Antibacterial wipes are also very handy for cleaning up grimy faces and hands along the trail (and for those bathrooms that have no paper!). Find all these useful medical supplies as well as larger kits at Me4Kidz.com.
Pack kids lightly
Their bones are still growing and developing. While kids are notorious for handing off their gear to their parents, the truth is there is only so much their little bodies can handle. Don’t saddle them with a pack that is too big for their frame. The Deuter Kiki kid’s hiking backpack has been perfect for my boys. The straps are perfectly contoured for their bodies, and there’s a sternum strap that gives the pack some stability so it’s not shifting around all the time on them. The breathable mesh back keeps them comfortable on a warm day, and the reflector strip would be helpful for hikes at dusk (we’re more morning hikers!). Isn’t the design so adorable too – like a little bird peeking at you! That fabric you see is ecofriendly BluSign material as well. This pack is the perfect choice for youngsters who love to hike. Find it on Amazon (affiliate link) and other online retailers for around $45.
Other items to pack on a hike:
- trail mix & snacks
- bug spray
- journaling notebook
- map & compass
- flashlight & safety whistle
I hope you’ve enjoy this list of handy gear kids need for a family hiking adventure! Did I miss anything that you think is a necessity for safe and fun hiking experiences? Please share in the comments!
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This post was sponsored by the brands mentioned above and I received products and compensation for sharing this post. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links may be used – purchases through these links may generate a small commission for me as the referrer.