Winter Hiking for Families
How do I go hiking in winter with kids?
Surviving the outdoors and winter hiking is a skill as well as a valuable lesson for your kids to learn. By hiking in winter, your children gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities.
BUT to make the winter hike fun and successful — you — yes, YOU the parent need to make sure the bases are covered.
Fluids for Hiking
IMHO being dehydrated makes me feel colder. And, a Thermos filled with hot chocolate (stashed in the back of the car) is a pleasant surprise when we get back.
Food for Hiking
Hiking in cold weather on an empty stomach is no fun for little ones. They don’t have a lot of energy reserves and will be using energy to walk through snow as well as losing energy to the environment. Make sure they are fueled up, and you have some extra resources to share during the hike.
Emergency Preparedness for Hiking
Bring along your phone. Pack emergency blankets in your gear bag. They barely take up and space and might just save your life.
Hiking Compasses, and Rite in the Rain
Snow covered trails and snow-covered deer trails kind of look the same. Know where you are going and pack a compass. If you get turned around, and you can’t follow your tracks back out, you’ll have a compass to point the way IF you have taken note of where you parked and where the trail started.
I take bearings when I am hiking in winter and make a physical note in a notebook (love Rite in the Rain). That way, if things go back, I have a record of my path and can return to where I started, or I can tell someone where to find me.
Check out this article on How to Dress for Winter Hikes