12 Tips For Hiking With A Toddler

hiking with kidsWe survived our ski weekend! It was amazing! I bet you’re all on the edge of your seat to find out how it went. ┬áThe 3 year-old had a ski lesson but bailed after 1 hour. However, he was then towed by Daddy on one of those ski leashes. He LOVED it. I went cross-country skiing with my extremely fit friend, who towed Fuzz in a Chariot on skis. It was pretty impressive.

The next day we decided to do a hike instead of ski, so we could all be together. I’m a novice hiker, and I made several rookie mistakes yesterday, but learned a lot of great tips from my mountain friends.

This trip also inspired me to step up my exercise. Spring is almost here! There are so many beautiful views in this country, we need to get out and see them!!

Below check out some fabulous tips for hiking with a toddler and some beautiful photos from our hike in the Sierra Nevada region of California.

  • Start small. 1 of 12
    Start small.
    Okay, so it might seem that this gigantic hill would not be starting small. However, it was actually pretty short and the rest of it was straight or downhill. (Except the rock scaling part). With a little huffing and puffing, (mostly by me) we made it.
  • Make sure you have the right gear. Hats, sunscreen, good shoes, layered clothing. 2 of 12
    Make sure you have the right gear. Hats, sunscreen, good shoes, layered clothing.
    Rookie mistake #1. No hats for the boys. Luckily we did have sunscreen and everyone had long sleeves.
  • Prepare to carry your toddler 3 of 12
    Prepare to carry your toddler
    Even if your kids are able to walk a lot of the way, be prepared that they may tire out quickly, or you may tire of hearing them whining that they're tired. This kid backpack was perfect for Fuzz. Our friend put Shnook on his shoulders part of the way up.
  • Take lots of breaks. 4 of 12
    Take lots of breaks.
    It's good not to tire out your little people too quickly. Make sure to check in with them to see if they are tired and need a break and a drink. Or maybe, just to dump the sand out of their shoes.
  • Water and snacks 5 of 12
    Water and snacks
    Bring lots of them. Did I mention I brought water for the kids, but forgot water for us? Rookie mistake #2.
  • Stop to admire the view. 6 of 12
    Stop to admire the view.
    I mean....WOW!!
  • Reward them. 7 of 12
    Reward them.
    It's great if you set them up for a goal at the top. We were aiming to see these amazing Petroglyphs. The kids were super excited when they climbed on top of this huge rock slab to see them.
  • Push a little farther each time. 8 of 12
    Push a little farther each time.
    Even if they're whining and complaining, try to get them to go just a little farther each time and reward them when they get there. I learned this from our super-fit mountain friends.
  • Pace yourself 9 of 12
    Pace yourself
    Rookie mistake #3. This hike was at a high altitude and was really steep in the beginning. I had to go really slowly to make sure I wouldn't overdo it myself. If I pass out, I'm not good to my toddlers. You have to be really careful when you're not used to high altitudes. You'd never know I actually jog three times a week. Time to step it up!!
  • Embrace the outdoor toilet situation. 10 of 12
    Embrace the outdoor toilet situation.
    See those tiny cars? Those are ours. It's a long way down to the car and a longer ride to a real toilet. My friends' kids are pros at going outside. Mine is a little squeamish about this. In order to make him go, I had to go first. I've never been particularly good at it myself, but I couldn't let him know that.
  • Making it a learning experience. 11 of 12
    Making it a learning experience.
    Not only were the mountains amazing, but there were tons of cool desert plants as well. We also pointed out some bugs and animal poops. A learning experience for all!
  • Be positive about the experience. 12 of 12
    Be positive about the experience.
    Even if your toddler complained and cried a lot, be sure to let him/her know how awesome it was that they climbed a big mountain and saw some really cool pictures, etc. This might make them excited to try another one soon. It's good for everyone!

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