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People often ask us what kind of things they should take on adventures with their kids. The answers seem to vary, depending on the day (bug nets, and stuffed animals are common around here) but there are a few essentials you need to put in your daypack with hiking with your kiddos. Here are our top 5:
1. Water. Yes, take lots and lots of water. A good rule of thumb is 1/2 to 1 liter of water per mile. Yes, that can get very heavy very fast. Our tip: have your kids carry some of their own water. This way you have a lighter pack and they’re more likely to drink more.
2. First Aid Kid. On a short hike (1-2 miles), we usually just take a few band-aids, and wipes to clean out the cuts (wet wipes actually…we always have those around thanks to baby Jimmy). Any hikes longer than a couple miles need a more thorough first aid kit.
3. Skin Protection. Sunscreen and bug spray are a must. Nothing is more miserable than being eaten alive by bugs on the trail, or returning home to a nasty burn. Also, our kids almost always hike in hats – a great way to protect their skin that doesn’t add any extra weight for you to carry.
4. Snacks. Make sure that you bring a good combination of healthy snacks and emergency bribes. (Check back later this month for our favorite trail snacks).
5. Extra clothing. We always have extra clothes with us. Most of the time, we just put in our packable rain jackets in case the weather makes a quick change. They’re smaller than a water bottle and really light, so it’s not a big deal at all. With really little kids, make sure you have an outfit change in case of accidents (no one wants to be hiking with a 3 year old soaked in pee).