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  • Writer's pictureThis Maple Life

13 Tips to Hike with Kids Around Vancouver, BC

British Columbia is known for its amazing natural beauty and countless hiking opportunities. Around Vancouver, there are a plethora of places to explore and plenty of family-friendly trails.

However, taking kids into nature requires some planning and consideration. With this in mind, we would like to share 13 tips for hiking with kids around Vancouver. We hope that these tips will help you to plan and execute an enjoyable, safe, and memorable family adventure.

HIking with kids around Vancouver, BC kids holding hands, cloudy day

13 Tips to Hike with Kids Around Vancouver, BC

1. Choose Age Appropriate Trails:

Not all hikes are suitable for young children. Opt for short and easy trails that match your kids' ages and abilities. Researching the length, elevation, and features of the trail beforehand can help you choose the best option. Apps like All Trails can be very helpful when choosing a kid-friendly hike.

2. Study the Route:

Don't forget to study the route you'll be taking and have backup options if the trail is closed or there's an obstacle. Being prepared will ensure a smoother hiking experience for the whole family. Also, remember that many trails may not have cell phone reception, so consider downloading the area map for offline use in case GPS is unreliable.

Hiking with kids around Vancouver, BC trip planning, hike plans

3. Use Proper Clothing:

It's essential to wear weather-appropriate clothing; layering is always a good idea to ensure that your kid will feel comfortable. Also, don't forget to bring hats, mittens, rain jackets, and rain pants, depending on the season and weather forecast.

Check out our post: Tent Camping With Kids in Chilly Weather: Tips, Insights and Our Top Gear Picks, for some of our favorite gear ideas.

4. Use Proper Footwear:

Make sure everyone wears comfortable and suitable hiking shoes. Depending on the hike, your kids might need shoes that protect their ankles as they may encounter uneven terrain on the trail. Comfort and support are key to ensuring a smooth and happy hike.

5. Bring Extra Clothing:

It is always a good idea to bring extra clothing when hiking. Not only because the weather can sometimes be unpredictable, but also because kids love to play in nature, so they will likely end up muddy or wet. Pack additional clothes in case your kids decide to splash in puddles or play in the dirt during the hike.

6. Bring Energizing Snacks:

Make sure to bring enough snacks to keep the kids energized during the hike. Dried fruits, granola bars, and nuts are excellent choices to keep your little explorers full of energy. If you decide to go for longer hikes, don't forget to pack a sandwich or a meal of your choice and always keep your kids and yourself hydrated.

7. Games and Activities:

Keep the kids engaged and entertained during the hike by incorporating fun games and activities. A scavenger hunt is always a great option to keep the kids excited while exploring nature. Create a list of things to find, such as leaves of different colours, round stones, pine cones, etc. Once they find each item, you can provide them with a brief introduction about what it is, how it forms, or some interesting facts related to it.

8. Teach Survival Skills:

Take the opportunity to teach your kids some basic survival skills. Teach them how to read a map and compass so they can navigate in nature. Encourage them to analyze the terrain and be aware of wildlife, teaching them to make noise when entering the forest to avoid surprising animals like bears. You can also teach them to identify plants that may be poisonous and to stay away from them.

HIking with kids around Vancouver, BC, compass, navigation

9. Go at Kids' Pace:

When hiking with children, it's important to go at their own pace and allow them to explore and enjoy without the pressure to continue. Take frequent breaks to eat snacks, drink water, rest, and play. They will appreciate it and enjoy nature more. Sometimes the route may not be completed or you may not reach your intended destination, but remember that the goal is to enjoy time with the little ones and make them feel comfortable.

10. Know Their Limits:

It's essential to gauge your children's endurance levels (and yours in case your kids are young and you are going to be carrying them back) and know when they may need to rest or turn back. It's better to stop and take a break rather than push them beyond their limits.

11. Carry Bear Spray:

If you plan to hike in areas where bears may be present, carrying bear spray can be a smart precaution. This spray can deter bears in case of a close encounter and provide an additional layer of safety for your family.

12. Bring Insect Repellent:

No one enjoys insect bites, so don't forget to bring repellent to protect the kids from them. Keeping mosquitoes and other mighty bites away will ensure a more enjoyable experience in nature for the whole family.

mosquito repellent, tick repellent, kids product

13. Remember, Safety First:

Always follow the marked route and don't stray from established trails to ensure your family's safety. Before heading out, make sure to inform someone about your route and estimated return time. Additionally, carry a first aid kit with essential supplies in case of minor injuries or emergencies. Carrying the Ten Essentials is always a good idea on any hike; make sure to bring them, especially when hiking with your little ones.

Hiking with kids around Vancouver, BC sunny day, riverside

In Conclusion

Hiking with kids around Vancouver can be a wonderful and rewarding experience if planned properly. By following these 13 simple but essential tips and maintaining a positive and adventurous attitude, you can enjoy unforgettable moments in nature with your loved ones.

toddler girl watching waterfall, trees, green, water

Happy hiking, may your adventures be as boundless as the beauty that surrounds you.


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