Hiking in Mpumalanga with the little ones is a different kind of adventure. Children just see the world with different eyes, and when you take them on a hiking trip, they can make your entire experience something you have really never felt before, even if you are a regular hiker.

Sharing your passion for hiking with your children is not just a great way to teach them more about the incredible natural world around us, but it is also a way to bond with your child.

But hiking with children comes with its own challenges and that means although you might be a hiking pro, there are some things that you might need to change when it comes to your planning.

Out on the hiking trail, you know that you need to make your trip as comfortable as possible for everyone, and to do that, you need to make sure that your planning is done just right.

The first thing to do is to find a place that is ideal for children. You want to choose an easy trail, one that is not going to take too many hours to complete, and which will allow you to easily backtrack should you need to. Hiking trails should also be chosen based on how interesting they are going to be. Trails with plenty to see are always going to be preferred over a less scenic trail. Remember, most children will appreciate something more exciting.

Tips for a family friendly hike

  1. Plan for lots of time – When hiking with children, you simply can’t rush the experience, and you shouldn’t want to. You should plan for enough time to allow your children to explore the trail, pick up rocks and flowers, and take a break when they need to sit down for a moment.
  2. Prepare for everything – From cuts and bruises, to insect bites and sun burns, you need to pack for every eventuality. Make sure that you bring along wet wipes, tissues, lip balm, sunblock, a camera, a safety whistle, and even a magnifying glass.
  3. Dress them properly – No matter the time of year you choose to go hiking, there are times of the day when there can be quite the chill in the air and other times when it can be overly hot. Make sure that you dress your children in layers which can be removed as the day progresses.
  4. Start ‘em young – The earlier in their lives that you take them out hiking, the better. Children who hike from a younger age tend to enjoy it a lot more, and it easily becomes a hobby that they will really keep doing forever.
  5. Bring a hiking carrier – If you are hiking with toddlers and babies, you should pack a comfortable hiking carrier. Such carriers will allow you to comfortably carry children as the hike progresses.

Along with these helpful tips, make sure that you pack enough snacks and plenty of water to keep both you and the children energetic as you progress along the trail.