What to Bring When Hiking With Kids

What to Bring When Hiking With Kids

Hiking With Kids

What must you have when hiking with kids?

For those of you who have camped or been hiking with kids, you know that a good trip can rely on the right gear. When you see posts on instagram or facebook of hiking with kids it can look like paradise, and it can be with the correct gear. We always share the positives and make everything sound better than it really is. Here are some of my ideas of what we must have to take kids hiking. What do we need to bring so that our hike seems more “edited” and peaceful?


Carrying a four-year-old and even my two-year-old in a pack has become slightly more painful on the back than enjoyable. What every parent hiker must have is a pack for their kid to ride in when they get tired. That way kids can hike and explore, and when they are tired they can jump in the pack and ride. I still have not found a pack that is comfortable for me. Have you found a pack you like?


This brings us to the next must have when hiking with kids. What do they do in the pack that I did not have but should have? They should have been feasting on a healthy yet tasty snack to keep them busy, happy, and full.


That little one on your back will need something to quench their thirst from all their hiking. The must have drink I bring for my kids is propel. We call it “Vikings Juice” because we get the grape kind which is purple. Skol Vikings let’s win the game. You know we are from Minnesota don’t ya know and Vikings fans ya betcha. It has vitamins and less sugar than juice, but they drink more of this than water.

Sun Protection

When they are sipping their drink and eating their snacks you don’t want them to get sun in their eyes and ruin the peaceful outdoor experience. Make sure you pack a hat with a brim around it so that their face and neck doesn’t get too much sun. My son wants to be a forest ranger so my parents got him a forest ranger hat which works great for keeping the sun off.

Bug Repellent

This brings us to sunscreen. We need at least spf 50 to keep from burning. I buy whatever is on sale, and it does the job. What else do we need to lather on them to keep the good hike going? Bug spray! My son’s skin will show bug bites for weeks. I feel like I take every precaution so that he doesn’t get bit, but he is more sensitive than any of us. I’m also allergic to deet so I really can’t handle any sprays with deet. I was told that the only spray that works must have deet. I don’t agree. Deet might seem to last longer but citrus sprays also work and I prefer the smell of citrus to deet.

So there we have the must haves: pack, snack, drink, hat, sunscreen, bug spray. What do you have to add?

-MN Outdoor Mommy

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Please watch and share these videos on Outside TV to promote getting kids outside.

Part 1: Get the Kids Outside

Part 2: Get the Kids Biking

Part 3: Get the Kids Enjoying Nature

Part 4: Get the Kids Hiking

Part 5: Get the Kids Kayaking

Part 6: Get the Kids Running

Part 7: Get the Kids Skiing

Part 8: Get the Kids Fishing

Part 9: Inspiring Kids to Love The Outdoors …WITH AUDIO

Part 10: Climbing With Kids…WITH AUDIO! We saved the best for last!

Gear Assistant