Hiking with kids isn’t always straightforward so here is our list of 5 things we never leave behind when we head out on the trail. Let us know what you would add to the list by leaving a comment below.

A GPS Device. 

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While we all know the pros and cons of these gadgets for navigation, they’re also great for involving the little ones with “hike logistics”. If you load your route to it before you set out, the children can take turns as “Scout” and lead the hike. Also great for Geocaching because nothing gets them moving like the hope of TREASURE! Except maybe the promise of Ice Cream.

Hair Elastics.

hair bandsYou know, the little bands for tying up pony tails. Only we don’t use them for hair, we use them for shoe laces. Basically, tie the kids bootlaces as normal, then take the loose ends and bows  and bind them up tight with the hair band. There’s nothing worse than stopping every five minutes to tie a little mans boots up and this simple hack keeps laces done up all day.

Unhealthy Snacks.

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Now I’m not saying you should fill them full of sugar BUT, in reality there’s only so much fruit you can carry and the almost immediate sugar bump is a great cure for tired legs. We give them a bag of Jelly Beans at the start of the hike along with their healthier options and it’s up to them to either eat them all at once or ration them for the day. They always make them last.

A Whistle.

2240-mountain-whistle-1Sometimes they just run on ahead and they can’t hear you over the wind so it’s easier to blow on a whistle than shout yourself hoarse. We have our own little code, one long blast for them to stop and wait, three sharp blows for them to come back. They’ve also got a whistle each just in case they need to attract our attention or wander from the trail and can’t see us (this has only happened once, I promise!). The only drawback is when they blow it constantly while hiking alongside you.

Patience.

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And lots of it. Yes you’re out for a hike and you want to make good time along the trail but kids are kids and puddles are amazing! As are boulders to scramble up and trees to get stuck in and streams to unnecessarily ford. You are not going to hike at 3 or 4 mph, be glad if you manage 2. And all the waiting, coaxing and bribery you need to get them along the trail, well, that’s just part of the adventure.