Winter Hiking With Kids – 7 Tips For Parents

winter hikingWinter hiking with kids can be super fun and easy as long as you are prepared.  Here are 7 tips to help you have the most fun on your outing.

During the summer hiking with the kids is on peoples minds because it is sunny and warm outside.  Just because there is snow outside don’t think it is impossible to do some hiking with the kids.  You can still get out and enjoy the mountains during winter as long as you are properly prepared.  These tips will help you enjoy the snow and winter hiking with your kids in the Rocky Mountains.

7 Tips On Winter Hiking With Kids

winter hiking, kid, bundled up

Get the kids bundled up so they are warm enough.  Photo via Flickr.

Bundle Up

Be sure to have everyone bundled up in enough clothes to stay warm.  If you have kids that are old enough to be hiking by themselves this is important, but be sure to note the tip on layering.

Bundling up is even more important if you have a little toddler or baby that will not be walking.  If they are not walking, they will not get as warm as everyone else.  This means you need to be sure  they have plenty of warm clothes on so the won’t get cold.  It is easy to forget how cold it is since you are warm from the hiking.

Layer Clothing

Parents and kids that are old enough to be hiking should layer their clothing.  This is important because as you walk you will warm yourself up.  Wearing layers will allow you to take off the outer layer when hiking and then you can put it back on when you stop to prevent yourself from getting cold.

Layering involves wearing layers of clothing, such as long johns, then a shirt, then a vest or fleece, then finally a jacket and snow pants.

winter hiking, kids, hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is good. Bring along your thermos. Photo via Flickr.

Bring Along a Thermos

I like to bring along a thermos of hot chocolate.  You can either bring this along on your hike or just leave it in the car for when you finish.  Odds are you will not be stopping and lounging around to have a snack since there is snow and ice everywhere.  Most of our winter hikes are shorter and then we have a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate at the car as a treat.

winter hiking

Photo via Flickr.

Bring Along a Sled

As I mentioned in a previous post, hiking with a sled is a super fun winter activity with the family.  Bring along a sled that has a good rope with a  handle on it.  This is perfect to use if you find a nice wide trail that goes uphill.

You can drag the sled behind you as you hike up or if you are strong and the kids lazy you can pull them up the trail.  Then when you return back down you can just hop on the sled and have a fast return to the car.  The sled adds another fun element to winter hiking with kids.

Wear Mittens, Not Gloves!

I know that sometimes tiny, little gloves look cute, but they are simply not always practical for kids.  Gloves can be hard to put on little hands and fingers.  Then they often easily fall off when kids play in snow.

A better option is to get mittens for your kids.  They are easier to put on, and many of them will come up the wrist or arm farther so they won’t fall off or let snow get into them.  They are also warmer than gloves since the fingers are all together.

The best solution we found was to buy mittens with sleeves that went up to the elbows.  That keeps our kids hands warm and free of snow.

Keep Hikes Short

Hiking in the winter is cold and snowy.  It can be hard to walk through snow or on ice.  As such plan on keeping your hikes short.  The goal should be just to get outside, play, and enjoy family time.  Do not expect to hike anywhere near as far as you do during the summer.

winter hiking kids

Playing in the snow is always fun! Photo via Flickr.

Play In The Snow!

It is winter and there is snow everywhere, so be sure to play in the white fluffy stuff.  Make snowballs, jump, frolic in it.  Go sledding or knock the snow off of branches and laugh as it falls on your head.  Snow is super fun as long as you keep a good attitude.

Don’t worry about getting too cold or wet from the snow as you will soon be back in your car to warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate.  You also can change your socks since you have the must keep items in your car during winter.