We don't hike as much as we would like. No excuses, as we live in a perfect area for it. Only that hiking with kids takes more planning, more effort, and our schedules are pretty full already. Oh, and also because I have learned some things along the way that I am a little sticker for following.
Know Your Trail
ESPECIALLY if you are taking little ones, I don't recommend a trail you haven't already tried yourself. If this just isn't an option, RESEARCH! Ask around. Find review sites. I like to use
Many Hand Make Light Loads
When hiking with small children, never plan a hike longer than you are willing to carry your gear, your kids' gear, and possibly your kids. You are the only know who knows your children's limits. Even then, sometimes they like to just throw us through a loop and change that. Hike with friends, hike with partners, take multiple baby carriers, or choose trails that accommodate strollers or wagons if you think that might work better.
Why else would you hike, than to have a good time, enjoying each other and the world around?! Make sure everyone is rested, watered, fed, comfortable, and enjoying themselves. Be ready to cut the trip short if things aren't working. Sometimes it just isn't the day. Go into the trip knowing plans could change at any time, respect everybody's needs, and you can always try again later!
Does your family like hiking? Have you ever considered any outdoor training to learn more about keeping your family safe outdoors?