Posts Tagged ‘into the wild’

Trail & hiking safety for families

Getting out into the wild and hiking are good green adventures for families. These sorts of trips are eco-friendly, great exercise, and healthy but if you’re going as a family, one with kids, there are some special safety precautions you need to take.

Don’t go as an entire family of newbies. One or more of the adults in the group should have been backpacking and hiking before. It’s not as simple as it looks, and issues like setting up a tent, lugging packs, how much water you’ll need, and so on are skills better learned on the actual trail. It’s a harder skill set to learn with the kids on board.

Make sure kids (and even adults) wear a whistle in case they get separated from the group. Teach kids NEVER to blow their whistle unless they are truly lost. Also teach kids to hug a tree i.e. stay in one place if they do get lost. Being on the move is a terrible way to get found.

The family should take a basic first aid class together before setting out, and first aid essentials should be part of your packing plan.

Always take more water and food than you think you’ll need. Drink often and know the warning signs of dehydration.

Stay on the trail – experienced hikers may be able to go into the wild safely, but most certainly not a family with kids along. Stay near markers, stay on the trail, and better yet, make sure someone back home knows that the whole family went hiking, and your general location.

Check the weather forecast before you leave and make sure you pack the correct equipment for the expected weather.

No matter the weather forecast always pack cold weather gear – just in case. Warm days can turn extra chilly at night, especially if you’re not used to camping and hiking. Hypothermia is extremely dangerous, and happens when your body temp lowers too much. Know the signs of hypothermia in both kids and adults.

Bring extra garbage bags so you can pack up and carry out any refuse you come across.

See some more tips for safe and eco-friendly hiking and camping.

Photo by Bob Von Normann: Courtesy Humboldt County CVB,

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