Most important rule about hiking with kids


We put him in nature's jail for being mischievous. He thought it was hi-larious.

Make. It. Fun.

Hiking is super fun with kids. They are so energetic, genuinely intrigued by nature and usually have the cutest reactions to things we probably would never have appreciated along the trails.
That being said, I'd like to share the most important rule about hiking with kids, from the parent's handbook (after safety), for those of you who are thinking about hiking with your kids.
Make it fun or they will NEVER go back. 
Boiling water on a 'Jetboil' for hot chocolate after we came back down.
'Is it boiling yet?'  Almost as annoying as 'are we there yet?'   Luckily boiling water only takes a few minutes.

This is why my backpack has the "kid essentials" for a short day hike;
1. Toilet paper & dry alternative mittens/socks/hats
2. Snacks and water (stay ahead of the hunger at all costs)
3. Bribery items. Do what it takes, candy, toys, whatever.

I assure you, the sweet little children at the beginning of your day hike WILL turn on you like Kathy Bates in Misery if they are cold, wet, hungry or generally unhappy.

So, before you judge the movie size box of DOTS in this backpack, let my words sink in. Think of Kathy Bates...

Pack the fun. Make the fun. For your own sanity, have a plan to make it fun and it will be.

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by mlekoshi