5 Tips for Colder Weather Hiking with Kids

My friends, I can no longer hope that it is still summer; it is not! But even if winter camping is not your cup of tea, there is still plenty of family fun to be had outdoors! We are particularly fond of fall and winter hiking and snowshoeing. Our latest hikes—which I will share with you soon—were rather cold fall hikes: frozen puddles, hail, freezing rain, and SNOW! Yes, we have had our first hike in the snow here in Nova Scotia. So on this note, I thought I would share some tips for how to prepare for cold weather, fall hiking with your kid(s).
1. It’s hunting season! Be sure to remember your hunter orange especially on trails where hunting is permitted. Each person should have an orange hat on. Most of these hats are one size fits all, and they should fit toddles either over their regular hats (for smaller heads) or as a slightly large hat on its own (for bigger heads). And remember, the brighter the clothing the better!

2. LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS! Everyone will be happier if there are many layers to be added or removed. Remember that the trail might be much cooler than the temperature when you leave your home. And on the note of layers, I highly recommend wearing waterproof pants while hiking in the fall no matter what the forecast. They will cut the wind and allow you to easily crouch, cross streams, stomp in puddles, etc. without getting wet.

Image source here.

3. Babywearing is your ally in the cold! Reconsider how your wee one might get from point A to point B. If your toddler has begun hiking on their own recently, it might be best to switch them back to a kid carrier for colder months:
            -your wee one will share your body warmth
            -your wee one won’t run off on their own in hunting territory
            -this will keep your speed up so you are not standing still in the cold
            (i.e., less chance of catching a chill)
            -you can easily traverse areas where the trail is more washed out/where streams are 
            wider than in summer months

4. Plan for daylight! Remember that your trail will get dark so much sooner than in the warmer months! Plan to be off the trail by 4/5pm at the latest with your kiddos! It is better to hike earlier and not have to worry about getting stuck in the dark with your kids!

Getting very dark on the trail near 5pm.

5. Perhaps most important of all, be prepared to go slower! As anyone who hikes with kids knows, you can’t expect to bomb through the trail. Kids simply walk slower (or slow down the adult who is carrying them), need more breaks, and have had fewer experiences than adults so they are learning more than you with every step. Cold weather hiking may slow you down even more, so expect to go slowly and enjoy the family time together in the wilderness!

Two-year-olds love waterfalls no matter how small!


2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Colder Weather Hiking with Kids

  1. This child carrier is very convenient for travel. For toddlers 2.5 y/o + up to 60lbs, you can also try Piggyback Rider standing child carrier and you'll surely enjoy your adventure. 🙂 Love the photos and views. Thanks for sharing !


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