Fresh air, nature, beautiful views and lots of exercise : hiking is a great outdoor activity that even parents with small children don't have to miss out on. But hiking with children can also be a real challenge. Small children in particular cannot cover long distances and with the buggy you will quickly reach your limits. If the toddler whines the whole time, the hiking trip will be anything but relaxing.
But there is another way! Hiking with children can be a lot of fun. All that is important is good preparation. Having the right equipment will also make hiking with small children much easier. The be-all and end-all: a good back carrier for children . Read here what other tips you should take into account if you want to go hiking with children.
The topic short and compact
- Hiking with children has a positive effect on their development.
- A back carrier is a real relief when hiking with children.
- It is important to make the hiking tours varied so that the focus is on fun and experiences.
Why hiking tours with children are so valuable
Hiking with children isn't just fun for adults. Children can also have a lot of fun. When hiking, everyone involved gets moving and comes into contact with nature. Being outside has a positive effect on child development . Children experience many natural stimuli and expand their horizons. Especially when hiking with children, you can experience great adventures that the whole family will remember forever. The sense of community is strengthened and general well-being improves.
How to best motivate your child to go hiking
Despite the many benefits that come with a nice hiking tour, children sometimes don't like hiking that much. But this is often because the hike is poorly planned by the parents. Hiking should not be strenuous or strenuous for children. Therefore, when hiking with children, the length of the route and the difficulty of the tour are crucial . Long journeys should also be avoided. Hiking with children nearby is recommended, especially when getting started. Otherwise, a bad mood is inevitable even before you arrive.
One of the most important tips for hiking with children is the following principle: Design the hiking tours so that the focus is on fun . You can keep your child busy with small games so that they don't get bored. A scavenger hunt, for example, is ideal for this . There are also many songs for hiking with children to keep them busy. Alternatively, you can tell stories about exciting adventures while hiking with children. This will motivate you and get you excited about your hobby.
At what age can you hike with children in a backpack?
No matter how old your child is: In principle, he or she can hike with you almost from the start. All you need is the right equipment . If you are hiking with a 2-year-old child, you definitely need a suitable means of transport. Your little one needs to be allowed to rest every now and then. But: The buggy is unsuitable for hiking. The hiking trails are often too uneven and steep to navigate with a stroller.
Instead, a back carrier is ideal for this age . A hiking backpack child carrier can be used early on. Does your baby have good head control and can sit independently? Then you can strap it to your back in a suitable child carrier for hiking . If you want to hike with a baby carrier and child, there are very different systems. The HOMB parent carrier backpack is a good solution for hiking with a small child. It is suitable from around one and a half years old. Its plus point: It is also ideal for hiking with a 3-year-old child and beyond. The Kraxe can also be an alternative. Read the advantages and disadvantages in our article “ HOMB children’s carrier backpack vs. Kraxe ”.
Designing hikes with children: What you should pay attention to when hiking with children
As you can see, good preparation is really important, especially when hiking with a small child. In principle, every hike depends on your child's enthusiasm . If it finds the hike boring and exhausting, it will whine a lot. Plus, it will be even harder to get them excited about your plans next time. We therefore recommend that you consider the following seven tips when hiking with children :
1. Arouse anticipation
Anticipation is the greatest joy! Show your child pictures and impressions of hiking before the trip. Look at pictures or videos of your hiking route with him or read him picture books about hiking. Share stories about adventures you've had on previous hikes. This is how you awaken his natural curiosity!
2. Choosing the right route – the journey is the destination
Too much ambition is out of place when hiking with children. The route should by no means be too strenuous or steep, but should be appropriate for your child's age. If you are hiking with a small child, 200 meters of altitude per day is sufficient. When hiking with a 6-year-old child, the elevation gain should be a maximum of 600 meters per day. It is advisable to hike from hut to hut on a hiking holiday with children. But it's not the altitude that matters, but rather the choice of path: narrow paths rich in stones, streams and tree roots promise more variety and fun than a wide forest path. A stream hike with children is always a little adventure for everyone involved.
3. Hike to an attraction
Many children have more patience and enthusiasm for the hike if they have an exciting goal in mind. Therefore, it is recommended to hike to an attraction. There are many tours with exciting destinations for hiking in Germany with children. They are guaranteed to delight even the little ones!
4. Schedule time for breaks
Make sure to adapt the hike to your child's fitness level and plan enough time for breaks. For example, it is not recommended to go hiking with children at lunchtime. During this time, almost all children become tired and whiny. A long lunch break definitely makes sense. Sit down together, eat something and only continue hiking when everyone has recharged their batteries. Is your offspring still very small? Then take the HOMB back carrier for small children with you so that your little one can always rest and charge their battery.
5. Provide variety
Adults hike differently than children. It's enough for us to enjoy the view and have a few conversations. It's different with children. They need variety on their hike so that they don't get bored. Tell your child exciting stories, sing hiking songs together or prepare a few hiking games like a scavenger hunt. Encourage your child to balance or keep them busy with a quiz about nature.
6. Take the right food with you
Hungry children are unhappy children! If your child is fuming and you don't have anything to eat, you can basically cancel the hike. Be sure to take enough food, snacks and drinks with you on the go. Plan to have a liter of water for each person because hiking makes you thirsty. Fruit and vegetables, nuts and dried fruits are just as suitable as snacks in between meals, as are buttered bread.
7. Prepare small surprises
It's also a good idea to take little surprises with you for the hike. Small children are often happy to have a magnifying glass with which they can explore nature better. For older kids, a children's digital camera might be a good idea. This means your little one can capture nature in their own pictures and enjoy them later. A hiking diary is also a great thing for school-age children.
The right hiking equipment for children and parents
Parents who go hiking with their child for the first time quickly realize that they now need a lot more than before. In addition to food, suitable footwear and a change of clothing, you will need a lot of other things. For example, many parents want to secure their child with a rope while hiking. In this way, stumbles and slips can be prevented. This type of securing is particularly advantageous on steeper routes.
A practical back carrier is an important element of your hiking equipment, especially for smaller children . It is also recommended for children who can already walk themselves. Parents often overestimate how long small children can last while hiking. Depending on their age, it doesn't take an hour until they are exhausted and their legs are heavy. Then they definitely need a break. If you want to continue hiking during this time, simply take your child in the back carrier.
The HOMB back carrier is ideal for ages one and a half to four years . This is a carrying backpack that can be converted into a comfortable back carry in just a few simple steps . Your child is safely strapped in the baby carrier that you carry on your back.
Compared to the buggy, the HOMB back carrier has many advantages:
- you have no problems on rough terrain
- Even large gradients can be overcome
- your child enjoys an elevated view and sees everything from your perspective
- your hands stay free because you don't have to push anything
A back carrier is perfect, especially when hiking with children and dogs .
What challenges can there be when hiking with a backpack? You should avoid these five mistakes
Hiking with a backpack has many advantages, but it also comes with some challenges. You should avoid making the following five mistakes:
- Blood congestion in the legs : If your child sits or stands in the back carrier for too long, there is a risk of blood congestion in the legs. The child carrier is therefore not suitable as a permanent “parking station” for your child. Every now and then, take it out of the back carrier and encourage it to move on its own. This also prevents boredom.
- Incorrect clothing : You may sweat while hiking because of the intense exercise you are doing. In the back carrier, your child stands or sits still most of the time. It is therefore more likely to freeze. Therefore, you should put an extra layer of clothing on him when you put him in the carrier to rest.
- Forget UV protection : Your child gets a lot of sun in the back carrier. It is therefore important to remember to have good UV protection: regularly apply a sunscreen to uncovered skin that has at least sun protection factor 50. A wide-brimmed sun hat is also recommended to prevent sunstroke.
- Tree branch injuries : Larger children may tower over you if you carry them in a back carrier. This can be dangerous if you walk under low trees. Then there is a risk of injuries from branches. Always check whether your child can fit through and take a detour if necessary.
- Lack of stability : It is important that you are stable when hiking with a backpack. Use height-adjustable hiking poles to increase your stability. This means you distribute your weight across your arms at the same time, which takes the strain off your back and knees.
Hiking with children: tour tips and nature adventures throughout Germany
There are many beautiful nature adventure tours throughout Germany that are ideal for hiking with children. In our opinion, the five most beautiful hiking tours with children in Germany are:
- Magic forest at the Ravenna Gorge in the Black Forest
- Saxon Switzerland
- Wildkatzenstieg in the Harz Mountains
- Skywalk Allgäu
- Bee adventure trail in the Bavarian Forest
If you plan the route well and put fun first, you will have a lot of fun hiking with children. It is important to ensure variety during the hike and to give your little one regular breaks to breathe. Then there is a good chance that the offspring will soon share their parents' enthusiasm for hiking.
What do you need to hike with children?
In addition to normal hiking equipment, parents of small children should take suitable transportation with them to allow for rest breaks. A back carrier is ideal for this.
How far can I hike with children?
The rule of thumb is: path length = age x 1.5 - but without gradients. For small children, 200 meters of altitude per day is enough, while primary school children can climb up to 600 meters of altitude.
Which back carrier for small children when hiking?
The HOMB carrying backpack is a good choice for small children when hiking. It offers an elevated position and therefore a great view for children.
How do you get kids to hike?
Small surprises, hiking games, stories and songs increase children's motivation to hike.