Owning or renting a campervan is a fantastic way to make long-lasting family memories. Campervans are easy to drive and park. Kids often prefer the ease of traveling in a RV or campervan rather than an airplane.
In a recreational vehicle, children can take naps, bathe and be changed relatively easily. Most children absolutely love the excitement of the outdoors. They say children need 3 hours of outdoor play per day. When you use your campervan for your next family vacation, your little ones will be sleeping like logs!
There are so many great activities your kids can participate in when you plan a motorhome trip. Hiking is one of the easiest and most fun ways to get your kids engaged in the outdoor experience. Like anything else with children, you always want to be prepared.
Below are some tips for planning an enjoyable family hike.
Hiking with an Infant (0-1 year)
As many of you know, having an infant is simultaneously amazing and exhausting. Much of that first year is spent scheduling life around their napping and feeding schedules. Hiking is one of the greatest ways for parents to get some fresh air and is actually an awesome age for the baby to start experiencing the outdoors.
Here are some tips:
- Find a proper infant carrier. There are two choices when it comes to baby carriers: front or back. When your baby is 1-6 months old, the front facing packs are usually preferable since they’re still learning how to hold their head up properly. At six months or older, it’s nice for the parent to carry the baby on the back since their weight is starting to increase. The Ergobaby™ Original Collection Linen Baby Carrier is highly rated for being comfortable, supportive and breathable. The Onya Baby Outback carrier is another good choice. You’ll want to make sure before you embark on your first hike that you and the baby are plenty comfortable in the carrier and you’ve made any necessary adjustments.
- If possible, try a dry run without your infant. Have a friend or partner/spouse survey the trail to make sure it allows you to keep your balance.
- Under one month old, don’t even think about bringing the baby. After one month though, it’s game on! Be sure to bring a sun hat for your baby.
Hiking with a Toddler (1-4 years)
In general, the toddler age is both fun and stressful. Taking them on a hike will be similar to their disposition. It’s a fantastic age because they are much more aware of their surroundings and are beginning to appreciate nature. Their mobility has increased, which is a relief physically but also creates additional stress about their safety.
- Same as with babies, toddlers should have proper sun protection. Your toddler should wear adequate clothing that’s sufficiently covering them but not too hot. Have them wear sun hats, sunscreen and sunglasses if possible.
- You can still use a back carrier (they generally carry up to 60 pounds). However, it will be nice for you and your little one to hop out periodically to explore.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks. A toddler’s fussiness is mostly dependent on their naps and eating schedule.
Hiking with Children (ages 5-12)
This age is when children become pretty independent. While you may not have to worry so much about your child needing to be carried, you will want to make sure to lay down some simple safety rules.
If your children enjoy hiking, you’ll find that you have found a healthy and fun activity the whole family can participate in!
- Rule #1: NO RUNNING OFF! Especially if you are embarking on a trail you have never been on, emphasize to your children the importance of remaining within eyesight of a parent, family member or friend’s.
- Hiking, especially in the heat, is physically exhausting. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy levels steady. Hiking for short stretches and then stopping for quick rests will prevent anyone becoming overly tired out. If you find you and your children like to hike frequently, purchasing a Camelback or other type of hydration pack may be a good investment.
- Along with sunscreen, bug spray and a small first aid kit, packing a whistle is a good idea too. Have a rule that if your children find themselves lost they should stop and blow the whistle three times.
- Include your children in the planning of the hike. Teach them how to use a trail map and compass.
Additional Tips for Family Friendly Hiking
If you or your partner loves the outdoors and hiking, start brining your children along as early as possible. Being with your family in nature is a great way to bond and make long-lasting memories!
A few final takeaways:
- Remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination. Pick trails that are good for sightseeing and take small breaks to stop and enjoy the scenery.
- Always use positive reinforcement. Hiking is a great activity to show your child you are proud of them
- Teach them about taking care of the environment! Brining along a small plastic bag to pick up any litter they may see along them way. Hiking is a great opportunity to talk to your children about leaving areas in nature as they were when you first came across them.
Searching for a vehicle to enjoy the outdoors with your family enjoying this summer?
Classic Vans, located in the San Francisco Bay area, has the nation’s largest selection of new and used conversion vans, campervans and mobility vehicles. For nearly 30 years, we have been family-owned and operated, specializing in finding the perfect vehicles for our beloved customers. Call (866) 370-8222 today or continue browsing our website.
Don’t live in California? No worries! Inquire about low-cost nationwide van delivery!