Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)


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We at the Broke Backpacker are very passionate about quality backpacking gear. Our team has spent countless hours testing and reviewing the top outdoor equipment on the market. Below are a series of gear reviews that will put you in touch with everything you need to have a successful and comfortable and safe!

Best Camping Hammocks — Get to know the amazing world of hammocklife. Best travel jackets for backpackers — Find the right jacket based on your intended outdoor activities.

Day Hiking at Mount Rainier - Mount Rainier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

How to choose a backpacking stove — If you want to save money and eat well at camp, you need a stove. Morning on the Lost Coast. Photo: Wendy Seltzer. Well, because it is kind of lost. Logging companies tried and failed to build a road through here.

Instead, Highway 1 cuts inland from the coast into the windy coastal hills and redwood forests. Few people have even heard of the Lost Coast. Fun fact: This section of coast running from Northern Mendocino into Humboldt county is the largest undeveloped coastline in the USA outside of Alaska! This nearly mile hike can be walked either direction north-south or vice-versa starting from Mattole Beach or Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove. Most people tend to stick to the Northern section though.

The Lost Coast trail winds its way along barren, misty stretches of beach and forest. The tide schedule must be factored into the hike and it is recommended that hikers carry bear-proof canisters. A misjudgment in the tide schedule could literally mean the end for you. There are a few miles of the trail that are impassable at high tide, so do your research.

This hike is one of the best hikes in the USA because of its unique and remote location in a state of nearly 40 million people. I love it out here! For those who really want to experience the Grand Canyon from within the Canyon itself, the Tonto Trail is an awesome multi-day trek to make that dream a reality. Water can be an issue on the Tonto, especially in the summer. The backcountry campsites found along this route must be reserved via a wilderness permit with the Backcountry Rangers Office. That said, the Trans-Catalina trail is worth knowing about. The hiking can be intense as it is pretty exposed throughout the whole route.

I do not recommend tackling this hike in the summer. I did it in August and it was a poor choice indeed. I felt like I was melting and probably approached heat-stroke on several occasions. At the same time, I had the time of my life spotting buffalo, camping on secret beaches, and soaking in the dramatic desert-island landscapes.

You can really walk this hike at your own pace. If you tend to be a slower hiker or you are hiking it in the heat of the summer, consider taking 4 days to complete the hike. Mount Katahdin is the legendary peak where Appalachian Trail thru-hikers either begin or end their epic journey. The hike up Katahdin may not be very far in terms of distance, but as you can see from the time-on-trail — hours — it is a tough nut to crack.

With the right fitness level, the hike is an absolute pleasure rewarded by the epic scenery found at the top. Going on a New England road trip? Check out our guide here.

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The Napali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is one of the most breathtaking places found on planet Earth. The landscapes look like something straight out of Jurassic Park and Avatar oh wait, they were filmed here! This trail is rugged, remote, and requires some advanced planning. The camping permits need to be applied for months in advance. Rainstorms can come suddenly with the intensity of a flash. Hikers have been swept away when mellow creeks turned into raging torrents. Watching the sunrise over The Wave is incredible! Photo by Ana Pereira. Instagram may have made The Wave even more famous than it already was.


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Be sure to pack plenty of water as there is none available on the trail. For more of the most epic hikes in Arizona, check out this guide. The hike to Cracker Lake can be done as an intense, tiring day-hike or a comfortable overnighter. I recommend the latter. Trust me, once you arrive here the last thing you will want to do is turn around and leave.

Timber - A Chill Mix

Due to its northern location, Glacier National Park remains quite cold for a majority of the year. Adams is one of the most impressive mountains in the Pacific Northwest. As far as medium-difficulty mountain summits go, the hike up Mount Adams is one of the best hikes in America for its genre. In the summer, the hillsides explode in an ocean of colorful wildflowers. Snow remains on the summit year-round, and many hikers opt to ski down the mountain or more accurately to the end of the snowline.

You should know that this trail is popular due to its accessibility and relative ease. The Mount Adams trek should not be attempted in anything other than fine weather. Despite the trail being straightforward and I dare say, obvious, every year hikers get lost and end up in serious peril or worse. The hike is as difficult as it is rewarding. By doing so, you are able to catch the sunrise above the tree line and also give yourself plenty of time to complete the hike before sundown.

Another contributing factor to a failed summit bid is a late start. Give yourself plenty of time and bring an abundance of real food, snacks, and water. If you set yourself up for success, you should crush it. Check out our guide on Colorado and taking a road trip, here. The Narrows is one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the world.

Few other places on earth offer up the opportunity to get down in a canyon to gawk at 18 million years of eroded rock walls. For one of the best day-hikes of your life, I recommend tackling the bottom-up hike. Hiking is done largely in the river as — for a third of the route — the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall. Water levels change from season to season; most hikers will wade at least waist-deep and many will swim a few short sections. Flash flood danger is a very serious threat to consider when hiking the Narrows, and hiking slot canyons in general.

If rain is in the forecast, stay the hell out of there! In stable weather conditions, however, set off and enjoy the truly spectacular scenery. Wild ponies. Rhododendron tunnels. Rolling hillsides.

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The tallest mountain in Virginia. This is what the Grayson Highlands is all about. I first passed through the Grayson Highlands during my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in Though the mountain is impressive, there are not really fantastic views at the top as it is thickly forested. The real pleasure is wandering through the table-top meadows alongside the wild ponies. This section of the AT was without a doubt one of my favorite hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Half Dome illuminated in that special light only found in Yosemite. Dog poop is extremely disruptive to native fauna.

Many wild animals communicate via scent fecal, too , and dog poop can interrupt territorial claims and cause distress. Dogs' paws may need protection on long trips.


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  • In a well-balanced pack, your pet can carry her own water and gear. Mitch Barrie. The total load shouldn't exceed a third of your dog's total body weight. Prevent paw-pad cuts and scrapes with this easy DIY project. In an emergency, if you lose a much-needed bootie and all you have is one of your own clean socks and some tape, you can make her a bootie, but tape it very carefully. Take your dog to the vet immediately. In the meantime, use an antihistamine like Benadryl to reduce the allergic reaction. Use tweezers to pluck the entire thing out, including the head, then clean and treat the area with antiseptic or antibiotic ointment.

    There are many canine tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, so if you can, save the tick in a container so it might be tested later, if symptoms develop. Your dog's body will push it out eventually. If you can, find out what was eaten, as this will help the vet determine how to proceed. Bring the plant in to show to the vet, if possible. On top of how much you usually give her, add an additional cup for every 20 pounds of dog weight for each meal. It might be a smart investment if you camp regularly, but a warm fleece or wool blanket or crib-size feather comforter will also do.

    A large dog might drink. Small dogs 20 pounds or lighter will drink closer to 1. Avoid stagnant water at all costs. Since your dog will be expending a lot of energy, opt for a dry food with high protein content and high levels of fat. The Alderfer Barn began as a small structure in the s while the Alderfer family bred and raised foxes, cattle and horses.

    Jefferson County purchased the property in , but the historic remnant makes for great conversation with kids, according to HistoriCorps , a group that works to save historic places across the U. From this trailhead, catch the Bluebird Meadow Trail counterclockwise before hooking a left at the Homestead Trail Loop.

    Our Favorite Adirondack Hikes for Families

    Continue in a counterclockwise fashion before wrapping back onto the Bluebird Meadow Loop and returning to the trailhead. A dinosaur bone site is also along the trail, famous as the location of the first Stegosaurus discovery. The trail ends at the Discovery Center at the west gate and families need to walk the last bit on the road to reach their car, but there has been more than one kid who is not ready to leave just yet. Is there anything children love more than castles? How about a castle and a tower? Tucked away in Mount Falcon Park in Morrison, this series of trails boasts historical ruins that will entertain kids of all ages.

    Additionally, kids love the Tower Trail thanks to the old wooden tower that still stands. Visitors can climb to the top to check out the views. Finally, avid hikers can meander farther and view the cornerstone of a would-be summer White House for United States presidents. There are two trailheads at this park — east and west — and both have good characteristics.

    The East Trailhead is closer to Denver and has a direct, albeit steep, climb. The West Trailhead is farther from the city, but young children and families will likely prefer the easy, wide trail. The Enchanted Mesa Loop is one such trail that gently challenges children while still providing a lot of fun and excitement.

    Families begin near the Chautauqua Auditorium trailhead and head out on the wide Enchanted Mesa Trail as it gradually ascends into the mountains. After crossing the stone bridge — excitement! When Enchanted Mesa intersects with McClintock, take a right and head downhill on the narrow path. Tip: McClintock has steps in places to deal with steepness, so be cautious with especially young children. Located on the south side of town in South Valley Park, Coyote Song is a great loop for beginners and kids, thanks to the wide and forgiving trails and the beautiful red rocks that stand in contrast to a bluebird day.

    Be Prepared!

    Several interpretive signs line the trail to provide visitors with information on the park and the various sandstone formations.

    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)
    Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series) Hiking With Kids: Taking Those 1st Steps With Young Hikers (How-to Series)

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