I set a goal to do six pre-planned family hikes during 2021. The idea behind this goal is for us to hike new places together. We want to see more sights and trails in our area that we can drive to, hike, and drive home within one day. Most of us would probably be surprised at how many hidden gem trails we have nearby.
A big hike that I want to go on was suggested to me by a friend. I can’t wait to visit Seven Tubs Nature Area on the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. Here is a description from their website, “The main feature of the area is a stream called Wheelbarrow Run that flows through a ravine where a series of large potholes or “tubs” are gouged out of the underlying bedrock. The cascade of water has attracted visitors to the site for generations.” Doesn’t that sound amazing!
Most of our other hikes are going to come from the book Hiking the Endless Mountains by Jeff Mitchell. The author is a local hiker who saw the need for a guidebook dedicated to this area so he wrote one. The book comes out of his personal enthusiasm for hiking and exploring the Endless Mountains region.
What things must we consider when planning a day hike for the whole family?
Consider the age and fitness levels of each family member but don’t make your expectations too low. We have a pre-school age child. He loves hiking and can do more than you would expect. I will probably plan 6-8 miles maximum. That will be stretching it for all the kids but still fun for my husband and I.
Food and Water
Every family member needs their own water and they need to be the one to carry it. Even your Littles can carry their stuff. Along with water, you will need snacks and a meal if you are doing a day hike. This doesn’t have to be fancy freeze-dried survival food. Granola bars and sandwiches will suffice. Be prepared to carry all your trash out.
I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to the socks thing. Have everyone bring extras. See my post about keeping your hiking feet happy.
A basic first aid kit should suffice. Make sure you have band-aids, antibiotic ointment, and perhaps an ace bandage and cold pack. If you feel like you should carry more then of course feel free to do so. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared.”
Make sure you always have your own printed copy of the trail map. Your phone is great for capturing your memories, but relying on it as your sole source of navigation can lead to trouble. You may want some field guide for identifying flora and fauna on the trail. Many people also keep trail journals where they write and make sketches for all their trail adventures. There are many ways to enrich your hiking experiences, just remember to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.
We hope this quick guide to family hiking prep is helpful to you. What day hikes are you planning for your trial family? Tell us all about it in our comments section at trailfamily.blog.