As winter starts to wind down and the warmer weather creeps in bringing rain right along with it, we are finding ways to enjoy getting outside. Our legs are heavy and slow from a cozy winter, and working to get our hiker muscles back is important to all of our summer trail plans! Getting the kiddos out on fun, short, and rewarding hikes now is a way to pave our path to adventures this summer that are enthusiastically met and fun.
Here are my three top Rainy Hike Tips!
- This is obvious, dress accordingly! This is not just for wet, but for cold. The rain will slow you down and makes it a bit harder to get your body warmed up. We’re walking the line between Winter and Spring and with it comes the need still for mittens and hats to bring ultimate cozy, and better attitudes in the weather. Here are our favorite mittens, and a great shell for kiddos. Our kiddos are often unconvinced of the need for layers or water proof garb, so usually I just toss it all into my bag and pack it with us, as we make our way it becomes more and more enticing to layer up! The goal is a painless, whine free, trip. So packing up the stuff, instead of trying to cajole them into it, works wonders for a happier time.
- Choose a hike that keeps you near cover, or your car. The goal is to have fun, enjoy time outside together, and to grow an ability to get out no matter the weather. This goal is a Long Game deal, so many short positive experiences will build you up to a rainy fun camping trip! This hike is a favorite because one destination choice (a look-out tower) can be gotten to within 10 minutes of walking, and is fully covered. It makes for a perfect spot to run out some energy, get fresh air, but still be near your car in case you need to get out quick. Or, in case your sister needs to. 😉
- As with all my kid travel tips. Have realistic expectations that are based on the age, skill, and experience level of your hikers. For example, our kids are pretty awesome hikers. But this winter was a cold one, and we didn’t brave it much. I know we have several short, maybe complaint filled, hikes in our future before they are really in the groove again. So today, my big hope was to make it to the tower and back. Anything extra was just that; Extra! So I was thrilled that we explored a few others trails, stopped to look at different plants, waited out a few squirrels and birds, and stopped to read up about wood peckers (did you know their tongues are sticky and feet are spiked?! SO cool!).
If you want to check out this hike, here is a great map!
Here is a sweet little video showing more of our adventure!
If you want more hiking tips, here is another post laying out some of our favorite ways to make it fun with kiddos, and showing pictures from my favorite summer hike.