Items you need for hiking with kids

Whether you’re just starting out adventuring as a family, or seasoned hikers & campers, we hope that you can find this list useful. These are items that we had come to love over the past few years of adventuring with our little ones. These items are perfect for gifts for the adventure family in your life, or to add to your gear! They each have been helpful to us in one way or another, and we can’t wait to share them with you. 

*Products below are clickable, and they will direct you to our favourite products, which means this blog contains affiliate links. We have made sure to add links to both US and Canadian retailers, if applicable. We make a small commission when you purchase a product using our affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. These funds help Kids Who Explore continue to put out educational content just like this and keep our community running* 

10 Items Every Adventure Family Needs

The perfect summit seat, diaper change pad, knee protector… however you see fit! We bring this on all of our adventures, especially as the littles ones start to want to come out of the carrier and enjoy the views with you. We picked up our Therm-A-Rest Z-Seat from MEC and it hasn’t left the backpack since that day. 

Shop MEC (CAD)
Shop Therm-A-Rest (USD)

The ultimate carrier as your kiddos start to grow, you want to tandem carry or give backpacking a go! We have been a huge fan of the Trail Magik Kids Carrier, and it has allowed us to go further than we ever thought before. During transit it’s folded to the size of a small water bottle & weighs just ounces. They even have a step-by-step manual to help you along the way so both you and kiddo are comfortable as you put on kilometres (or miles) together!

Shop Trail Magik Kid Carrier

3. Morrison Outdoors Sleeping Bag - use 'kidswhoexplore' at checkout for 10% off

Keeping babe warm while camping is *THE* most important consideration to remember, which is why we’ve chosen Morrison Outdoors Sleeping Bag for the whole family and why we want to provide you with a discount code so you can get your hands on one too! 

Morrison sleeping bags have many features you won’t find in other sleeping bags, such as the enclosed foot-box and hand covers and being machine washable. You can choose between down or synthetic material, and they are good for babes as young as 6 months so you can get back to doing what you love as a family sooner when you’re living in cooler climates. 

Shop Morrison Outdoors Sleeping Bags

Morrison Outdoors Sleeping Bag

4. Satellite Messenger

If you’re considering backcountry camping, or solo adventures, or adventure where service is sparse, we consider looking into a satellite messenger. Safety is so important, and this is why we believe this is something that every adventure family needs. Some of the new iPhones have an ‘SOS’ function, but we wouldn’t suggest relying on that. We are huge fans of Garmin satellite communicators. Below, we’ve shared our 2 favourite styles – the inReach Mini 2 and inReach Messenger. There aren’t many differences between the two of them besides this below:

inReach Mini 2 ($539.99CAD):

  • Ability for marking waypoints & locations
  • Point-to-point navigation
  • On-screen compass
  • Compatible with Garmin Explore + Garmin Pilot App

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inReach Messenger (399.99CAD):

  • Ability to send and recieve group messages
  • Uses Garmin Messenger App to send messages
  • BeiDou Satellite Navigation System

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Shop REI

By clicking & visiting Garmin’s website here, you can compare the satellite messengers and decide which one is best for your family’s adventures

Garmin inReach Mini
Garmin inReach Mini
Garmin inReach Messenger
Garmin inReach Messenger

5. Budget-friendly Sleeping Pads from REI or MEC

Heading into the backcountry with your family, but stumped on what to get? Click here to read our Backcountry Gear Guide for Families. 

Getting a backcountry sleeping pads for the whole family that you know are comfortable, but still budget-friendly is a must in our eyes! Since we are in Canada, we shop at MEC for the majority of our stuff, but we will also attach the sleeping pads suggested to us by community members.

6. Family First-Aid Kit

We’ve talked about safety a few times so far, and it doesn’t stop here. Making sure you’re prepared for any emergency or mishap is super important when you’re adventuring with your family and this means making sure you have a fully-equipped first-aid kit. There are so many options out there, like Adventure Medical Kits, that come with a variety of sized first-aid kits with all of the equipment you might need if something were to happen from band-aids to gauze and some even contain a wilderness medical care guidebook. 

There are a few things you want to make sure that you add to your kit in additional to its belongings:

  • Children’s Tylenol/Advil 
  • Any extra prescribed/needed medicine (this includes epi-pens) 
  • Gravol
  • Tick removers
  • Extra wipes and diaper cream
  • Instant ice packs

Shop MEC First Aid Kit
Shop REI First Aid Kit

7. Bear Spray Belt - use code 'kwe' to get 15% off your Scat Belt

Are you hiking in bear country? Being based in the Canadian Rockies, we are exposed to the threat of bears on every hike we go on, so once again – SAFETY FIRST! Every adventure family needs to carry bear spray if they are hiking in areas where bears may be a threat. The chance of you running into a bear is so slim and it should never scare you from going in the outdoors, just know that you are entering their home, not the other way around! 

In addition to teaching our little ones bear safety at a young age, we set example by always carrying bear spray in an easily accessible spot – *insert Scat Belt!* We love our Scat Belts that make us feel confident when hiking in bear country. 

Shop Scat Belt

8. Adventure Blanket

Rumpl Blankets are perfect for your next adventure. They are weather-resistant, super light and easily-packable. When we found out that the blankets are made from recycled materials, we loved them so much more – it’s so nice to know we can do a small part for the earth when we purchase a blanket. These bags are super durable and machine-washable for those dirtier adventures. This is the only adventure blanket you’ll need.

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Shop REI

Banff National Park Rumpl Blanket

9. A Good(Quick) Water Filter

There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing a water filtration system for backcountry camping like the weight, size and filtration time. The more people in your party, the larger/faster you’ll want your water filter to be. Nothing is worse than having to wait a long time for your water to filter, especially if you have some hungry hikers and depend on water for your food source. Here are some water filters that have been suggested by the Kids Who Explore community: 

We suggest also keeping some sort of emergency purification tabs in your toiletry bag or first-aid kit incase there is a moment where you can’t find super clean water, and the filter just isn’t cutting it. Keep in mind that purification tabs usually take about 4hrs to fully clean the water.
Camping Family Water Filter
HydroBlu Go Flow Gravity Filter
Camping Family Water Filter
Platypus GravityWorks 4L Filter

10. Camping Coffee Press

Camping while enjoying coffee with a view can’t get much better. The AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press is an award winning and best selling coffee press, and it packs up so small you can even bring it on day hikes if you want. Just bring water and ground coffee, and you’re good to go! 

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Shop REI

Thank-you for taking the time to read our blog on 10 Items Every Adventure Family Needs. We hope you have the best time adventuring with your family, and can’t wait to see where nature takes you. Don’t forget to tag us on instagram @kidswhoexplore so we can see where you explore next. 

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