Back in March, we talked about what is in our hiking packs on episode 9 of our podcast. You can click here to find the podcast! Today, we are going to break down that podcast and put it in an easy-to-read version for you! It can be intimidating to pack with young kids. We are here to ensure you are prepared, be ready for any emergency if one were to happen and have the knowledge you need to properly pack your bag the night before so you don’t forget anything!

The Pack

There are so many amazing pack options out there. Adrianna & Lauren both use the Osprey Poco carrier pack. If your kids happen to out of the carrier, we’ve also shared a photo of the Osprey pack Michelle uses! 

Osprey Poco Child Carrier
Osprey Renn 50L Pack

Nutrition & Hydration

Nutrition is incredibly important on the trail, for both the kiddos & parents. You are both exerting tons of energy on the trail and must ensure you are energy levels are kept high! Also remember to be drinking enough water on the trail. Bladder bags are extremely convenient if your little one is capable of drinking out of them. Make sure to monitor how much they take in at a time, because bladder bag hoses can increase air intake which may lead to an upset, gassy stomach. Teach your kids to drink slowly from a bladder bag!

  • Bring easy, accessible snacks — fresh veggies & fruit, sandwiches, crackers & hummus
  • Squeeze packs are not just for kids! These can be found at almost any grocery store in a variety of flavours, and are extremely convenient for snacking on the trail. 
  • If you are still bottle feeding or nursing, you’re going to want to remember all the appropriate items — bottles, warm water, formula etc. Anything you may need to make you feel comfortable on the trail. If you are nursing on the trail, we suggest looking into Kojo Activewear — a shirt designed to allow easy feeding while out in nature! You can click here to find out more about Kojo Activewear
  • Hydration is MOST important before, and after your hike — not during. It assists your body with the recovery process!

The 10 Essentials

There are 10 essential items that should come with you on every hike! Having these items would ensure your safety if an emergency situation were to occur. We suggest making sure you have all of these before hitting the trail! Here is what they are:

  • Navigation (map, compass, altimeter, GPS device etc)
  • Headlamp
  • Sun Protection
  • First Aid Kit
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra Food
  • Extra Water
  • Extra Clothes

First-Aid & Bear Safety

Being prepared for any emergency or situation is key to preparing for any adventure, and even more so when you are adventuring with your kids. KWE is based in Alberta, and most of our adventures take place in the Canadian Rockies — where it is prime bear/grizzly country. We must remain cognizant of all signs of bears, and be BEAR AWARE on the trail. You can click here to find Park’s Canada section about Bear Safety — How to identify bear signs, How to avoid an encounter & What to do if an encounter happens. We use ScatBelt’s on the trail to secure our Bear Spray for easy access. 

Here is a breakdown of what should in your first-aid kid:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Gloves
  • Trauma Pads
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Safety Pins
  • Scissors
  • Splinter Pinker/Tink Remover Forceps
  • Medicine – Acetaminophen, Antihistamine, AfterBite, Ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Cotton Pads & Cotton Tip Applicator
  • Tape
  • Antibiotic Ointment 

Clothing & Layer

This section all depends on the climate of where you live! Here in Alberta, when hiking in the mountains, it is always best to prepare for all seasons — because you never know what you will get! We’ve talked about layering on quite a few podcasts — click on each of these titles to listen! “How to Dress Kids for Winter Adventures” “Getting Outside in Winter” “The Three Layer Winter Rule”

 We have a 3-layer rule, and here it is summed up, for all ages!

  • Base Layer: We like merino wool. Merino keeps you dry & warm in the winter, and dry & cool in the summer. Some of our favourite brands are Kojo & Iksplor. Click here to head over to our community discount page for 20% off Iksplor.
  • Mid Layer: We like fleece! Patagonia makes amazing fleece pieces for all ages. In YYC, you can find Patagonia at Elements Calgary. Click here to find the store website!
  • Top Layer: Water-resistant is the way to go when they are younger, but waterproof once they are older and playing in the snow and rain
  • Extra: Mitts, Toques/Beanies, Socks, Boots, Neck Warmer (fleece or merino wool — size differs between the two; merino wool is more snug)

The Extra Goods!

Here is a list of things we never forget at home!

Thank-you for reading this week’s blog post on What’s In Our Hiking Packs. We hope to inspire you to get outside this weekend. Don’t forget to share you adventures with us on Instagram by tagging @kidswhoexplore and using our hashtags #kidswhoexplore & #kwe!

We are so grateful for your support. Happy Exploring!

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