Hiking is an exciting way to explore new places, bond with your family, and get exercise. It is a unique activity that is inclusive of both the youngest and oldest members of a family. Creating a positive perception of hiking for kids can impact them for a lifetime. Let’s take a look at some great hiking gifts for kids that will keep them wanting to explore the trails for years to come!
Hiking Boots + Hiking Socks
A pair of hiking boots and merino wool hiking socks are sure to have a child feeling ready for adventure! A variety of boots are available in today’s market, so you’re bound to find a pair with valuable features to provide all-day comfort. Hiking boots and socks secure the top spot on the best hiking gifts for kids of all ages.
Backpacks are essential when hiking for many reasons, and getting a child their own hiking backpack is a great way to get them invested in the activity from a young age. Owning a pack allows children to learn the art of packing a hiking pack from a young age. It also gives them a vessel to bring along many other great pieces of hiking equipment that make the adventure even more enjoyable. When choosing a backpack, start by looking for day packs for children.
Hydration is critical when doing any outdoor activity, and a water bladder is a gift that a child of any age can enjoy and use for a long time. For this reason, a water bladder lands a top spot on our list of the best hiking gifts for kids. When choosing a water bladder, ensure that you’re choosing one with a bite valve that is appropriate for the child’s age. On/Off valves instead of a bite valve are often better for younger children.
Binoculars are sometimes a forgotten hiking gift for kids. Wildlife is bountiful on hiking trails, and equipping a child to observe it from a distance can provide an enjoyable and educational experience. Consider choosing binoculars that come with a carrying case, as this will protect the lenses and safely pack into their backpack.
Nature Pocket Guides
Nature pocket guides are available in many different topics- trees, flowers, insects, animals, and more! Giving the hiking gift of a nature pocket guide gives the gift of continuous learning. Nature pocket guides are appropriate for kids of all ages and are a gift that can even be passed down (or up) within a family for years! There’s little that matches the satisfaction of discovering something new on the trail and being able to identify and learn about the new discovery.
A whistle is a great hiking gift for kids to ensure safety on the trail. A child can use a whistle in various states of emergency, such as: warding off unwanted animals or communicating when lost. Choosing a whistle with a neck lanyard that a child can wear while hiking is a great way to ensure the whistle is accessible anytime it may be needed. For older children, you may want to choose a whistle with more advanced multi-tool features, like an attached compass!
An excellent hat serves both practical and fun purposes and can make or break a day in the outdoors. A good bucket hat is a preventative measure for sun and rain. In addition to practicality, a bucket hat is a fun article of clothing to add to anyone’s hiking outfit! Be sure to choose one with a chin strap so your child doesn’t accidentally lose it on the trail. Grab a bucket hat with a colorful print or side snaps to add excitement and enhance functionality.
Survival bracelets come in different styles with different features and make a great hiking gift for kids of all ages. These bracelets can be as simple as basic paracord bracelets or as advanced as having built-in whistles, compasses, and blades. Be sure to choose a survival bracelet appropriate for the child’s age, and always follow safety instructions provided with the tool. Your child is sure to feel cool on the trail with their very own survival bracelet!
Magazine + Hiking App Subscription
Encouraging learning about the outdoors is critical to instilling a love for hiking in children. Many outdoors magazines, appropriate for various ages, are available for kids. Gifting a subscription to one of these magazines can help grow a child’s excitement for the outdoors. A hiking application subscription is another great hiking gift for older children who may have cell phones. These phone applications provide trail maps, directions, and descriptions of various trails. This gift gives older children the opportunity to help plan and lead family outings, prompting interest and involvement even from teenagers.
Compactible Rain Jacket
Last but certainly not least on our list of great hiking gifts for kids is a compactible rain jacket! A rain jacket that fits easily into a child’s backpack ensures protection in an unexpected rainstorm without adding significant bulk or weight to a child’s bag. A jacket is another hiking gift appropriate for children of all ages. Choosing a compactible rain jacket with a built-in stuff sack for the jacket rather than a separate stuff sack is a great option for kids, so the stuff sack doesn’t get misplaced.
Now that you’ve walked through the top 10 hiking gifts for kids, get ready to have a young trailblazer with enthusiasm for hiking on your hands! Investing in sparking interest and love for the outdoors in children is an investment that pays off for a lifetime. So see you on the trails this summer, making memories with the family, exploring, and learning all about nature along the way!