Family Hiking Tips 101



Explore the Great Outdoors with Affordable and Family-Friendly Hiking Options in Orange County
. Orange County provides an array of family-friendly hiking options, from hills and beaches to mountains and state parks. Personally, hiking has always been a favorite activity of mine with my family, and for many reasons. Firstly, it’s an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors, as apart from parking fees, you don’t have to spend much. Packing your snacks (granola bars, chips, cut fruit in ziplocks) and water can make it a budget-friendly activity. Secondly, hiking is an excellent way to spend time with your loved ones in the great outdoors. Some trails don’t have cell-phone service, allowing you to disconnect from the outside world and catch up with your family. Discuss school life, life lessons, and more. Thirdly, hiking is a fantastic opportunity for parents to educate their children about environmental issues, plant and wildlife identification (cactus, snakes, raccoons), recycling, and caring for our planet. Lastly, for families, like myself with immunocompromised or sensory-sensitive children, hiking might be an ideal pastime. Crowds, sensory overload, loud noises, and touching surfaces with germs are not a concern while hiking. It’s an excellent way to bond with your family while enjoying scenic views and long conversations. We are fortunate to have access to these beautiful locations for outdoor activities here in Orange County, so what are you waiting on?

Here are some tips to make your family hiking experience more enjoyable:

  1. Choose a trail that is appropriate for your family’s skill level and age range.
  2. Plan ahead and bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  3. Dress appropriately for the weather (hair tied up, hats, sunglasses) and wear comfortable shoes with good traction.
  4. Make sure everyone uses the bathroom before starting the hike, public restrooms are not available at all trails.
  5. Take breaks as needed and don’t push yourself or your family too hard.
  6. Encourage your children to explore and learn about nature along the way.
  7. Leave no trace by packing out any trash and respecting the environment.
  8. It is recommended to check the weather before going for a hike. On hot days, it is advised to go hiking early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  9. If necessary, remember to take your allergy medication beforehand.
  10. To ensure your safety while hiking in certain regions, it’s important to be aware of potentially dangerous animals such as mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and bobcats. Keep an eye out for poisonous plants such as poison ivy as well.
  11. It is important to plan ahead for the possibility of encountering issues with cell phone service on some trails.
  12. Grab a hiking trail map, if available and let the children “navigate” the trails and lead your hiking, good opportunity to teach how to read a map, basic compass directions, inserting a life lesson is always an advantage.
  13. To make the most of your hiking experience, it’s important to be aware of the trail timings. Keep in mind that some trails close at sunset, so plan accordingly.
  14. Finally, have fun and enjoy the experience of being in nature with your family.