Packing checklist for day hikes for kids and parents: essential hiking gear to carry on the trail. Hiking list for kids and parents.
Family hikes are one of our favorite ways to spend the weekend.
We are lucky to live in Dublin, which is close to many family friendly trails, and almost all year round we are able to get outside and hit the trails on either the Dublin or Wicklow Mountains.
These hikes are on the easy end of the spectrum and tend to stay close enough to civilization.
This means that we don’t need to pack for overnight stays or prepare for any type of situation however, they get to terrain rugged enough and remote enough that some preparation is needed.
This is out hiking list for kids and for us, to make sure we are as safe and prepared as we can be on the trail.
You can read about our family hikes and tips in the following articles:
- Beautiful family hikes in and near Dublin
- Fun family hikes in Wicklow
- Family friendly trails in Glendalough
- Essential tips for hiking with kids
Hiking list for kids printable
Hiking checklist – kids clothing and gear
Before we leave the house, I always double check the kids are dressed appropriately for the hike. I usually check they have:
- Proper Hiking shoes or sandals – you can find our favourite hiking shoes for kids here
- Reasonable socks
- Sports trousers or legging
- A reasonable number of layers (at least a t-shirt and hoodie in summer)
- Sun hat and sunglasses depending on weather
- Sport jacket, waterproof gloves, scarf and hat in winter
- Hiking sticks If using
- The kids hiking backpack with these essentials!
Kids hiking daypack checklist
In their daypack, I make sure they have:
- Water – our kids love a hydration pack/camelback but a reusable bottle works too
- Trail snacks such as granola bars, apple slices, small sandwich
- Paper, pencil and / or scavenger hunt cards
- Kids binoculars
- Hand sanitizer (small bottle)
- Water shoes if we know the trail will lead us to a lake or accessible river
- Small book related to the trail and the area (native animals, leaves etc)
- Kids action camera
- Walkie talkie if using
- Address and phone number: we usually have it on the pack and in the inside of their jacket
- Compass and map (hikes a great teaching opportunity!)
Parents daypack packing list for family hikes
In our own packs, we usually bring:
- Water for the whole family
- Hiking lunch and additional snacks
- An extra layer for the kids and an extra pair of socks should you expect very much terrain of very changeable weather
- Trash bags to bring with us our own trash or for carrying wet/soiled clothes if someone gets sick/ heavy rain etc
- First aid kit
- Extra tissues and wipes
- Trail map and guide if needed
- Hair ties for kids
- Sunscreen for the whole family
- Phone (for getting to the trail and photo)
- Camera with extra sim card if using
- Hiking sticks if using
- Swiss knife
- Picnic blanket
- Walkie talkie if using
- Proper hiking backpack
- Hiking child carrier if using
- All terrain stroller should your hike be marked at buggy friendly
- Local hiking permits if needed
What to pack in your hiking first aid kit
Our first aid kit hiking checklist is rather small and suitable for shorter hikes especially. We make sure we always have:
- Skin disinfectant liquid and wipes
- Anti bacterial ointment
- Plasters and bandages
- Safety pins
- Insect repellent / post bite cream
- Tweezers for splinters etc
- Blister plasters
- Anti allergy tablets
- Anti motion sickness tablets (for getting to the trail)
As you can see, our checklist for day hikes is not extensive but covers many situations you may find yourself into when hiking with kids.
I recommend you also check local resources and info on the individual trail if available and always talk to a ranger if you are in a National Park to check the trail conditions on the day. Happy hiking!