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10 Must-Have Hiking Gear Essentials for Kids


When planning a hiking trip with kids, ensuring they are well-equipped is crucial for their safety and enjoyment. Essential hiking gear for children includes a comfortable, appropriately-sized backpack to carry their supplies without straining their backs. Lightweight, breathable clothing and a sturdy pair of hiking boots provide protection and support through various terrains, while a hat and sunglasses shield them from the sun.

Hydration is critical, so a durable water bottle or hydration pack is necessary. Pack child-friendly snacks like granola bars and fruit to keep their energy up. For safety, include a whistle and a small first-aid kit tailored for kids, and ensure they have a map and a compass, even if they are hiking with adults. Teaching them how to use these tools can turn a simple hike into an educational adventure, enhancing their skills and enjoyment of the outdoors.

Essential Hiking Gear for Kids

Are you planning a hiking adventure with your little ones? Ensure they have the right gear to stay comfortable and safe and enjoy the great outdoors. Here are some essential items to consider when outfitting your kids for a hiking trip:

Proper Footwear

A good pair of hiking shoes is one of kids’ most important pieces of hiking gear. Look for shoes that provide good traction, support, and protection for little feet. Waterproof shoes are also a great option to keep their feet dry in rain or puddles.


Dress your kids in moisture-wicking and quick-drying clothing to keep them comfortable on the trail. Layers are essential to adjust their clothing as the temperature changes quickly. Don’t forget hats and sunglasses to protect them from the sun.

Safety Equipment

Safety should always come first when hiking with kids. Ensure they have a whistle to signal for help in case they get lost and a first aid kit for minor injuries. Teaching them basic first-aid skills is also a good idea.


A properly fitting backpack is essential for kids to carry their hiking essentials. Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps, a chest strap, and a waist belt for added support. Make sure the backpack is adjustable to fit your child’s size.


What size backpack should I get for my child?

  • Answer: Look for a backpack appropriate for your child’s size and age. Make sure it is not too heavy when fully loaded.

How should I choose the right hiking shoes for my child?

  • Answer: When selecting hiking shoes for your child, consider proper fit, support, traction, waterproofing, and breathability.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper footwear, clothing, safety equipment, and a backpack are essential for kids’ hiking adventures.
  • Choose comfortable, safe, and suitable gear for the outdoor environment.
  • Teach your kids basic safety skills and always prioritize their well-being on the trail.

Planning a hiking trip with your kids can be a rewarding experience for the whole family. In the next section, we’ll explore top tips for choosing the right hiking shoes for children. Stay tuned for more helpful insights!


Top Tips for Choosing the Right Hiking Shoes for Children

When taking your children on outdoor adventures, choosing the right hiking shoes is crucial to ensure their comfort and safety on the trails. Kids are constantly growing, and their feet are still developing, so it’s important to find footwear that provides proper support and protection. Here are some top tips for selecting the perfect hiking shoes for your young explorers:

Consider the Terrain

  • Before purchasing hiking shoes for your children, consider the type of terrain they will be hiking on. Different terrains require different features in hiking shoes. For example, if you’re hiking on rocky trails, you’ll want shoes with sturdy soles and good traction.

Fit and Comfort

  • Make sure the hiking shoes fit correctly and are comfortable for your child. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters and discomfort on the trail, so getting the right size is essential. Please have your child try on the shoes and walk around to ensure enough room in the toe box and a secure fit around the heel.


  • Choosing waterproof or water-resistant hiking shoes is essential, especially in wet or muddy conditions. Waterproof shoes keep your child’s feet dry and comfortable, even in inclement weather.

Support and Stability

  • Look for hiking shoes that support and stabilize your child’s feet. Ankle support is essential to prevent injuries, especially on uneven trails. Cushioning in the midsole can also provide added comfort and shock absorption.


  • Invest in durable hiking shoes that can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor adventures. Materials like synthetic leather and rubber soles are durable and can withstand rough terrain. Quality construction will ensure that the shoes last through multiple hikes.


  • Choose breathable hiking shoes to keep your child’s feet cool and dry. Mesh uppers are an excellent option for ventilation, especially in warm weather. Breathable shoes can help prevent overheating and sweat buildup during long hikes.

Brand Reputation

  • Consider reputable brands that specialize in outdoor footwear for children. Brands with a good reputation for quality and durability are more likely to provide reliable hiking shoes for your child. Reading reviews from other parents can also help you make an informed decision.

By following these tips for choosing the right hiking shoes for your children, you can ensure they are comfortable, safe, and ready for any outdoor adventure. Remember to prioritize fit, durability, support, and comfort when selecting hiking shoes for your young hikers.

Next, let’s explore the must-have clothing for kids on hiking adventures.


Must-Have Clothing for Kids on Hiking Adventures

WProper clothing ensures their comfort and safety whentaking your kids on hiking adventures, From moisture-wicking fabrics to sturdy footwear, the appropriate clothing can make all the difference in your child’s hiking experience. Here are some must-have clothing items for kids on hiking adventures:

Moisture-Wicking Layers

Moisture-wicking layers are one of the most essential clothing items for kids on hiking adventures. These are designed to pull sweat away from the body, keeping your child dry and comfortable as they hike. Look for synthetic materials like polyester or nylon that are quick-drying and breathable. Layering is essential, so opt for a base, mid-layer, and water-resistant outer layer.

Durable Pants or Shorts

Choosing the fitting pants or shorts for your child is crucial when hiking. Look for durable options made from quick-drying materials and reinforced knees to withstand the trail’s wear and tear. Convertible pants can also be a great option, as they can easily be turned into shorts when the weather warms up.

Protective Headwear

Don’t forget to pack a hat or a cap to protect your child’s head from the sun. Look for wide-brimmed options that offer UPF protection to shield your child’s face and neck from harmful UV rays. A moisture-wicking hat can also help keep your child cool and comfortable on hot days.

Sturdy Footwear

Proper footwear is essential for any hiking adventure, especially for kids. Look for sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes with ankle support and grippy soles for traction on uneven terrain. Ensure your child’s footwear is broken before hitting the trail to prevent uncomfortable blisters.

Weather-Appropriate Outerwear

Depending on the weather forecast, pack weather-appropriate outerwear for your child. A lightweight waterproof jacket is a must-have in case of unexpected rain showers, while a fleece or insulated jacket can keep your child warm on colder days. Layering is vital so your child can easily adjust their clothing as needed.

Wool Socks

Keep your child’s feet warm and dry with a good pair of wool socks. Wool is a tremendous moisture-wicking material that helps prevent blisters and keeps feet comfortable throughout the hike. Ensure your child wears proper-fitting socks and shoes to avoid discomfort on the trail.


What should my child wear on a hike?

Your child should wear moisture-wicking layers, durable pants or shorts, protective headwear, sturdy footwear, weather-appropriate outerwear, and wool socks.

Why is layering essential for hiking?

Layering is essential for hiking because it allows your child to regulate their body temperature as they hike. It also provides versatility in case the weather changes.

Key Take-Aways

  • Moisture-wicking layers are essential for keeping your child dry and comfortable.
  • Choose durable pants or shorts made from quick-drying materials.
  • Don’t forget to pack protective headwear and sturdy footwear for your child.
  • Always bring weather-appropriate outerwear and wool socks to keep your child comfortable on the trail.

The following section will discuss necessary safety equipment for young hikers to ensure your child’s safe and enjoyable hiking experience.


Essential Safety Equipment for Young Hikers

When taking your kids on hiking adventures, their safety should always be your top priority. Along with the proper clothing and footwear, safety equipment is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. Here are some essential safety items that every young hiker should have:

1. First Aid Kit

  • A first aid kit is necessary for hiking, especially when taking kids along. Ensure your first aid kit has bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, tweezers, and pain relievers. Being prepared for minor injuries or accidents on the trail is better.

2. Whistle

  • A whistle is essential for young hikers if they get lost or separated from the group. Teach your kids to blow the whistle three times in a row if they need help. Whistles are loud and can carry long distances, making it easier for rescuers to locate them.

3. Emergency Blanket

  • An emergency blanket is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry in a backpack. In case of an unexpected overnight stay on the trail or a sudden drop in temperature, an emergency blanket can help keep your child warm and protected from the elements.

4. Headlamp or Flashlight

  • Headlamps or flashlights are essential for hiking in low-light conditions or during dusk and dawn. Ensure your child knows how to use the light source, and always pack extra batteries just in case.

5. Navigation Tools

  • Teach your kids how to read a map and compass or how to use a GPS device. Proper navigation skills are crucial for staying on the right trail and avoiding getting lost. A backup navigation tool is always good when exploring unfamiliar hiking trails.


Q: Why is safety equipment necessary for young hikers?
A: Safety equipment is vital to ensure that young hikers are prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise on the trail. It helps prevent accidents and injuries and provides peace of mind for parents and children.

Q: Can I customize the safety equipment based on the hiking trail?
A: Yes, you can customize the safety equipment based on the difficulty level and terrain of the hiking trail. For example, if you’re hiking in a remote area, you may want to pack additional emergency supplies.

Key Take-Aways

  • Safety equipment is essential for young hikers to have a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.
  • Always pack a first aid kit, whistle, emergency blanket, headlamp, and navigation tools when hiking with kids.
  • Teach your children how to use the safety equipment and what to do in case of emergencies.

The following section will discuss the best backpacks for kids to carry hiking essentials. Stay tuned for more tips on making hiking with kids adventurous and safe.


Best Backpacks for Kids to Carry Hiking Essentials

When preparing for a family hiking trip, ensuring your child has the right backpack is essential. Choosing the best backpack for kids is crucial to ensure they can comfortably carry all their hiking essentials while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some top picks for the best backpacks for kids to carry hiking essentials:

1. Osprey Youth Jet 18

  • Features: The Osprey Youth Jet 18 is a versatile and durable backpack explicitly designed for kids. It has adjustable straps, a padded back panel, and multiple pockets for easy organization.
  • Capacity: With an 18-liter capacity, this backpack is perfect for carrying water bottles, snacks, a light jacket, and other essential items for a day hike.
  • Comfort: The padded straps and ventilated back panel make it comfortable for kids to wear for extended periods.
  • Learn more:

2. Deuter Fox 30

  • Features: The Deuter Fox 30 is a high-quality backpack ideal for older kids needing more space for longer hikes. It has a comfortable hip belt, adjustable shoulder straps, and a compatible hydration system.
  • Capacity: With a 30-liter capacity, this backpack can hold more gear and essentials for overnight camping trips or longer day hikes.
  • Durability: Made with high-quality materials, the Deuter Fox 30 is designed to withstand rough outdoor conditions.
  • Learn more:

3. REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack – Kids’

  • Features: The REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack is a compact, lightweight backpack perfect for younger kids. It has padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a hydration reservoir sleeve.
  • Capacity: With a 12-liter capacity, this backpack is excellent for short hikes or outings where only the essentials are needed.
  • Versatility: The REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack is versatile for school or everyday activities.
  • Learn more:



Q: What should I look for in a kid’s hiking backpack?
A: When choosing a kid’s hiking backpack, look for features such as adjustable straps, padded back panels, multiple pockets, and hydration system compatibility.

Q: What size backpack should I get for my child?
A: The size of the backpack will depend on your child’s age and size and the length of the hike. A smaller backpack of around 12-18 liters may be sufficient for day hikes, while longer hikes may require a larger 30-liter backpack.

Key Take-Aways

  • Choose a backpack with adjustable straps and padded back panels for comfort.
  • Consider the backpack’s capacity based on the hike’s length and your child’s age.
  • Look for durable and high-quality materials to ensure the backpack can withstand outdoor conditions.


Exploring the great outdoors with your kids can be a rewarding and memorable experience for the whole family. Equipping them with the right gear ensures their safety and enhances their enjoyment of the hike. From sturdy hiking boots to hydration packs, these 10 must-have hiking gear essentials for kids will make outdoor adventures even more fun and exciting. So gear up, hit the trails, and create memories that will last a lifetime!


Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Homey Roamy Camping Tips

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