When planning for a hiking trip for the family at a place as beautiful as Zion, it is best to plan and organize. The following are tips on how you can make your family hiking trip a successful one.
1. Plan it. This is a family outdoor activity that you want the entire family to enjoy. Because after coming to Zion it will be one they won’t forget. Assign tasks to all members including the kids; just simple tasks so they feel they have something to contribute. Bring essential items however simple they may be. These include flashlights, a magnifying glass, baby wipes, safety whistles and binoculars.
2. Be prepared to be a handy man. Bring some basic handy repair kits in case something breaks down like the camp stove and the like.
3. Have someone know your itinerary, a friend or another family member and let them know once you have come back from hiking. Don’t forget to check the weather before you head out!
4. Bring a safety or first aid kit which contains bandages, alcohol, swabs, and some essential medicines like antibiotics and pain relievers among others.
5. Keep a slow pace. Remember you are hiking with your family. Make sure the kids enjoy the trail so let them set the pace. You can gradually increase the pace as you move along the trail and as time moves on.
6. Whoever is the most experienced and familiar with the trail should take the lead and allow others to take the lead. Get other’s insights when there is a need for any decision-making.
7. Hike along the marked trails unless you are allowed to whack the bushes and you are very familiar with the place you are.
8. During winter and on dangerous terrain, it is advisable to hike in groups. Of course, during these times, it is best not to bring the kids.
9. Dress appropriately. It is much cooler and windier in the mountains as the temperature usually drops as you elevate. Dress in layers with clothes made of polyester worn closest to your skin. This traps warm air next to your skin while transferring body moisture away. Wear appropriate and comfortable shoes as well.
10. Bring your sunglasses, a hat or a visor. Cover your eyes and face especially on the first few days of the hike.
11. Likewise, protect your skin by using sunscreen. While the temperature is freezing, you can still get sunburn.
12. Be sure you have developed an emergency plan before you go on with the trip. Everybody must be oriented what they should do in case they get lost or had accidents. Children must have safety whistles which they should blow in case they get lost.
13. Make sure you have enough stops and vary your pace especially after any difficult activity spurt. Hiking can easily drain you of energy and it would be helpful to predetermine your next stops so you could rest and take some snacks.
14. Drink enough water before the start of the hike so you are well hydrated. Bring sufficient amount of water and have emergency water filters as well in case water get scarce you can at least treat whatever is available.
15. Bring as well enough food supplies and other carbohydrate rich stuffs like energy bars, granola bars, candies and fruits for instant energy. And while you have food, make sure also that you collect and secure all your trash and do not leave them behind.
16. If you are bringing your pets, make sure that they are on their leashes as some parks and other federal lands do not allowed dogs. They should wear their name tags ad have enough water for them as well.
17. If you plan on camping, make sure you adhere to all rules and regulations that concern campfires.