Reasons Why Your Kids Should Go Hiking

By: Derek Vitiello | Last Updated on May 2, 2024

If you try to remember your childhood, it will be easy for you to recall nice memories of spending a lot of time outdoors with friends. Our parents were struggling to make us come home and at least eat something. On snow days, we all were out as well, playing snowballs and sledding.

Modern kids are a bit different. Well, let’s be honest; they are completely different. They spend more time on their phones than outside, they prefer writing to talking, and they feel more comfortable online than during meetings or lessons offline.

Of course, it’s understandable that due to the development of modern technology, gadgets give us a lot of opportunities to do different things, but it is very important not to forget about simple activities such as hiking, riding a bicycle, and camping. In this article, we would like to discuss the benefits of hiking for kids and all the reasons why you should get them outside.

Physical Benefits

When it comes to the great outdoors, it’s more than just the scenic vistas and the Instagrammable moments that make hiking a worthwhile endeavor. The physical benefits are often overlooked but are a major perk, especially for kids. Let’s break down why hitting the trails can be like hitting the jackpot for your child’s physical health.

Physical Fitness

Hiking is one of those awesome activities that encapsulates both cardiovascular and strength training. You’ve got your heart rate elevated as you climb up hills and navigate through winding paths. Then there’s the whole-body workout that includes your legs, core, and even upper body, especially when you throw in some steep inclines or scrambles. For kids, this sort of natural, functional exercise can be a foundational element in establishing lifelong fitness habits. Plus, the varying terrain means no two hikes are the same, keeping the little ones engaged and less likely to view exercise as a chore.

Motor Skills

Think about it—navigating a trail isn’t as straightforward as walking on a treadmill. There are rocks to step over, branches to dodge, and an assortment of other natural obstacles. These challenges require kids to engage a variety of motor skills like balance, coordination, and precision. Over time, these skills become more refined, and not just for hiking; they’ll help in just about any sport or physical activity your kids might take up later. Trust me, navigating a tricky path successfully can be a huge confidence booster for kids and a functional way to improve their motor skills.

Vitamin D Exposure

In today’s world, kids often don’t get enough time in the sun. Between school and extracurricular activities, much of their time is spent indoors. Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is crucial for bone development, a healthy immune system, and even mood regulation. Hiking exposes them to natural sunlight, helping them to naturally synthesize Vitamin D. However, it’s crucial to balance this benefit with sun safety. Sunscreen and protective clothing are must-haves, especially at high elevations where the sun’s rays are stronger. So, as you’re packing that trail mix and water bottle, don’t forget the SPF!

Teamwork and Communication

Being out on a trail is more than just a walk in the park; it often involves navigating obstacles, reading trail markers, and perhaps even setting up a campsite. These tasks require effective communication and teamwork, invaluable skills that will serve kids well throughout life. Whether it’s deciding which path to take at a fork in the road or coordinating to set up a tent, kids learn to express their ideas, understand different perspectives, and work collaboratively toward a common goal. These aren’t just hiking skills; they’re life skills. The trail serves as a low-stakes training ground for the kind of communication and teamwork that will be essential in more complex future endeavors.

Mental Benefits

While the physical and social perks of hiking are pretty straightforward, the mental benefits are often less visible but equally impactful. Being out on the trail offers a unique setting for cognitive and emotional development that you simply can’t replicate in a classroom or living room. From promoting mindfulness to boosting problem-solving skills, hiking can serve as a catalyst for mental well-being and intellectual growth in kids. Let’s delve into the various ways that hiking contributes to a child’s mental toolkit.

Confidence

The feeling of confidence is one of the most important that parents and teachers should develop in any child, and it doesn’t matter whether it is a child going to a primary school or a student of a college. When you are confident, you are not afraid of anything; you can accept some challenging tasks more eagerly, and with time, it is possible that children will show initiative. But how can hiking develop confidence? Well, you always set a goal to go somewhere or to walk several thousands of steps. The more difficult it is, the more confident you are becoming after fulfilling it. Being confident we also help you to make decisions easier.

Learning Limits 

Another invaluable lesson kids can gain from hiking is understanding their own limits. The trail serves as a real-world classroom where they can gauge their physical and mental endurance, teaching them when to push forward and when to exercise caution. This is a critical skill, not just for outdoor adventures, but for life in general. Plus, being in nature gives kids an appreciation for wildlife and ecosystems. For those interested in diving deeper into the world of animals and their natural habitats, focusingonwildlife.com is a fantastic resource that can extend this learning experience well beyond the trail.

Creative Thinking

You might be wondering how it is happening that hiking develops creativity, and the explanation is very easy. First of all, when you spend time in a beautiful place and see nice scenery, it’s normal to feel the urge to create something. The second reason is that thanks to staying outside and getting fresh air, your brain starts working as you receive plenty of oxygen. If you are a teacher, you can check this theory by asking students to write an essay after the hiking. For sure, you will be impressed by the results.

Safety Skills

There are a lot of such skills that children should have, but it’s really hard to get them. For example, when going hiking, children will look through the weather forecast, think about the type of clothes to wear, and make sure that they have the repellent and all other medicines. If children do it when going hiking with friends, they will always be careful about going somewhere.

Stress Reduction

When you feel stressed out or on the edge of depression, spending some days far from other people, hiking, and enjoying the time with you without any outer intrusion can be a perfect solution to get rid of a bad mood. Plus, when you tire yourself physically, your brain relaxes and feels renewed. And any other activity can be this helpful for children. 

Social Benefits

The great outdoors is more than just a playground for individual discovery; it’s also a fantastic platform for social growth and interaction. Whether it’s a family outing or a group adventure, hiking can foster strong social bonds and develop crucial interpersonal skills. There’s something uniquely connective about sharing the experience of a challenging hike or a breathtaking view. Here’s how this communal activity pays dividends in social skills, particularly for kids.

Time with Family

As parents, finding time to venture outdoors with your kids can be challenging, especially when juggling work and educational commitments. Homework and study schedules are a big part of this, and it’s understandable if you’re seeking help in that department to free up some family time. If you’re considering educational support services, make sure to do your research first; you can start by check recent bestdissertation reviews by real customers to see Dissertation editing services reviews and gauge if such services might be a fit for your family’s needs. The more you can trust the services you use, the more time you’ll feel comfortable setting aside for valuable outdoor experiences with your kids.

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Why Trust Know Nothing Nomads?

Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

We don’t just know a few things about the outdoors — WE EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE IT.

We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

We are not a “gear lab” that runs tests on gear in life-like conditions. We are the seasoned, “trial-by-fire” experts who have taken the gear into the wilderness and USED IT. Read about our gear testing process here

We started Know Nothing Nomads to share our passion and expertise with our readers to inspire, educate, and enable you to explore the outdoors in the way that we have. And you will be more equipped and capable than ever before with the knowledge you gain here guiding you along the way.

And the best part? We are real people that LOVE our readers and this community. If you need anything or have a question about any of the things we have to write about, just reach out. Normally, one of us can respond within 24 hours, sometimes within minutes. THAT is the approachable expert.

You should also know that advertising does not influence our gear reviews in any way, shape, or form, and it never will.

While we always focus our attention on gear that stands out to us—sometimes we discover that things aren’t up to our standards. This is exactly why we will always talk about the downfalls and compromises that we find while we are testing anything (If we find any).

About The Author

Derek, Co-Founder at Know Nothing Nomads

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers.

Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me.

When I'm not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

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Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

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