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How to prepare for a wet weather hike, with little ones

How to prepare for a wet weather hike, with little ones

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How to prepare for a wet weather hike, with little ones

The weather is certainly turning, autumn has arrived and before we know it the cold, snowy weather will be here. We spoke to Laura, mum of four young children and the founder of The Hiking Household, to see how she continues to get her children outside even during those cold, wet months.

Hiking with children can feel like a mammoth task at times and this isn’t made any easier during the winter months. The cold, wet, dark days can make getting out for a hike feel a little too overwhelming, at times. However, the weather really doesn’t have to stop your family days out and some of our best days out hiking have been in the more extreme weather. Below I have listed a few tips that help me get to the top of those fells with my four small children, even in torrential rain!

Prepare 

It sounds cliché but it really is so vital that you are fully prepared before heading out for a winter hike. The weather changes very quickly and you can loose light much earlier than you expect. The dark nights, and shorter days, often mean we start our hikes early morning so that we are all done before the darkness rolls in. I would highly recommend carrying some emergency torches with you if you are planning a longer hike in the winter months. My children all have head torches, which they absolutely love, that help to preoccupy them when their legs are starting to tire!

Equipment

When the cold, wet weather sets in it is more crucial than ever to invest in the correct equipment:

Clothing:

Layers, layers, layers! The weather is always changing up here in the Lake District and even more so during the winter months. We are always sure to have plenty of warm clothes on and we always carry emergency hats and gloves with us – it can get cold as you head up the mountains. Always wear too many layers, remember you can always take layers off but you can’t add them if you haven’t got them! My children always wear thermal clothing under their clothes. This not only allows them to keep warm but also helps when you get back to the car when their outer layers are dripping wet! You can soon pop all of the wet gear off and drive home with them sat in their thermals – happy and dry! Always take a spare bag to put all wet clothes in, this saves getting your car filthy and also helps when you get home as you can throw all of the wet clothes straight in the washing machine!

Raincoats:

Every winter I seem to spend so much time searching for the best raincoat for my children. If you are wanting to take your children out on hikes during the winter months then it is absolutely essential that you invest in good waterproofs. If children are dry and warm then they will most likely enjoy their hike! We currently have full body waterproof suits that the children wear during the colder months. They provide a great amount of warmth and keep them dry, no matter how much rain! I should also mention that we never go anywhere without the rain cover for our Osprey baby backpack. This rain cover is able to cover all of the backpack keeping our 18 month old dry, and just as importantly it keeps the snacks inside the backpacks pockets dry too!

Footwear:

The most essential piece of equipment that you will need. While my children wear their wellies, my husband and I wouldn’t be without our Vango walking boots. We are regularly heard saying how much we wish Vango did children’s footwear! I currently wear the Vango Grivola W, an incredibly comfortable boot that offers great protection and is also waterproof. There hasn’t been a trail that I’ve completed where I haven’t felt steady, supported and most importantly dry! Nobody is able to walk with wet, soggy feet so staying dry is essential for both adults, and children.

There we have it, all of the advice and tips that I have however, what happens when you are well prepared and have all of the equipment with you yet your children are still not happy? Sometimes no amount of preparation can change the mood of our children and the key here is to use the art of distraction and try to remain happy, even if inside you’re not feeling too chirpy yourself! Children LOVE puddles, let them play and splash in all of the puddles. Chase the running water down the hill, look out for waterfalls. Catch raindrops with your tongue, make paper boats and sail them in a really big puddle. There are so many exciting activities to do with children in the rain, as long as they are dry and warm you really will have the best adventures in the rain! Some of the most fun is had in the rain!

Be prepared, and you’ll be happy