Tips for Hiking and Paddling with Kids

Hypothermia can set in even when temperatures are as high as 50 degrees Farenheit. Carry rain gear and extra clothing at all times.

young hikers walk the trails in the area.Hiking

When hiking, stop frequently to observe plants, animals, or views. If you don't stop to look around, children will find hiking (and looking at the ground) pretty boring.

Rest frequently when hiking. Merely waiting for your children to catch up, then walking again, does not allow time for rest.

Let children lead and set their own pace. Don't be upset if you don't complete the trail. Have fun!

Carry plenty of water/fluids. Children lose fluids during exertion faster than adults, particularly during warm weather. Don't wait until you are thirsty to offer liquids.

Carry lots of snacks. Always carry a compass and a good map (with topography) of the area you are hiking.

Encourage young hikers to carry their own daypacks with a jacket, water and snacks.

Stop during the trip to look at the topography and see if youngsters can match it to the map. Teach them how to use a compass. Kids like to know what they are looking at and where they are.

Explain why youngsters should stay on the trail: to protect plants, contain erosion AND prevent anyone from getting lost.

Whenever children go into the backcountry, they should wear a whistle. If they get separated from the family, it is easier to blow regular blasts on a whistle than to shout over a long period of time.

Paddling

When canoe paddling, children must wear USCG approved floating devices, and to serve as good examples, their parents should too.

Flotation devices for all passengers must be in the boat.

Avoid canoeing in early spring or late fall when water temperatures are frigid. Tipping over in summer is inconvenient. Tipping over in spring or fall can mean hypothermia and even death.

Weather changes quickly in the region. Carry rain gear and extra clothing at all times, since hypothermia can set in even when temperatures are as high as 50 degrees Farenheit. Cotton clothing conducts the cold — try to avoid wearing jeans and cotton sneakers.

Upper Delaware Scenic Byway - Sections color chart Southern Gateway Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Lower Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic BywaysMid Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic BywayUpper Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Northern Gateway of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway