How to Take Your Family on a Hike That Won’t Kill Them

Hiking with your family is a great way to spend time together outside. If you can walk, you can hike, which makes it an ideal activity for family members of all ages and ability levels. But when your idea of a fun hike is different from that of the rest of your family, you can run into some problems. Maybe you enjoy summit hikes that make you work hard for an outstanding view. Your family? Maybe not so much.

Don’t end the day with your mom sitting face down at a restaurant table, too nauseated by altitude sickness to eat.

When choosing a trail for a family hike, make sure you take a variety of factors into account. How in shape is your family? Are you hiking with small children? If you have family visiting from out of town, what is the elevation difference? While there may be a difficult hike you want to check off, it might not be a good fit for the rest of your crew.

Make sure everyone knows what they’re getting themselves into before starting the hike. It’s a good idea to take family members on hikes you’ve already done so you can provide details before and during the excursion. In other words, scout your destination.

Does everyone have the right shoes and layers for the hike you’re about to do? Most importantly, does everyone have water? If your family is visiting from out of town, especially if they’re coming from a lower altitude, you’ll want to make sure that you bring plenty of water to help ward off altitude sickness.

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