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How to Buy Hiking Gear for Kids

Outfit your little ones with gear that'll help them keep up -- and stay safe -- in style.


  • Step 1: Purchase a backpack for children over 6. The backpack should distribute weight evenly and be equipped with a waist belt.
  • Step 2: Have the child carry a whistle for emergency use, a water bottle, and some snacks. For overnight, equip them with a flashlight or headlamp. Then take the whole family in an upward and onward direction.
  • FACT: Children can grow as much as 12 inches between the ages of 8 and 14.
  • Step 3: Purchase shoes that offer protection from mud, rocks, and brush. Don't worry too much about the construction materials used in the shoes since children are likely to grow out of them before they wear out.
  • Step 4: Purchase a hooded sweatshirt or jacket rather than a hat for head warmth. Hats have a tendency to get lost.
  • TIP: Buy with an eye to the future. Choose slightly larger sizes of clothing to accommodate future growth.
  • Step 5: Buy lightweight, long hiking pants to wear over shorts. These offer protection from scrapes and insects, but keep your kids almost as cool as bare legs.
  • Step 6: Dress kids in synthetic clothing in bright colors, tagged with reflective tape. Synthetic clothing wicks away sweat and dries quickly.

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