Springtime on the hiking trails can mean a lot of different things. Mud, impending rain, bright sunshine, chill breezes, you name it — spring has it. For active families with a mud room filled with all-weather gear or novice hikers vowing to get out there this season, this list can help you along the way.
Waterproof Hiking Boots
First things first, hiking boots are one of the most important accessories for hitting the trails. Novice hikers may think they can get away with sneakers, and on some paths you can, but for anything unpaved and in a new area, hiking boots are the way to go — it’s also a great way to break them in early for the rest of the season. During the rainy months, waterproof is not only key, but a lifesaver. Cabela’s and REI will have a variety of options for all terrain, but be sure to read the reviews. No one knows better about hiking boots than an avid trekker with wet socks. Let the teens and older kids pick out their own, as their feet may be finished growing and a sturdy pair can last for years.
Waterproof Insulated Jacket
Sensing a pattern here? Depending on your hiking destination, cold wind and rain may be in the forecast, so a weather-proof, insulated jacket should always be within reach. Something your family can roll tight to be packed into a bag when not needed, but also protective, is ideal, like North Face. Also, this should go without saying, but make sure the jacket’s hood extends a little over your face. While the objective may not be to hike through a downpour with the kids, a protective jacket can never hurt.
Having a waterproof backpack is a gamechanger. It’s great year-round and can protect all your essentials while you hike through the mud and the muck of spring weather. Something with a bit of space to contain your weather-proof jacket when you don’t need it, but with compartments to keep your tech, food, sunglasses and other accessories dry and safe is ideal, like these options from Amazon. While not every hike is going to be an epic trek, it’s always smart to have at least one bag packed with water, emergency supplies, a first-aid kit and, especially in a wet spring, a change of socks or two — few events can ruin a good hike like a soggy pair of socks midway through.
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