Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review - Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has put together a yearly event encouraging children, families, schools and communities to go Screen Free and make changes toward a more active and outdoor lifestyle. This year the event will happen April 30 – May 6.

Tales of a Mountain Mama has pulled together a group of bloggers (including me) to help celebrate with posts aimed at encouraging families to go ‘screen free’ next week. Even though we won’t be going entirely screen free in our house, I’m more than happy to support an effort to get kids and families outside! 


Sometimes I forget that not everyone is as eager to take their kids hiking as I am. That some parents might be hesitant for any number of reasons to take their kids out on the trail.

Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids was written to help address these concerns and more. Author Rob Bignell is an avid hiker who’s been taking his young son on day hikes for nearly five years. In that time, he’s acquired a ton of wisdom on the topic.

The focus here is not on creating kids who can scale mountains; it’s on learning to enjoy the journey. Hikes with Tykes covers everything from how to find kid-friendly trails to what to bring on the hike and how to deal with tantrums on the trail.

The 240-page book is divided into four sections:
  • Attitude Adjustment addresses the rewards of hiking with kids and offers tips for finding kid-friendly trails.
  • Gear goes beyond the things you think you might already know about clothing and gear, including advice on food and water, maps and more.
  • The Hike includes a packing list, basic trail smarts and etiquette, coping with nuisances on the trail like tantrums, sibling rivalry, boredom and more, PLUS a ton of ideas for activities on the trail.
  • Disasters prepares day hikers for common medical problems, dangerous plants and animals, and unexpected bad weather.
Hikes with Tykes is a field manual for day hiking with kids. You can flip to whichever section meets your needs or read the entire book from start to finish.

The Nitty Gritty on Hikes with Tykes
Hikes with Tikes is easy to read and packed with lots of helpful tips and checklists (which you know I love). You don’t necessarily need to read it from start to finish; you can also use it as a reference guide by flipping to whichever section addresses your questions.
  • Geared toward casual hikers & parents who might be new to spending time outside with their kids; some info here might seem like overkill for more seasoned hikers
  • Research for the book was based on hikes with a child under the age of 5 on simple trips taking no more than a morning or afternoon to complete 
  • The 240-page book is organized into four sections covering everything from why to go hiking with kids to what to bring when you do and how to survive a snake bite
  • Retails for $13.99
Bignell & son on a day hike
The Giveaway
Guess what? I’ve got a free copy of Hikes with Tykes to share with one lucky reader!

To enter, leave a comment sharing one reason you like to hike – or would like to hike more – with your kids. Good luck!
  • This giveaway will run through midnight PST on Sun., April 29, 2012. 
  • You must include an email address with your comment. Entries without an email address will not be included.
  • The winner will be chosen using the nifty random number generator at random.org. 
  • Winner will have 24 hours to reply to my notification. If I don't hear back after that, I'll pick another winner.
*Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for all of your wonderful entry comments!

Note: I received a free copy of Hykes with Tykes in exchange for providing my honest review with you. Read my full disclosure policy for more information.

Don’t forget! Tales of a Mountain Mama is hosting a different giveaway every day this week, so head on over!

And if you’re looking for a fun trail activity for kids, check out OutsideMom.com’s latest idea, creating a kid friendly map.

30 comments:

  1. I love to hike with my 5 year old granddaughter. It gives us time together exploring nature, which we both love. We have learned so many things together. We are making hiking our tradition.

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  2. I love seeing the look on my girls' faces when they accomplish something new - taking them on hikes gives them a chance to connect with nature and feel free!

    you rock, as always! :)

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  3. Perfect book! I love to hike with my kids and this would be a great resource to have! (mycreativepathway (at) gmail (dot) com)

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  4. I love hiking with my girls. We are all so much happier when we are outside exploring, whether its a new trail or a familiar one. Abbazabba16@gmail.com

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  5. Looks like a nice book! We do lots of hiking with our kiddo because it leaves us all happier and in good moods. I think fresh air, sunshine, and a building-less horizon are as important to life as healthy food and good sleep.

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  6. We love to get out and explore. The kids enjoy discovering things, and I enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Nature is the great fix-all for a bad day around here. :) kwatrous(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  7. My parents hiked with us as children and instilled in me a love and a yearning for nature that I carry with me to this day. I want to pass that on to my children. I feel.as though I have to work especially hard since my husband is NOT a nature afficianado. I find the idea of hiking with two kids under overwhelming and need all the help I can get!

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    1. Hi Leah! Please leave an email address to complete your entry. Thanks!

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  8. What a great resource! My husband and I love to hike. Now that our little one has been mastering the art of walking, we can't wait until he joins us! I would love to read about ideas anyone has so we can let the kiddo to tag along! gkimmel3(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. I would love to read this book. Anything that helps me further learn to slow down, enjoy the pace with kids, and enjoy the journey. We're great at summits but need to work on the whole journey to the summit (or creek, lake, etc.)

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  10. I lead one mile trial hikes for preschool aged children at one of our state parks. I'm constantly looking for new ideas to keep the kiddos engaged and enjoying their time outside with me, and showing the parents how fun it can be. This book would be very useful in that way....thank you!
    tjjldec@comcast.net

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  11. This sounds like just what I am looking for. I'm so new to being outside.
    corrie_sandefer@yahoo.com

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  12. We just started hitting the trails again now that our youngest has the stamina to walk a few miles without wanting to be carried. I like to hike because I love watching them find something that captures their attention and they just stop and watch - something like watching a butterfly on some flowers or some bugs crawling in and out of an old log. We never know what we'll find!
    going.va@gmail.com

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  13. Love hiking and further instilling a love and appreciation of nature in my son. He becomes a confident, inquisitive boy when we hit the outdoors, almost like his brain changes gears! Thanks, Kim Beachluvr@comcast.net

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  14. This sounds like a great book. We love to hike whenever we can but especially at National Parks =) One of the great things about hiking is finding the little surprises along the way. Thanks for sharing, Debi.
    mary@theworldisabook.com

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  15. I would love to read this book. I have been talking about taking our kids on short hikes in our area, but I'm a nervous person by nature and worry about snakes and other hazards. Which is why I really need to push ALL of us outside! I do not want my kids to have those same fears - healthy respect for nature, yes, but fear? No.
    mamamea33@gmail.com

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  16. I love to hike with my children because it forces me away from my goal oriented, checklist, Type A behavior and forces me into the present where we can walk only 100 feet and feel like we reached the summit.

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  17. We hike with our children because we love new adventures. They have been on some pretty amazing hikes, and we look forward to many more!
    jaxhood@gmail.com

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  18. I would love to hike more with my tykes so that it became a regular event in their lives.

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    1. Mama Ruck, can you leave an email address to complete your entry? Thanks!

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  19. I love hiking with my 2 girls, but usually the almost-2-yo is on my back. I'd love to read more tips on hiking with them :)
    perikeet at yahoo dot com

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  20. We went hiking today. I enjoy it because it's a relaxing activity and it gets us outdoors.

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  21. We love being outdoors - would love a copy of this book - sounds great!

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  22. I'm always looking for more ways to get my kids outside with me. This book looks like a great starting point for gearing up for some hikes. Thanks for sharing your review of it and bringing it to our attention!

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    1. MOMomma, please leave an email address to complete your entry. Thanks!

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  23. We love to hike with our kids! Our 2 1/2 year old daughter likes to wander on her own and pick up rocks (future rock-hound like her mama) and look for insects. Our 1 year old enjoys the view from on my back in the wrap. This book would be great for us! Claudiajkeating@gmail.com

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  24. I'm trying to do more outdoorsy things with my kids, including camping and hiking. This book would definitely come in handy.
    treehugger0127@yahoo.com

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  25. I would love to tackle hiking with my 7 and 3 year old in order to get them outdoors more often and learn about our wonderful state. Holly
    johnandholly08 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi Holly! Thanks for stopping by. Hiking is a fantastic way to get outside exploring nature with kids.

      Sorry for any confusion, but this giveaway is now closed.

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  26. in this days kids don't play outdoor anymore

    thanx for sharing this

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