Check out these Must-Haves for a Family Hike #FreeToBe #AD

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As soon as the school year started, our son was anxiously awaiting an opportunity to join the Cub Scouts. Like most six-year-old boys, he loves being outdoors to ride his bike and play basketball. With Cub Scouts there are countless outdoor experiences where boys can learn life skills. Here’s a list of what you’ll need for a family hike in your area or on vacation. Then I’ll share some insight on what to do post-hike, especially if your loved on has sensitive skin like me, my husband and son.


A.J. at Lake


Must-Haves for a Family Hike


We use binoculars everywhere – in the car, around the house. Maybe because A.J. is far-sighted, he’s used to seeing things for away. When you’re taking a family hike especially in a new area, bring your binoculars. I use my set to look for birds and squirrels.


Download or print a map of the area you plan to explore. I usually have a good sense of direction, but a map always helps. Also, upload a few new mapping apps to your smartphone as a backup.


Speaking of direction, bring a compass along with you for the ideal sense of direction.

family hike


If there’s any chance your family hike will linger close to sunset, bring a flashlight to see your way. An extra set of batteries won’t hurt either.

hiking flashlight


I know this isn’t exactly “roughing” it to take a lot of tech on a hike, but if you have it – use it. I keep my iPhone charger and spare batteries in my bag just in case I’m away from an outlet or my phone charger.


In case of an emergency, having a whistle can alert authorities to your location.


At least one bottle of water per person per hike is a good marker. But if you know you’re hiking for a longer period of time, bring more water.


Protein packed snacks are best for a hike to keep you energized. Granola, nuts (as long as their are no allergies) and even cheese sticks can travel pretty well on a short hike.

First Aid

I’m the Mom who always has bandaids and wipes in her purse. It’s come in handy even on the playground when a child has gotten a bump or bruise. So imagine how useful a first aid kit can be when you’re tackling trails, creeks and terrain on a family hike.


What to do Post-Family Hike

After spending so much time outdoors as a family with dry skin and eczema, our sensitive skin needs attention. As soon as A.J. and my husband returned from a week camping trip with our pack, I washed their clothes in all® free clear liquid detergent. Then dried them with all® free clear dryer sheets to reduce static and help make their clothing even more comfortable to wear. Did you know that all® free clear detergent is the top brand recommended by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for sensitive skin? Follow the directions on all® free clear products according to your washing machine and dryer.

all free laundry basket


As if being outside for several hours wasn’t enough, my guys were also fire captains for the trip. They were in charge of monitoring the fire and helping to cook meals. A.J.’s seasonal allergies can exacerbate his asthma too. It was a relief to know that all® free clear detergent can wash away 99% of everyday allergens like pollen.

all free clear aisle

I found detergent on the top shelf of the detergent aisle at Walmart, while the fabric sheets were on the adjacent aisle.

Comment below: Have you tried all® free clear detergent then dried them with all® free clear dryer sheets for your family’s sensitive skin?

My husband has eczema, our son outgrew his skin condition and now I have it. It’s interesting how each of us suffer at different times and under different conditions. I’ve found that when I spend more time outdoors my skin is drier than usual and I suffer from itching.

Continue the conversation over on the all® free clear community page for even more insight on how to cope with your family’s sensitive skin. Learn why all® Free Clear softener received the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. These are such great tips! Looking forward to taking our first family hike! #client

  2. Elle (CleverlyChanging)

    We love hiking and his tools are the perfect compliment to an enjoyable hike for kids.

  3. Your list of must-haves is helpful. I will forget a whistle if I don’t read your list. So lucky to see your post before my family hike. My little girl skin is sensitive and easy to get allergic. May be I will try clear detergent to see if it could help.

  4. Family before hiking must have these things in their backpack. This post will help them to have the best preperation. And the top always is that, don’t be panic if having any problems. Just remember these tips and deal with it.

  5. Great tips! Looking forward to cooler weather to get outside and hike.

  6. These are all excellent suggestions. Of course, the safety items are key, but after that, we always make sure binoculars are top on our list of items.

  7. Aside from the safety items, which I’m so glad you included, I love that you included ALL for cleanup after it all. That’s a must have, too if you want your clothes to stay clean.

  8. Great tips! We have tried the detergent, but not the dryer sheets. I’m going to grab some of those the next time I’m at the store! When my babies were born we used ALL instead of the expensive baby detergent. It was great on their sensitive skin!

  9. Catherine Sargent

    Thanks for the tips. My son and I both have sensitive skin and All Free Clear is the only brand of detergent we use.

  10. We enjoy hiking and go as often as we can! These are all great essentials to take with you on a hike.

  11. Great resource, Joyce! My son has been asking to go hiking. Now I know what to get in advance. Hope AJ enjoys scouts!

  12. We love to go for family hikes. I always bring binoculars. We love to look at all the birds.

  13. It’s good to be prepared! These are definitely some of the things we’d want to bring a long. Great ideas!

  14. These are all great tips. Bringing binoculars with you is a great idea!

  15. Hiking is fun with the kids, you just have to make sure that you have everything you need. These are all great, it’s nice that you included a whistle, a lot of people forget how useful it is especially when you’re with kids.

  16. Thanks for all these tips! I love your list! We rarely go hiking but my kids love it! It’s always great to be prepared!

  17. Really great tips! I’d never think to bring binoculars with us on a hike but its a great idea and makes total sense!

  18. I have tried All Free and I love it! I have used it often! This is a great list of must-haves for hiking. I have used a shower curtain hook to look a flash light and some other items on so the children can hook them on their belt looks while hiking! It works pretty well! 🙂

  19. We also have walking sticks for our hike. The kids used big branches which we whittled a bit with my son’s Boy Scout knife. Lots of water on a hike is good too!

  20. We love hiking and so the kids are. This is a nice read, reminds us so much of many adventures.

  21. This is a great list! We love to take our son on little hiking adventures because he loves being outside. We use All free and clear because of my son eczema and it works great!

  22. These are great tips for hiking! My children would love the compass and binoculars. We are huge fans of ALL in our house as all three children have sensitive skin!

  23. Family hikes is great as always. I’m glad to see little kids experience with their parents. You should bring some repels or a mosquito repellent machine. Anyway, be healthy and be happy.

  24. Great post. I am always unprepared for hikes. I always leave something important behind.

  25. Very cute list and idea! Me and my family haven’t had a chance to go hiking yet, but this maybe something fun to add to the list.

  26. I had all the hiking tools when we went to the mountains with my daughter’s class, but the detergent would have helped. Allergies for days. ?

  27. My husband wants to hike and do outdoorsy things with me so bad. I am not for it. Besides, I need that ALL without the hike lol

  28. Wow this was spot on! My son is 3 and I am itching to take him on an outdoor hike! Thanks for the great tips!

  29. So cute! You’re sons are adorable and your recommendations were spot on! Can’t wait to take my son hiking!!!

  30. I always carry a map and a first aid kit on hand! When hiking with family, snacks are also a must. Nice list.

  31. Great post and excellent tips, Joyce! I hadn’t thought of bringing a whistle, but it makes good sense. With my sense of direction, I might want to bring flares. 😀 I wouldn’t though…fire hazard. By the way, I haven’t tried All Free & Clear, but I will after reading this post.

  32. I see a camping trip in my future.

  33. He is too cute! These are great tips. I have eczema too so a gentle detergent is definitely something I need to look in to.

  34. Great tips for a hike! I have somewhat sensitive skin, and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried All Free and Clear before and liked it.

  35. My family and I have been going on a lot of nature walks now that Fall is here. I never thought to bring a whistle. This is a really good idea and I’m going to do this on our next hike. Great tips!

  36. Great tips. Your must-have list is very useful. You help me to have a complete checklist for family hike. Now it becomes easier for me to prepare family hike and do not worry to forget any important items. Thanks for sharing this very, very useful post, Joyce.

  37. These are really great! I’m not one for hiking trips but the pic with your overlooking the water was gorg. It looks so peaceful out there.