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Old 01-16-2014, 10:46 PM   #6
peskypup's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NJ / Brant Lake
Posts: 235
The NY-NJ Trail Conference web site ( is a great place to start if you're looking for hikes a little closer to home to get your feet wet. They've got hundreds of hikes indexed by location, difficulty, length, etc.

Don't be afraid/ashamed to do your camping in state parks. You don't need to jump head-first into the back country experience. I'm partial to DEC campgrounds myself ( In the Catskills, Mongaup Pond ( offers a little of everything. It's well off the beaten track, offers canoe and kayak rentals and there's plenty of hiking trails accessible right from the campground. The NY Camping Guide ( lists plenty of other options from all over the state.

Good hiking boots may be the most important piece of equipment you can have. Forget the sneakers and go for something with some ankle support.

Don't push beyond you or your kids' limits. A hiking party is only as happy as its weakest link. No one enjoys themselves if someone in the group is miserable and complains the whole time.

You don't need to start with the best, most expensive equipment. There's no shame in borrowing gear or buying used until you're sure everyone's into it and its something you want to continue. Once you do, you can upgrade over time.

Most of all, have fun! This is a chance to make memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.
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