We’re surrounded by technology, while useful and entertaining, it can lead us to spend a good chunk of our time indoors. For both children and parents, it is important to find a balance and to find a way to get outdoors more. Hiking as a family can be a great way to connect with the outdoors and spend more quality time together.
Prep and Planning
Family hiking doesn’t just start on the trail. The entire journey, start to finish, the careful preparation to the unlacing of your boots, is all part of the fun. Allowing children to get involved from the start can teach useful skills, instil confidence and bring out the adventurer in them!
Some important areas of preparation are:
- Location – Your hike should be entirely about the journey. The end goal is to have seen and done some amazing things as a family. It is also important to pick a route that suits your smallest hiker’s capability. We’ve suggested some great locations below.
- Prep your equipment – Prepare for anything and it’s always important to pack safe. Additional food and water, extra layers, rain clothes, a map, a compass, a torch and a basic first aid kit are essentials. Extra child-friendly supplies can include, wet wipes, camera and safety whistles. We also advise preparing the family by sharing information about the area you’ll be hiking and some basic lessons on safety and map handling.
Family Friendly Trails
Pen y Fan
A perfect family walk can be found in Wales. Pen y Fan is the highest point in the Brecon Beacons and is a relatively easy hike. When you reach the top there are stunning views making you feel like you have conquered the Welsh wilderness!
The hike from Worth Matravers to Chapman’s Pool in Dorset, England is a breath-taking walk around a limestone coastline. From a plunging ravine carved through high cliffs to the wonderfully wild beach, children will love this adventure packed hike!
The Pisciadù Waterfalls in Colfosco, Italy is a relaxed hike which the whole family can enjoy. You will be taken through sunny meadows and woodland till you reach your destination, the mighty Pisciadù Waterfall.
The “Manderscheider Burgenstieg”, or castle trail in the Eifel mountain range in Germany is perfect for families. The hike takes you through a forest trail and provides stunning views of the Manderscheid castles.
While you’re out
- Take your time – This isn’t only about pace although that is important. As well as tailoring your hike to the capability of your family, also be sure to take it all in. Look for signs of wildlife or create games you can play along the trail. Children are natural explorers so if that means cutting the hike short by a kilometre to climb a tree by all means do. One of the greatest things about hiking is discovering new places and having new experiences.
- Educate and empower – An exciting part of hiking is using all your hiking tools and leading the way. Allow everyone the chance to lead the hike, use the map and compass. This can be a great way to empower children.
- Be a big kid yourself – Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and rediscover your inner child. As a mum or dad, you have important jobs but you also get to see the world through your child’s eyes.
The iconic Tempest 20 is perfect for all hikes and is built for comfort and versatility. No matter the adventure, Tempest has your back.
The Talon 22 is a versatile pack designed as a true hiking professional and features everything you need for long days outdoors.
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Children love having gear of their own, the Jet 18 is perfect for carrying lightweight gear like a jacket and small water bottle.
The Poco Plus is extremely comfortable for both parent and child while hiking and will help you to share the adventure with the whole family.