Tips and Tricks

10 Things I Have Learned About Hiking With Kids

Hiking with children can be a special time. For bonding, for conversation and for freedom. Most of the time. Here are some observations I have made from our hiking experiences with children.

  1. They will moan. All the time. From the moment they step in the car, to the moment they walk back in the door. Where are we going? Why are we doing this? I’m Hungry. I’m thirsty. Be prepared for the barrage.
  2. They will fall over. Take plasters, alcohol wipes, and savlon. Extra points are given if the plasters have dinosaurs on.
  3. They will be hungry. All the time.
  4. They will need to go toilet. And will declare it when the only other walker in the hills is passing by.
  5. They will go the wrong way. Even when you’ve repeated yourself time after time, a child will wander off in the opposite direction.
  6. They will climb ANYTHING. A tree, an obscure shaped rock, an impending landslide of slate. It will be climbed.
  7. They will jump in ALL the puddles. Appropriate footwear or not. It will be tested to see how deep it is.
  8. They will inspect EVERY hole. ‘Is this a cave?’ ‘Is this an animal home?’ You will find them doubled over at every opportunity, heads squashed into a dark abyss, echoing into the land.
  9. Their legs will hurt. And their arms, necks and ears. They will have warm eyelids and empty noses*.
  10. They will pick up every rock and stick. Most will end up in pockets and then in the washing machine*

*Some of the delightful quips my 6 year old comes out with

** PRO tip – Check all the pockets. I have washed numerous snail shells, sticks and creatures stored in leaves.

But, most of the time:

  • They will have fun.
  • They will laugh.
  • The kids will run, and climb and be free.

They will be happy.

And isn’t that the most important thing!

To see why I value the importance of being outside, please check out my post : The Key to Good Mental Health In Children.


  1. These are all very spot on and could have been about my three!! We hike a lot and have learnt to manage it and everyone has such a great time in the outdoors that the benefits far outweighs the down sides

    1. Absolutely. Everybody always says how fun the day has been,even if it’s felt like a complete failure! I’m glad you enjoy the outdoors too!

    1. There’s nothing wrong with that! There are some fantastic carriers for toddlers. I’m sure something would catch her attention to explore!

  2. Before I always wanted to go on a hike with my kids it looks very easy until I tried once. But I know soon I will learn how to manage to carry kids when going into hiking.

  3. All sounds pretty accurate to me, especially the needing a wee at the worst possible moment! Hiking is lots of fun though and you’re right, it does make the kids happy (mostly!) xx

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