There’s no reason not to hit the great outdoors: it’s healthy (both physically and mentally), completely free and rewards you with great sights. It’s all too easy to sit in front of the TV with the kids at the weekend or let odd jobs around the house take up your time, but why not get the family together and head outside? If you want to head further a field than the local park (although that’s a great place to start) then read these few pointers to help you take a step in the right direction.
What to wear
Firstly, sort the whole family out with kids’, women’s and men’s hiking boots. They don’t need to be top of the range clunky things, but it is better to get lace-up boots rather than trainers. Put on a t-shirt and zip up a fully waterproof jacket, once you become a bit more advanced you can look into moisture wicking options and different layers. Lastly, wear full length comfortable pants; if it looks like rain then a waterproof pair is definitely worth the investment.
Where to go
The world is your oyster so where do you want to go? Take a drive out to the nearest woods and take a trek through with a picnic, or head to the nearest mountain (making sure it’s not too high if you have little ones in tow). If you live in the city and don’t want to venture too far out then find out the highest part of the area or choose a park at the other end of town. Plenty of apps now exist to track your walk, so you can check how far you’ve gone and look at maps for reference.
What to do with the kids
The first thing to remember is that kids have little legs and for every stride you take, they’re probably taking about three. So have some patience: you’ll need it! Take some crayons and paper along with you, stopping for five minutes every now and again for them to draw what they can see. For walks in the woods they might want to fill a bag with beautiful leaves, acorns and pebbles that they spot. It’s also a good idea to take along some fruit to keep up their energy levels, plasters for any scrapes and sunscreen if it’s hot.
Weekend walks are great for family bonding, getting exercise and exploring the world around us. Get the basic attire, look up the best reviewed routes and keep your fingers crossed that it’s doesn’t rain.