How to Plan a Happy Hike With Your Daughter

Hiking means fresh air and fun. No need for expensive equipment or lots of preparation. Strap on some shoes, pack a few essentials and off you go!

Hiking is an easy way to spend quality time in the outdoors with your daughter. Take a look at our top tips to make your hike an adventure your daughter will love.

Why your daughter will love hiking

Hiking isn’t only good healthy fun, it’s a great way for your daughter to learn useful life skills such as what to do in an emergency and how to use a map and compass. 

Hiking is a great opportunity to learn all about nature and wildlife and to plant the seed (ha!) for a life-long love of the outdoors.

Where to go hiking

The aim of your trip is to have fun outdoors, so pick an easy route that you know your daughter will enjoy.

Kids are more interested in doing than looking, so choose a trail with boulders they can climb or a lake where they can stream-jump or a forest where they can “scavenger hunt” for interesting things (feathers, flowers, bugs etc). 

Teach them the importance of “leaving no trace” and put everything back when you’re done.

Remember, it isn’t a competition to go the furthest or the fastest. Let your daughter set the pace and stop to marvel at what she sees. Be patient and enjoy what you find on the trail alongside her.

To find great hiking trails near you, check out The Hiking Project.

Top tips for your first hiking experience

  • Young children can ride in a carrier until they are about 40 pounds, after that, you can let them loose.
  • Get your kids an appropriate backpack so they get used to carrying their own water, snacks and a jacket if they are big enough. Make sure it’s nice and light. 
  • Attach a whistle to their backpack or belt and make sure they know what to do if they get separated from you (stay still and blow the whistle in 3 short bursts repeatedly).
  • Pack enough water and energy snacks.
  • Make sure everyone has dressed appropriately, according to the season. Layers are best. Wear boots or sneakers depending on the terrain and invest in comfy wool or synthetic socks.

For detailed information on hiking with your family check out the American Hiking Society website.

Go wild with your first hiking trip!