What to pack for a walking holiday with kids

Last year we enjoyed our first walking holiday in the Lake District and loved it so much we have just returned from another break, but this time in Yorkshire.

We travelled with HF Holiday’s who specialise in walking holidays and have some fabulous Family Walking Holiday’s to choose from. Accommodation is in a country house setting, with all breakfasts & evening meals served at family-friendly times, plus you are provided with a tailored packed lunch for every walk.

There is a choice of up to four guided walks a day for all abilities with experienced and knowledgeable guides leading the way. The shortest walk is a dedicated family walk, which is perfect for little legs and is accompanied by a play leader and further walks progress up the scale by ability.

I will admit that our first walking holiday was a learning curve and we were not quite as prepared as we could be, so this year our motto was “be prepared” and we had a packing list of the essentials we needed to take.

What to pack for a walking holiday with kids

1. Hiking Boots

You will be walking over all kinds of terrain, from concrete paths to fields, uneven ground and even through streams. I highly recommend you invest in hiking boots with a good grip and waterproof ones are even better as the kids automatically radiate towards water. You don’t have to spend a fortune, ours came from Decathlon and Sebby’s were just Β£4.99 in the sale!!

Janet's Foss Isaac

2. Walking Socks

Walking socks are designed to keep you comfortable as you walk. The correct pair of hiking socks can keep your feet warm, or cool depending on the time of year you are walking and even prevent blisters.

3. Waterproofs

We learned very quickly that getting wet during a walk can be a miserable experience, especially for the kids, so even if the weather forecast is good, take a lightweight set of waterproofs with you. (Trousers and jacket).

4. Backpack

Of course you need to carry lunch, waterproofs and first aid supplies so it is important to be able to carry them comfortably, so I recommend you get one with a waist support and that lets air circulate around your back, as there is nothing worse than feeling hot and sticky. Get the kids their own ones too, not only can they help carry their own supplies, but they can use them to collect their treasure too!!

HF Holidays

5. Water Bottle

It is vital to keep hydrated when out walking, so a good quality water bottle is a must. Some of the leaders had reservoir systems in their backpacks which meant they didn’t need to stop to have a drink, as the straw fed out and clipped on the shoulder strap and they could drink on the go.

6. A Jumper

We found the weather varied enormously, especially when climbing, and Microfleece is an ideal mid layer for kids, as it is lightweight and highly breathable. Warmth without weight is important, especially during active use, and fleece is ideal for keeping them warm without restricting their movement, plus it doesn’t take up much room in their backpack.

The Strid

7. A Hat

To protect their eyes and scalp from the sun.

Hiking

8. Suncream

The weather can be very changeable and even if it is overcast, you can still catch the sun. My motto is; If the children are outside, ensure they are properly protected during this time with suncream. Apply before you leave and top up if necessary throughout the day.

Sebby

9. Baby Wipes / Wet Wipes

I know there is a big furore about wet wipes at the moment, but they are invaluable on a day out with kids for mopping mucky hands and faces, especially when they accidentally roll in sheep poo *cough*.

10. Anti-Bac Gel

In the absence of hand washing facilities, carrying anti-bac gel is the next best thing as the kids just love to say ‘hello’ to various animals along the way.

Jeffrey

11. First Aid Kit

When walking in remote areas it is essential that you carry a first aid kit and know how to use it.

12. Snacks

As well as lunch, it is a good idea to pack some snacks to keep the kids motivated along the way. Ours loved the trail mix provided by HF Holiday’s which includes nuts, raisins, mini marshmallows and some M&M’s in each packet.

13. Insect Repellant

When walking near water, there are lots of midges so wearing an insect repellant is a must, particularly if they find you tasty!

Strid Wood

14. Camera

To take pictures of the world in all its natural beauty, or capture the kids doing something silly.

Isaac in stocks

Not essential, but nice to have items

1. Walking Poles

I am not going to lie, my husband hates them, however, I borrowed one on our trip and it was a revelation. They help to maintain balance and reduce the pressure on achy knees, feet and back and I certainly found it helped when climbing steep hills. They seem to motivate the kids to walk further too – which can only be a good thing, although they were happy with a good, old-fashioned stick.

Walking Pole

2. Binoculars

We spotted a nesting Peregrine Falcon on our travels and having a set of binoculars allowed us to see it and its chicks more clearly.

Peregrine Falcon

3. Investigation Pots

Great for nature hunts and investigating your finds along the way.

HF Holidays

4. Paint Colour Charts

Make a trip to your local DIY shop and pick up come of their paint colour charts. These are perfect to motivate the kids by getting them to find the different colours in the charts along the walks.

HF Holidays

Have you done a walking holiday or go walking with the kids – what is your ‘must-have’ item?

41 thoughts on “What to pack for a walking holiday with kids

  1. Definitely proper walking socks so that little feet don’t get blisters in their boots, sun cream, water and snacks. Actually, come to think of it a sherpa would be quite handy!

  2. Some great tips here. I’d not thought of doing a walking holiday with my son, mostly because I wasn’t sure that he was up to an adult trip and I had never heard of family walking holidays.

  3. I’ve never considered a walking holiday but I know hiking is huge in America and so it’s something i’d like to consider if I ever travelled there. I think it’s nice that you can get so close to nature this way.

  4. Loads of great tips here. I hadn’t even thought of getting the kids proper walking socks, but I’m sure they’ll make a big difference to their comfort. And great idea about the paint chips!

  5. Looks like you had a fantastic time. Hiking is without doubt all about the boots, the last thing you want is the kids complaining a few hours into it!

  6. A really good list, I remember going on my first walking holiday as a kid and packing all of this. I was so excited about my walking socks haha. Love those little discovery pots, well done for catching a toad!

  7. You given me some food for thought! A walking holiday sounds great and I’m sure the kids would love it! So thank you for all these really useful tips which I’ll definitely keep in mind, especially walking poles and hiking socks!

  8. Great tips many of the stuff you mentioned by partner took when he tackled the 3 peaks. My two are a bit little for a walking holiday but it’s something I would love to do when they are older.

  9. We miss our hikes in Bavaria so much that I have been looking for a company that specialises in similar in the UK, and this company sound perfect! Plus originally I come from Yorkshire so it’s always always nice to go back! πŸ™‚ Thanks for this tip! πŸ™‚

  10. This is a great list, not just for hiking with kids. Some friends of mine went hiking with no supplies and I’m amazed that they even made it back.

  11. A really comprehensive list but when I’m walking it always amazes me how many people come unprepared, especially with children.

  12. Great ideas here πŸ™‚ I always forget insect repellent. Nothing worse than getting stung or an insect bite and nothing to put on it. I remember getting stung once but still forget.

  13. That’s a brilliant list for any family preparing for a walking holiday, or even a weekend hike. I agree wet wipes are a godsend with kids despite the bad press they are getting. And I always wondered whether walking sticks were any good. Now I know!

  14. A walking holiday sounds amazing and something that I’ve never even considered before. Some great tips!

  15. Always good to be prepared for all extremes. There some great walks out there with trails for kids to follow and markers to look out for on trees to keep them interested. The Wales Coast Path is always me go to route for a walk.

  16. What a great ideas, I am going to check out these walking holidays too. I could do with some walking sticks after my back operation to help me on my walks.

  17. Jumper, walking boots, waterproofs and suncream! The great British holiday!

    I absolutely love the lake district and need to head up there again soon!
    C x

  18. Great Tips on packing, I always remember a day out with my younger sister walking and she got blisters. It wasn’t just her in pain by the end of it lol!

  19. I always forget to pack hats but they’re essential! Great tips πŸ™‚
    I need to go on more walking/hiking holidays x

  20. Oh I love this, such fantastic tips. I really want to take my kids on some walking holidays soon – there is a 100mile trail near where we will that takes you all the way to the Brecon Beacons – I really want to d that with them one day

    Laura x

  21. My youngest is a little too young for us to experience a walking holiday yet! But these sounds like great tips! I think walking boots and a good pair of socks would keep them blisters at bay!

  22. I attempted a walk with my son yesterday, he managed one field before having a strop and breaking down crying! I’m hoping it was just the heat and he isn’t going to be a pain to go on walks

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