Need some help getting your kids out for a bushwalk? We've got you covered!

Having a baby can drastically change our relationship to bushwalking. But, once your kids are running around on their own two feet, or perhaps rolling on their own wheels, a whole new era of exploring begins! 

So, here are some of our hot tips for getting kids on the trails and out into nature.

1. Lollies, lollies, lollies.

There’s nothing like the promise of a bag of snakes to get those little legs moving. Sure, it’s not great to pump our kids full of sugar, but that big hit of energy is going to help them keep up and encourage them to race ahead around that next bend.

Keep in mind that they’ll most likely be running while they eat their lollies so choose lollies that aren’t a choking hazard.

2. Lower Your Expectations

It’s a bit much to expect kids to want to walk as far as you do. After all, their legs are half the size of yours! They’re also much more likely to get held up on the tiny details along the way. So, instead of thinking about destinations, follow their lead and take it slow. Relish in the tiny worlds on the edge of the trail and encourage them to inspect things and ask questions. If you don’t know the answers maybe you can write them down and research them when you get home.

Your first venture into the bush might only be a few hundred metres but keep coming back and eventually they’ll be running up ahead, wide-eyed and looking for the next great discovery.

3. Make it a Game.

If they don’t want to go on a bushwalk… maybe they’d prefer a search for goblin treasure in the mysterious woods?

Kids love games and using their imaginations, so incorporating some fantasy can be a great way to make them forget they’re actually doing a walk! It's an excellent way to start the adventure and keep them occupied and interested throughout. 
One of our favourite things to do is draw a pirate map for them to follow and have a sack of chocolate coins in your pack, ready to hide along the way. You’re guaranteed to make lasting memories AND you get to eat some chocolate at the end (if you’ve taught them to share!).

Imaginative play not your thing? Make it a scavenger hunt with a list of things to find including plants and animals!

Don't want to make your own? Josh Pringle's Nature Quest Book or the UTAS FlipBooks are great options.

4. Food and water

Just like us, kids need good food to give them good energy. There’s no question that they’re going to ask for something to eat, so being prepared with sandwiches, biscuits, fruit and nuts is a must. Let them carry a water-bottle and keep some more water in your back for top ups.

5. Adventure Gear

Magnifying glasses, binoculars, water bottles, pocketknives, rope, flipbooks and maps!

Kids love the idea of going on a REAL adventure, so let them bring a few items that allow them to feel like they’re really out in the wild.

6. All the other gear.

You don’t need the latest hiking gear to go on a bushwalk, but it is important to be prepared for all sorts for weather. In Lutruwita/Tasmania, that means packing a raincoat and warm clothes as the weather can change quickly. A blue-sky day can rapidly become dangerously cold.

On sunny days and in hotter climates, sunscreen, hats and insect repellent might be more important.

As well as taking these extras on the walk, it’s a great idea to have some clean clothes back at the car for them to change into. That way, they can get muddy on the walk without you having to worry about the interior of your car on the drive home.

7. Leave No Trace.

There’s not doubt that at some point they’ll want to pick flowers, pocket some rocks or bring their favourite stick back home. This is O.K. in some places but in our National Parks and Reserves it’s especially important to teach them to Leave No Trace.

Having a low impact on their surroundings and leaving no rubbish behind means we’re keeping the place special for the next person who visits and for the animals that call it home.
Ok!  Now, where are you going to go walking?
If you’re in Tassie, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife have a great tool for choosing the right trail. You can select walks based on location, difficulty and length. Visit here:
We donate 50% of our profits to environmental organisations and so far we've donated over $70,000! So, by purchasing a patch or t-shirt you're helping us keep this precious little island wild into the future!
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