Hiking with children Mum, this isn’t fun anymore!

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX MID JUNIOR, Family Shooting Heutal 2018

Get your hiking boots on and head for the hills with the entire family. All parents certainly know that going on a hiking tour with children can sometimes be a challenge. That’s because children often have quite different expect­ations of a hiking tour than just enjoying the lovely view. They want to experience some adventure and explore the world. To ensure that the family hiking excursion is a complete success, LOWA has compiled six valuable tips.

Salzburger Land Heutal

On the go Allow for sufficient time and let your child do their own walking

Sounds logical, doesn’t it? But sometimes it’s not very simple. Espe­cially if the kids are still very young and frequently don’t do much walking of their own. Yet even if your child is in a carry-rucksack, that doesn’t mean you have to finish every tour or reach every summit. If you devote time to your child, you frequently get to the end of the day much more happily.

But: how much walking can a young child actually manage?

Of course, there is no golden rule here, because each child is different. What’s important is that you don’t compare your child with others. While some children of two can already manage three kilo­metres with a gain in altitude of several metres, others can barely walk one kilometre on the flat. If the plan is for the child to walk as much as possible on its own, that takes time. More frequent breaks need to be factored in here. Yet no matter how old kids are, parents should never forget that their child’s legs are much shorter than their own.

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX QC JUNIOR,

“Damit Dein Kleinkind Spaß am Wandern hat und auch selbst läuft, braucht es ab und zu ein wenig Motivation. Du kannst mit Deinem Kind einen geeigneten Wanderstock suchen, ihr könnt auf Baustämmen balan­cieren oder Verstecken spielen.”

Steffi, a daily travel mate

Image photo with the LISBOA LO JUNIOR, Family Shooting Heutal 2018

On the go Go on a tour of discovery!

Hiking is great and can really be fun. Espe­cially if there is something to explore or exciting things await the children by the wayside. It usually doesn’t even have to involve a big adventure trail. From recog­nising leaves to building piles of stones – there’s plenty in the natural envir­onment that can simply be used for play purposes. Why not search together for a hiking stick, balance on a tree stump or hide in the under­growth? Creativity knows no bounds. Even classic games or songs like “I spy with my little eye…” or “A hat, a cane, an umbrella…” can provide enter­tainment.

To convey a sense of fun and enjoyment of nature to parents and children, LOWA publishes its “LO & WA Adventure Manual” twice a year. Each one of these issues is devoted to a particular country or region. As well as an adventure, which siblings LO and WA experience together with their feathered friend LOWINGO in each country, there is plenty of reading material, puzzles, and tips and tricks for things that kids can make them­selves. The adventures can also be re-enacted during the tour or during breaks in the hiking tour together with fluffy peregrine falcon LOWINGO.

Image photo with the ROBIN GTX QC, Family Shooting Heutal 2018

On the go Go hiking together with other children!

Children are motivated by their friends just as we are. Hiking together with other children can increase the tour’s fun factor consid­erably. From races to climbing tours and snacks – doing things together is twice as much fun. If you don’t have hiking friends with kids of the same age, you frequently find good points of contact in hiking clubs or online on social media channels.

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX MID JUNIOR, Family Shooting Heutal 2018

On the go Allow for proper breaks

It’s obviously important to take breaks when hiking. As far as adults are concerned, hill peaks or chalets are frequently popular places to take a break, and the last few metres of altitude can be overcome with this objective in mind. Children feel the same way, even if that mountain view or experience of reaching the peak is not yet really important to them. But breaks are important. That’s why they should be planned so as to appeal to children. A hut and the prospect of a delicious fruit juice spritzer or a piece of cake certainly help to focus chil­dren’s minds. If there are animals or a play­ground at the hut, that is of course even better. But beware: continuing with the hike could be delayed a little.

But it doesn’t always have to be a hut. A pleasant spot by a lake or an alpine meadow with flowers or a stream running through it will also do the trick. Take a surprise treat with you (chocolate biscuits, hot dogs, cereal bars etc.) and the kids are usually happy.

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX QC JUNIOR,

“Incid­entally a peak or summit is not all that suitable for taking an extended break if you’re going hiking with children. Depending on what it’s like at the summit, parents frequently spend their time making sure that their child does not fall off.”

Steffi, a daily travel mate

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX MID JUNIOR, Family Shooting Heutal 2018

On the go Remember proper clothing and sufficient sunscreen

Of course, before a hiking tour parents frequently worry about whether they have packed everything and whether their child is properly dressed. Espe­cially in the changeable weather of spring and autumn it is important to make sure your child is not too cold when out hiking. Here the same “onion” principle applies as it does for adults: several layers of clothing that can be put on or taken off, depending on the temperature.

Remember sunscreen as well as proper clothing: applying enough sunscreen (don’t forget the child’s neck in particular) is a must on every hiking tour. A sun hat or multi-func­tional scarf also provides good protection and should always be included.

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX QC JUNIOR,

“Ziehe Dein Kind nach dem Zwiebelschalen­prinzip an und achte genau darauf, dass es nicht auskühlt. Das bedeutet auch, dass Du Dein schlafendes Kind aufwecken musst, wenn das Wetter umschlägt. Nachdem wir einmal ein zitterndes Kleinkind aus der Kraxe geholt haben, ziehe ich aufwecken und warm anziehen immer dem Weit­er­schlafen vor.”

Steffi, a daily travel mate

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX MID JUNIOR, Family Shooting Heutal 2018

Shoe selection Choose the right footwear for the tour

To avoid complaints and to aid the natural growth of their feet, a good pair of chil­dren’s hiking boots is a good investment. Chil­dren’s feet are not just the mini version of adult feet, they are much more exacting. Roughly a quarter of the bones in a human body are found in the feet. But in children this bone tissue is not yet fully developed. Added to this is the fact that chil­dren’s ligaments are still signi­ficantly more elastic and their sensation of pain is less well developed. That’s why children in shoe shops can’t say whether a shoe fits or not: They can bunch their toes together without it being uncom­fortable. But how can the right size be iden­tified? A relatively reliable method is removing the inner sole, which can be done with all LOWA shoes. This not only lets you identify the right length, but also check whether the shoe has the right width.

Image photo with the CADIN GTX LO, 2021_Dr. Micha Bahr

“I advise parents to remove the foot­bed from the shoe and let the child stand on it on the floor. In this case, there should be about a kid’s thumb width of room between the big toe and the end of the foot­bed.”

Dr. Micha Bahr