I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg
George Macaulay Trevelyan

Hiking is a great activity for the whole family and that people of any age can practice to enjoy the outdoor activity, improve their physical well-being and mood, connect with nature or learn about the magic and secrets of the landscape. .

Among the most notable health benefits of hiking, hiking and walking at a good pace reduces blood pressure, prevents diabetes, combats obesity, prevents depression and anxiety, helps improve sleep quality, strengthens muscles and bones, helps with balance, increases lung capacity and improves mood.

From what age can a child go hiking? From the age of 4 or 5, children already have sufficient motor coordination and balance to embark on an adventure . It is recommended that they engage in regular physical activity through playing, dancing or swimming. Outdoors, much better for your immune system, your socialization and your mental health.

How to train your children to hike

hiking with children

  • Adapt to their pace and choose easy routes, especially the first few times . Flat trails without hills, obstacles or curves are the best to start the adventure. Allow them to stop and explore, contemplate the landscape, examine the fruits of nature or smell the plants. You can set a goal, like reaching a waterfall or picking mushrooms, for example.
  • Make sure you bring all the necessary material : Backpack, flashlight, binoculars, spare shoes and socks, towel, water bottle, safety whistles, handkerchiefs, change of clothes, sports shoes of your size - and previously worn to avoid unpleasantness -, comfortable clothing, windbreakers , camera or even a map or a guide to the flora and fauna of the area are some of the essential elements. Don't forget your rain cap or hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. The first aid kit is also important .
  • Food and drink on hand: Even if you don't plan to stop to eat, you should bring plenty of food and water in case anything unforeseen happens or children (and adults) get hungry. In addition, it is important to make periodic stops to regain strength. Let your children listen to their bodies and request short stops for a delicious snack.
  • Combine sport, fun and nature: In addition to positive reinforcement by stimulating your walk, you can introduce games during your excursion, such as looking for signs of wildlife, counting species of wild flowers and mushrooms, organizing a treasure hunt or learning to differentiate trees and sounds of birds. You can also tell stories, look for stars and constellations if you are going to sleep camping or
  • Teach them to take care of the environment from a young age: There is no planet B, so help your children respect nature, collect all trash, eliminate any plastic waste they see and not bother animals. It is also important to give them motivation and responsibility: let them carry their own backpack, participate in decision making, learn to interpret maps or collaborate in selecting the next route, combining different environments of lake, sea, forest or mountain.

An extra trick: contemplate the landscape with the eyes of a child. Don't lose your patience, don't just think about the arrival, disconnect your cell phone, forget about stress, put aside your worries and let yourself be carried away by the rhythms, sounds, aromas and magic of the landscape.

Routes through Spain that are easy to do with children: apps that you can use to find them

start hiking with children

To find hiking routes to do with children, you have many mobile apps at your disposal, such as Strava, ViewRanger, komoot, Maps.me, Relive, Rustastic Altimeter or Outdoor Active.

Many of them allow you to create your own routes, download maps for offline use, dive along more remote and alternative trails or find nearby points of interest such as supermarkets or maps.

As for routes, of course, it depends on where you live, but your options number in the hundreds or thousands. You can find many more on websites such as Sapos y Princesas , Escapalandia , or Familias en Ruta , From the Malniu Lakes in Cerdaña (Girona) to the Arpea Cave in the Navarrese Pyrenees, the Murta Route in Alzira (Valencia) , the Route through the Oneta Waterfalls (Asturias), the Biniaraix Barranc in Mallorca or the Sarela River Walk in Santiago de Compostela, in every city, town, village or corner there are thousands of possibilities for children to discover the charm, magnetism and liberation of walking in nature.

You don't need a car or long planning: also in the cities there are fantastic parks and coastal, river or mountainous areas where you can go hiking. As Hippocrates said: “If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, take another walk.” “If you're looking for creative ideas, go for a walk. “Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk,” said Raymond Inmon. And one last piece of advice from Thich Nhat Hanh that you can also teach children: “Walk as if you were kissing the earth with your feet.”


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