Offer them variety
If setting out with children, always make sure the hike meets their needs. Six- to ten-year-olds can easily walk for up to five hours and, with a little practice, children over ten are ready to tackle more challenging routes. For younger kids especially, it's important to offer them variety. All you have to do on a normal hiking trail, for example, is to observe the flora and fauna along the way or build a dam across a small channel of water.
Plan more time
Plan a little more time when you go hiking with children. The general rule is that a child will take 1.5 times longer than an adult to cover the same distance. And you should plan enough breaks. It's worth stopping at an attractive spot – like a lake or a barbecue pit.
And don't forget to kit your child out properly. Their rucksack shouldn't be too heavy and, depending on the hike, it might even be advisable to pack a change of clothing. Parents should also take a first-aid kit with them, as small cuts and bruises are easily sustained. And last but not least, always involve your kids in the planning - that way, you can make sure that their needs are catered for.
You can even go on longer hikes as a family involving overnight stays. The Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) publishes a map showing all of its mountain huts, on which family-friendly huts are specially marked with their own symbol. You can order the map for free here.
Did you know? Persons insured with CSS pay member rates at SAC huts.