Essential sports equipment for outdoorsy families

If your family loves to be active outdoors whatever the time of year and whatever the weather, then you will know that taking the right equipment with you is key to whether you have a great time or not. Whether you prefer biking, hiking, climbing or surfing there are certain items that you should always take with you so that you’re prepared for every eventuality.


Surfing and Swimming
If you’re off surfing but the waves aren’t in your favour you can still get active on the beach while you wait for better conditions. A set of dumbbells can be easily packed into the car, and this versatile piece of equipment can be used to build your upper body and arm strength. A Twist Board helps you to improve your balance. Before you can get out onto or into the water, you’ll need a discreet place to get changed and a changing robe is the ideal solution as this allows you to change in comfort without compromising your modesty! If your kids are very young or nervous around the water, don’t forget to pack their swimming goggles and floating aids such as armbands.


Whether you’re going for a gentle potter around a park, cycling a trail or off for some serious off-road biking you’ll need to ensure the families’ bikes are correctly and safely carried on the car. Buy the best cycle carrier you can afford – Thule do some of the best – and if in doubt have it professionally fitted. The other essential equipment is the bikes. Make sure yours are suitable for the conditions you plan to ride in and keep them well maintained. If you’re planning to get changed before and after your cycling then a changing robe helps you keep your modesty intact in the car park!


A Good Sense of Direction!
If you’re taking the family off biking or hiking and you plan to go off-piste as it were, then you’re going to need either a perfect sense of direction or a good, fully-charged GPS navigation unit. You can get those which are handlebar-mounted for bikes or compact hand-held units for hiking. A portable solar-powered charger could be handy if you plan to stay out for any length of time. Remember that satellite signals can sometimes disappear so always take a map, preferably an Ordnance Survey map, as back-up.


Something to Carry Your Stuff In!
Every family takes lots of stuff with them on a day out, and someone has to carry it around. A good quality dirtbag or rucksack should be waterproof and big enough for things like towels, spare shoes, waterproof clothing, water bottles and anything else you need.


Reusable Water Bottle
Most outdoorsy families today are very aware of the need to help the environment as much as possible by cutting down on the use of single-use plastics. Instead of buying bottled water every time you go out why not consider investing in a reusable water bottle? Look for those that are free from BPA (a harmful chemical which can leach from plastic into water). You can find them in many outlets and online priced at around £15-20.


Waterproof and Warm Clothing
Whether you wear specialist sports or outdoor clothing during your outdoor adventures or not, the correct gear makes all the difference both to your performance and your enjoyment. Good quality footwear which is comfortable is a good starting point. Lightweight layers which wick away moisture are essential whichever activity you take part in; you can add or shed layers according to the weather. And of course, when the weather is proving to be unpredictable, you will need to carry waterproof outer layers just in case.
With all these ideas, you’re sure to find something that your nature-loving friends and family will love.

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