Is thru-hiking a long trail possible to do with kids? As a family?

If you are asking yourself these questions, then this page is for you. Our goal is to collect as many resources and references as we can on the topic and present them here in one place. If you come across anything in your Internet travels that you think would be relevant to our collection, please let us know and we will add it to the list.


In 2014 our family completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and documented it in a video series called Beyond our Boundaries. It was one of the most difficult things we have ever done as a family, and we are still mentally processing the project. We will probably be doing that for years to come. I won't go into the details here, you can read about it on our AT project pages.

When we set out on our journey, there wasn't much available for resources. Doing stuff like this as a family isn't all that common, and documenting it is even less so. What follows is everything we have found on the subject thus far.

Family Thru-Hike Blogs and Journals

  • FIMBY: FIMBY (AKA Renee Tougas) is the mom of the Tougas family. While most of the nitty-gritty details of our hike are posted on this site, she has written quite a bit on her blog as well.
  • The Kallin Family: Our good friends the Kallins thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail they same year we did. We were actually friends before the trail, and they were really fast (superhuman?), so we didn't actually get to hike with them much during our hike.
  • The End of Ordinary: The Barracuda and his mom Sparrow, online friends of ours, thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012.
  • Beanhook: Beanhook, his wife, and two kids thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail the same year we did. We met the on the trail in the Smokey Mountains and spent a few days hiking with them. The Swiss Family Robinson (their family trail name) has since teamed-up with another family (the Wolf Pack) and have setup a Facebook page called Trees, Tents and Tantrums to document the remainder of their journey.
  • Buddy Backpacker: Buddy completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2012 with his parents. He has become the youngest to have completed the trail at 5 years old.
  • Balls and Sunshine: A father-daughter thru-hiking tour-de-force. In 2011 they thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, in 2012 they thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, and in 2013 they thru-hiked the Continental Divide Trail. Hiking all three trails is known as the triple crown.
  • Girls on the Way: Mom Trish and her two daughters (Alex and Sage) thru-hike the El Camino de Santiago in 2013 and the John Muir Trail in 2014.
  • Sierra Hikes: Sierra claims to be the youngest on record to have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which she completed with her mom on 2012. They have since gone on to thru-hike the Colorado Trail in 2013, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2014.

Family Thru-Hike Books