McConks menu logo

Outdoor adventures – 5 fun & cheap family adventures to enjoy.

Outdoor adventures can be enjoyed at any time of year, anywhere and without costing the Earth. You don’t have to spend a shed load of money, travel too far, or lug loads of gear with you to have fun in the outdoors. And if you think the weather will negatively affect your outdoor adventures then think again. With a bit of prior planning and preparation family outdoor fun can be enjoyed whatever Mother Nature’s mood.

McConks Mug - life is better on the river | outdoor adventure ready
This is the kind of outdoor adventure scenario we’re talking about!

Gear for outdoor adventures.

Outdoor adventures shouldn’t require you to take out a second mortgage. In fact, you can quite happily make do (equipment-wise) with what you already own. That said, if you’re looking for a few affordable outdoor products to enhance your outdoor adventures this season then here are a few suggestions – 

1. Family wild swimming fun.

Family McConks love a bit of wild swimming action. And we dip all year. Granted, we pick and choose our days through winter. But there’s nothing quite like heading off for a jaunt to one of our fave wild swimming spots and jumping in!

Spots like this for wild swimming outdoor adventures!

The health benefits of wild swimming are widely promoted. For us, it’s an activity that certainly helps us wash away the strains and stresses of modern life. As well as allowing us to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Also, post-wild swimming sessions, there’s nothing quite like a cuppa and chill out time in the wilds.

Where – rivers, lakes, or coastal venues are all good for wild swimming. Just make sure you know what’s going on with things like water flow, tides, and weather. Keeping safe is the bottom line.

Gear – a flask filled with a warm drink is essential. Make sure you have your change robe(s) as well. McConks bobble hats are great for wild swimming and outdoor adventures.

2. Walk to, and climb the highest point in your local area.

Not everyone has access to fells and mountains. And actually, they’re not needed. Your nearest high point, close to home, is sufficient. Even if it’s not that high. It could just be a mound in the park a short stroll away. 

Nonetheless, grab your crew, pack some food and drink, and head out for a stroll. Once at your location pitch up, unwind and relax. If the weather’s on your side, maybe a full-blown picnic. 

Where – any high point within walking distance of your back door. You may choose to go short or long walk, depending on the general mood of your group.

Gear – depending on where you’re headed a McConks hammock would be a good idea to take along with you. Once at your destination stringing it between two fixed points and taking a breather can be bliss. You might also want to take a warm drink with you if it’s cold, or even a kelly kettle or collapsible expidition firebox to toast marshmallows and make a drink (if you take a kelly kettle and there’s a freshwater river on the hills, then you don’t need to carry the weight of the hot drink/water with you!)

3. Star gazing night rambles.

This one does rely on good weather with a clear sky to observe the stars. If it’s not happening you could just focus on the night ramble instead.

Stargazing and spotting the different constellations, however, is good fun. Plus it teaches your kids about what’s out there in space. Just make sure you have your stary fact correct! A big tip is to choose somewhere, if you can, with minimal light pollution to get the full starry effect. If youire lucky enough to live near a international dark sky national park, like Eryri (Snowdonia) or the Cairngorms, you will be well placed for the best gazing.

If you’re really lucky, if you look north you might just see the Northern Lights.

Where – any wide open space with minimal light pollution. Aim for a clear night if you can.

Gear – depending on the time of year you may need to wrap up warm if it’s chilly. McConks beanie hats and warm hoodies are great as additional layers. Make sure you take those binoculars if you have some! Wellies too for muddy pathways.

4. Paddling boarding adventures close to home.

We wouldn’t be McConks if we didn’t include some form of outdoor paddle boarding adventure in this list. After all, that’s what we do – as much as enjoy land-based outdoor adventures.

Grabbing your kids, inflatable SUP and heading off round the next bend is a whole heap of fun. If you have a canine friend why not pop them aboard as well (but only if they want to). Discovering the joys of your local waterway(s) is what family paddling adventures are all about. Take a picnic and make a day of it.

Where – any accessible stretch of water on a calm day. Just make sure you’re aware of conditions and how they may change during your session.

Gear – of course, you need a paddle boarding kit (which you can find lots of in McConks’ online shop). You’ll also need a dry bag at least, to stow away warm and dry clothes should they be needed. Don’t forget the snacks as well! Or a full blown meal if you prefer…

5. Den building and campfire marshmallow toasting.

Making this as off-grid as you can get is a good idea. Also, with any type of camp fire make sure you’re sensible. DON’T cause any damage to natural habitats and wildlife, and make sure you follow the ‘leave no trace’ philosophy. Keep the fire contained and away from other things that can set light, and ideally use a small firebox that can keep the fire well contained. If it’s particularly dry then perhaps leave it.

Who doesn’t love toasted marshmallows?

That all said, toasting marshmallows on an open fire, next to a den you’ve built, is seriously good fun. It’s also bushcraft lite and will give your offspring a taste for outdoor adventures. Perhaps inspiring them to take things further as they get older. It’s certainly created a taste for adventure with our boys.

Where – suitable spots for campfires. As off-grid as possible if you can make it for den building as well. That way you’ll get to enjoy it all for yourselves.

GearKelly Kettles are essential outdoor adventure equipment. At the very least this gives mum and dad the opportunity to enjoy a brew whilst the kids do their thing.

Leave no trace.

Whatever type of outdoor adventure you choose there’s one golden rule to abide by: LEAVE NO TRACE. Enjoy the outdoors, nature and wildlife, yes. But leave things as you find them. That way it can be enjoyed by others. But more importantly, you’re not causing a problem for local wildlife.

For more McConks outdoor adventure equipment head here to the online shop. And if you need any more inspiration for outdoor adventures check out this post.

Subscribe for our carefully curated two weekly newsletter with tips, tricks, giveaways and competitions.


We promise not to spam you.

Are you a coach or guide wanting the best gear?

drop us a line and keep in touch