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Family adventure playlists by An Outdoors Family

Family adventure playlist

The real trouble with reality is there is no background music – Unknown

A few weekends ago, we went on a munro bagging wildcamping adventure. Our son can talk about anything and everything and has even been known to share a few things with fellow walkers that we’d really really wish he hadn’t… so it caught us a bit off-guard when he suddenly stopped talking and asked us for songs of any outdoors variety, you know, to do with gung-ho adventure and derring-do. Me and Keith looked at each other a bit bewildered… The only thing that has worked for us on longer walks before we had our son was the music from Tetris on my old Gameboy. Try explaining that to a 5yo…. Stop laughing!!

So, we asked a few fellow outdoors people that all important question: What’s your music playlist for the great outdoors? And here is what they shared with us. I’ve put in some links to the songs, but the rest can easily be found on line. Be warned though, there may well be a few earworms included here…

The Bear Necessities – Terry from Drive And Hike once spent four days singing this while trekking in Alaska. He says he’s “not sure if this helped or hindered us. But it does have a good walking rhythm too it”. Love it!

Folk songs – Lizzie from Lizzie Running suggests a few songs like, ‘You Take The High Road’ or ‘The Gypsy Rover’, as well as old marching songs like ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’. “Or there’s always the Proclaimers song I would walk 500 miles”

Winnebago by Kenny Chesney, suggested by Kevin  at Kevin Flint. Check out his website too. We played this one to our son, who quickly ran off and found his cowboy hat…. Be warned!

Jenni from The Thrifty Magpies Nest suggested ‘We’re going on a bear hunt!’ (I still can’t believe we forgot about that one!! Thanks Jenni!)

Or how’s about ‘The Boatman’ by The Levellers? Immy from The Wild Rambler likes this one “All about taking off into the wild and living a simpler life”….

…Or maybe You Can (Mass Trespass, 1932) by Chumbawamba. One from Mark, writing to you from Hill Explorer.

The Okee Dokee Brothers – Wow, these guys are catchy and I’ll admit it, quite unlike anything we usually listen to. Quite a few folk have suggested this Grammy Award winning duo, including Tess, Mara and Autumn whose favourite is the Bullfrog Opera, Em Mc loves Through The Woods and My Camping Tent while Bobby and family loves My Canoe. Choices choices!

The Beaver Call by GoNoodle – Emma from Hip2Trek and her family enjoys this one. She says it’s “Not really a hiking song but it’s outdoors and it has us laughing and even gets my grumpy 9 yr old to join in!” Sounds like a winner!

The Bear Went Over The Mountain – by Emma from Farmers Wife and Mummy. I’ll be honest, I had to google this song…. and can’t believe I did…. it feels like it’s something we should have known…..

‘I’m a Rambler’ from Mark at Halfway Hike “Always fun to sing after a day in the hills (with or without a beer depending on your age of course). And has some social history for the kids to learn about.


Over the Sea to Skye – Em Mc makes up her own lyrics to this one. She says it “puts my boys to bed with images of paddling in the sea, going ashore over beach meadow and forest and climbing a mountain for a 360 view”. She also suggests Canadian Eco-artists, The Wilderbeats, Remy Rodden and Peter Puffin

‘The Green Grass Grows All Around’ Bobby and Maura from We Found Adventure has a few family favourites to sing with their two young children including ‘Going On A Bear Hunt’ and ‘Two Little Feet’

Raffi – Karen from Play Outside Guide loves this! “‘Going On A picnic’ and ‘Down By The Bay’ are great as you can make up what you are bringing or making up rhymes in the latter. Aikendrum is good too – we modify it to the girls’ mood and instead of singing “there was a man who lived in the moon”, might sing “There was a girl who lived in the sea and her name was Ariel” and the song continues to say “her hair was made of seaweed, her clothes were made of shells etc.” Karen and family also love a bit of improv too. 🙂


There is also a fantastic Facebook group called Backpacking with Babies and Kids, full of wonderful support and tips for getting out with children. Give them a like if you haven’t already! We asked fellow parents on there and got a great mixed response that should keep us all going for a while! Elissa suggested ‘She’ll be coming around the mountain’ as well as ‘The Octopus Song’ by Charlotte Diamond. Mandy suggested ‘Camp Granada’ and ‘Ants Go Marching’ while Dennis suggested ‘Raining Tacos’ who “never heard of it until the kids start singing during Wonderland Trail for 10 days. Months later still stuck in my head.” Courtney “likes to sing and make up words to ‘Ants Go Marching’ and ‘Bear Goes Over The Mountain’ and Annalie suggested the camp song ‘When an Austrian went yodelling on a mountain so high high!’

It definitely looks like we won’t be stuck for songs the next time we’re out! If you’re looking for more tips at keeping kids moving and motivated on longer walks, take a look at this previous blog, Tips for motivating kids on longer walks or if you’re out canoeing, take a peek at Our top tips for keeping kids entertained caneoing

A huge thank you to everyone who helped us write this with their suggestions. If you don’t already give them a follow, who not pop on over to their social media sites and say hi! Do you have a favourite song you’d like to share? Feel free to add any to the comment section below.

2 responses to “Family adventure playlist”

  1. Great post. I’m sure these will turn into some outdoor ear worms on our next hike. My personal favourite from the list is the Boatman by the Levellers. We’ve seen them a couple of times at festivals but I can definitely now transfer it to our outdoor adventures.


    1. Thanks David! Your festival blogs are a great read!! We had such a fantastic response that the list has a lot of variety to it, which I love!! It’s usually Metallica that our son gets a bit stuck on repeat at, so variety is good 😉


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