Families on Foot is an interactive guide for families to help motivate children to enjoy hiking and walking in nature. The progressive book would outline basic steps to help families with kids grow from beginner to intermediate hikers and to cultivate a love and enthusiasm for the outdoors. (Going beyond this to “advanced hiker” is beyond the scope of this book and the need for families.) Elements include a basic checklist of gear and safety needs, simple exercises for the whole family to prep for getting out on the trail, real life stories (perhaps crowdsourced from the AHS community), and ideas and activities for making the experience fun for kids of all ages. Chock full of aspirational color photography featuring diverse people and kids, the book is also practical in nature, offering information on gear checklists and how to use GPS, read a map, and predict weather before going out on the trail. It would feature experiences in everything from neighborhood parks to secluded trails. Additionally, the book reflects the hallmarks of the American Hiking Society, with whom we would work to make this book a success.
Jennifer Pharr Davis is the owner and founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, as well as a long distance hiker, author, speaker, and ambassador for the American Hiking Society. She has hiked over 12,000 miles on six different continents, including thru-hikes on the PCT, the Appalachian Trail, the Colorado Trail, the Long Trail, and more. In 2011, she set the unofficial record for the fastest thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail with a time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes—and held this until July 2015. Her adventures have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Outside magazine, and on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, to name a few. She has appeared on national television shows such as CNN Headline News, Fox and Friends, the CBS Early Show, and the 700 Club. Jennifer has been named Blue Ridge Outdoors Person of the Year and a National Geographic Adventurer of the year. Her Appalachian Trail record was voted Ultrarunning Magazine’s Female Performance of 2011. She, with her husband, Brew, is the mother of a three-year-old daughter, Charley, who has, at her young age, already done a hike in each of the 50 states. (BlueRidgeHikingCo.com)
Brew Davis guides for Blue Ridge Hiking Company. He’s also an accomplished long distance hiker and ultrarunner, having hiked in all fifty states and completed the 500-mile Colorado Trail. He previously taught English and History to middle and high school students.