5 Tips for Pulling Off a Backpacking Trip with Kids

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If you’re thinking about taking the kids on a backpacking adventure, planning and organization is crucial. Exploring the outdoors and taking in some of the most stunning scenery known to man can be a highly enriching experience for you and your loved ones. Whether you have been on many trips before, or this is your first backpacking trip with kids, here are five useful tips that can help to ensure your time away goes according to plan.

1. Plan Carefully

When it comes to planning your child’s first backpacking adventure, there are numerous questions that you will need to consider. Whether it’s what goals you want to achieve, how many nights away you want to spend, or determining how far your kids can hike, knowing your children and their limits should give you a good idea of where to start. Only you will know your kids’ capabilities; the last thing you want is to go on a backpacking trip and find they are struggling to keep up.

2 kids backpacking by a lake

2. Pack the Right Gear

When backpacking with kids, taking the essentials with you is vital. At the top of the packing list, you should include hiking boots or shoes, a backpack, a tent, as well as sleeping bags for every member of the familyChoosing the right sleeping bag is paramount to getting a good night’s sleep. If your children aren’t comfortable and relaxed, they will feel run down and low on energy which can put a damper on the whole trip. Create a packing checklist to ensure you don’t leave anything behind.

A family backpacking and camping on the beach

3. Pack Plenty of Treats

If your children are struggling to keep up, be sure to pack plenty of treats that can motivate them to keep going. Healthy snacks like granola bars, as well as a selection of gummies and candy, will reduce the risk of any tantrums or mood swings. If you’re on a trail, promising your kids a special treat for reaching the end will give them something to look forward to. It’s only natural that you want your children to enjoy and get the most out of the experience;packing some goodies can make all the difference.

4. Be Prepared for Boredom

With smartphones and tablets dominating the world we live in, most children are addicted to screen time, and without devices that keep them occupied, the chances are your kids may begin complaining. When at camp, there are lots of things that you can do to keep your children entertained, such as playing board games, roasting marshmallows, and going on scavenger hunts. Many children love adventures and challenges, so giving them missions to complete will help keep them occupied. 

2 backpacking kids jumping into the water

5. Stay Positive

If your children are throwing a tantrum, it can be all too easy for stress levels to rise. Going on a backpacking trip should be an experience that you cherish rather than forget, so try and retain a positive mindset throughout your adventure. If you begin companioning about how much you miss your bed at home, or how dirty you look and feel, the chances are your children will adopt a similar attitude. Instead, be appreciative of the experience and teach your kids the importance of having a positive attitude.

No matter the age of your children, they will receive tons of invaluable benefits from going on a backpacking trip with kids. However, it is important to remember that children need extra consideration, as well as additional gear that you perhaps wouldn’t need when traveling with adults.  If you keep the above tips in mind, you should have a fantastic trip. One of our favorite places to camp is Comox, BC.

Whether this is your first backpacking trip with kids or your 10th, here are five useful tips that can help to ensure your time away goes according to plan. #familytravel

5 Tips for Pulling Off a Backpacking Trip with Kids

14 thoughts on “5 Tips for Pulling Off a Backpacking Trip with Kids”

  1. I find that having treats on the trail while backpacking works for adults as well. Knowing I can sit down on the trail and eat when I’m tired keeps me going. Leaving all of the technology behind is the best part. Excellent advice for kids and adults alike.

  2. We rarely go on camping with the whole family and friends. It’s always good to plan ahead when traveling with kids. This would be an adventure We have to try it today. Teaching the kids about nature and how to cook outdoors is a very main point. we should enjoy our life and visit different beautiful places.

  3. This would be an adventure! We might have to try it one day. I think my kids would do okay. Maybe. They might be all, “My feet!” a few times, but I think they’d appreciate the scenery.

  4. Having treats while backpacking also works for adults too 🙂 Knowing that I can sit down at some point on the trail and eat keeps me going beyond the exhaustion. The best part is leaving all the technology behind. Great tips for kids and applicable for all.

  5. Thanks for providing these tips. This looks like an amazing time. I would love to do something like this with my family.

  6. It’s always good to plan ahead when traveling with kids. Especially a backpacking trip. I haven’t done this yet. But I say snacks snacks and more snacks! 😉

  7. We rarely go on camping with the whole family. Kids are a bit hesitant and they require a lot when we go to one. Very useful tips you posted here!

  8. OH wow! Me and my husband is planning to take our son to backpacking adventure. These tips are really useful. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh this has always sounded like a dream to me, but my husband was never interested and I’m not wanting to pull it off on my own. In the end we travel with hotels, but maybe someday….

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