One of the great challenges of backpacking with kids is ensuring that they consume plenty of nutritional calories. For anything shorter than week-long excursions, place more emphasis on calories than nutrition. Like adults, children need to maintain steady caloric intake to offset their daily activity and fuel their metabolic engines.
Safety need not be compromised while taking your children into the backcountry, and thus, lightweight equipment is just as applicable for backpacking with kids as it is for backpacking with adults. However, safety must always be considered first. Don’t use the same standards for safety with kids that you would use for yourself.
|Backpacking with kids offers an opportunity for bonding, teaching, and escape from a world littered with too much social stimuli.|
Backpacking for only one night out is kind of pointless (the effort put into packing and organizing all the stuff you’ll need hardly justifies it), but if you’re backpacking with kids who cannot carry the weight of adults, you will be limited to no more than 3 days in the wilderness unless you can arrange for more food supplies to be delivered to you. Remember that you need to pack in (and out) everything.
Yes, kids backpack! And yes, it’s a bit more work than traditional tent or RV camping with kids, but twice as rewarding. We’ve backpacked annually with our kids since Nate (now age 13) was 13 months old, and while older kids make for the best backpackers, even is possible. To ensure a successful backpacking trip with kids, most of the work will take place ahead of time. What you need to do to prepare for safe backpacking with kids: