Tips for Backpacking with Kids

Backpacking with kids can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking for parents if you are new to backpacking too. The thought of carrying everything you need on your back, navigating unfamiliar terrain, and taking care of your children's needs can be overwhelming. But with proper planning, preparation, and a positive attitude, you and your kids can enjoy the benefits of backpacking, such as exploring the great outdoors, bonding as a family, and learning new skills. In this article, we'll provide tips and advice to help make your first backpacking trip with kids a success!

Start small and close to home: Choose a destination that is close to home and has a relatively easy trail. This will help your kids get used to hiking and camping. For local trail recommendations and reviews, try checking out apps like AllTrails.

Keep it light: Keep your kids' packs as light as possible by having them carry only what is necessary for the trip. This will also help them get used to carrying their own gear. Near Zero is thrilled to be working on youth-sized pack to be released in 2023. Designed especially for young adventurers, THE LITTLE DEAN is the perfect size for children to carry their own gear and supplies. For teens and older, THE DEAN™ 50L pack offers lightweight comfort for everyone in the family.

Plan for breaks: Hiking with kids tend to be slower, so plan for more frequent breaks and make sure to bring snacks and water to keep them energized. Bring games and activities to keep the kids entertained during breaks and at camp.

Make it fun: Make the trip fun for the kids by turning it into a scavenger hunt or a nature exploration adventure.

Safety first: Make sure your kids are properly equipped with appropriate gear such as good hiking boots, waterproof clothing, and a first aid kit.

Be prepared: Bring extra clothes, food, and supplies in case of emergencies or unexpected events.

Be flexible: Be prepared to adjust your plans if the weather or trail conditions are not favorable.

Educate your kids: Teach your kids about Leave No Trace principles, the importance of respecting wildlife and being safe in the wilderness.

Enjoy the experience together: Most importantly, enjoy the trip together and make lasting memories as a family.