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Five Ways​ ​To​ ​Prepare​ ​For​ ​a Family​ ​Backpacking​ ​Trip

Eager to do a family backpacking trip but not sure where to start? Lasting Adventures is here to help!  Backpacking can be a new and foreign experience for anybody, let alone preteens and children. Introducing your children to backpacking early on is a terrific way to grow independence, confidence, and maturity in your kids. Here are some steps to create a family backpacking trip that the whole family will love!

#1​ ​-​ ​Introduce​ ​Your​ ​Kids​ ​To​ ​A​ ​Pack​ ​Early​ ​On

Family backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park.
Practice hiking with packs early on so everyone can enjoy the trip.
  • Help your kids understand how much weight they must pack in and out. Ensure all packs are adjusted early to fit each kid as well as possible to minimize complaining on the trail.
  • The average pack weighs between 25lb – 40lbs, but the amount your kids will carry will depend on the size and age—typically about a third of their body weight, if not less. Parents, don’t be surprised if you need to carry extra gear for the group. You’ll make your kid’s day and be a true superhero in their eyes!

#2​ ​-​ ​Understand​ ​Safe​ ​Camping and Leave​ ​No​ ​Trace​ Principles​ ​Before​ ​Getting​ ​On​ ​The​ ​Trail

A black bear outside.
Will your kids know what to do when they see a bear?
  • Act out seeing a bear, and have your kids tell you how to handle the situation. Act out encountering wildlife, leaving food out, or not putting out a campfire, and let your kids tell you what you did incorrectly. Help everybody have fun while also learning the rules of camping in National Parks!
  • Not sure what the common wilderness ethic principles are? Check them out HERE on our blog about Leave No Trace. Your guide and any ranger you encounter will also be happy to remind you and answer any questions about staying safe in the wilderness

#3​ ​-​ ​Plan​ ​Some​ ​Bedtime​ ​Activities​ ​To​ ​Ease​ ​Into​ ​Outdoor​ ​Sleeping

The milky way in a starry sky while out on a backpacking trip.
  • Some kids can feel uneasy sleeping outside, especially backpacking far from civilization. Plan a stargazing activity to make the dark less intimidating, or create a game of interpreting all of the nature night sounds so they are entertaining instead of scary to your kids.

#4​ ​-​ ​Bring and Plan​ ​Meals​ ​Your​ ​Kids​ ​Can​ ​Help​ ​Prepare

Roasting marshmallows over a fire.
There’s nothing like roasting marshmallows over a fire!
  • Food, glorious food! Making meals can be an excellent activity for all –  Hangry-ness can get in the way of a good day. Still, giving your children special responsibilities when making dinner will make everyone busy and happy. Plan to make fun tin-foil dinners or a fun, easy dessert that everyone can be involved in. You can never go wrong with smores!
  • You can also afford a few extra sweet treats with lots of hiking. Not only is it a great reward, but it is also necessary to keep your blood sugar up and keep you feeling fueled on the trail. Let your kids pick out a few snacks before your adventure. You can even make it a game to see who best rations their snacks throughout the trip!

#5​ ​-​ ​Introduce​ ​Your​ ​Kids​ ​To​ ​The​ ​Backpacking​ ​Trip​ ​You​ ​Have​ ​Planned

The vibrant red snow plant found in Yosemite.
Identifying flora and fauna can be a fun game for kids!
  • Familiarization is vital to staying comfortable in a new experience. Introduce your kids to the local flora, fauna, and terrain they will see on their backpacking trip. Knowing the ground they will cover will make the trip more memorable and exciting!

Ready to hit the trail?? Join​ ​Lasting Adventures​ ​on​ ​the​ ​trail​ ​for​ ​a​ ​backpacking​ ​trip​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​family will love​. With over 25 years of experience working with youth of all ages in the backcountry and options for trips in Yosemite, Olympic, and Joshua Tree National Parks, Lasting Adventures is sure to make this one vacation you’ll never forget!

-Happy Hiking-

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