5 Ways To Prepare For Family Backpacking Trip
Eager to do a Yosemite family adventure, but not sure where to start? Lasting Adventures is here to help! Backpacking can be a very new and foreign experience for anybody, let alone preteens and children. Introducing your children to backpacking early on is an awesome way to grow independence, confidence, and maturity in your kids. Here are some steps you can take to create Yosemite family backpacking trip that the whole family will love!
#1 - Introduce Your Kids To A Pack Early On
- Help your kids understand just how much weight they will have to pack in and pack out. Make sure all packs are adjusted early on to fit each kid as well as possible to minimize complaining on the trail.
- The average pack weighs between 25lb – 40lb, 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’re carrying a little extra gear for the group. You’ll make your kid’s day and be a true super hero in their eyes!
#2 - Understand Safe Camping/Leave No Trace Habits Before Getting On The Trail
- 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 or 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
- Some kids can feel uneasy sleeping outside, especially backpacking far away from civilization. Plan a stargazing activity to make the dark less intimidating, or make a game of interpreting all of the nature night sounds so they are entertaining instead of scary to your kids.
#4 - Bring/Plan Meals Your Kids Can Help Prepare
- Food, glorious food! Making meals can be a great activity for all – Hangry-ness can get in the way of a good day but if you give your children special responsibilities when making dinner, everyone will be 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!
- With lots of hiking you can also afford a few extra sweet treats. 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
- Familiarization is key to staying comfortable in a new experience. Introduce your kids to the local flora, fauna, and terrain that they will be living in on the backpacking trip. Knowing the ground they’re covering will make the trip that much 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 20 years of experience working with youth of all ages in the backcountry, Lasting Adventures is sure to make this one vacation you’ll never forget!