After the marriage, it seems all trips to backpack with your loved one are amazing. But, now, you have to break to handle everything around the house with little kids around you. Hey, what about inviting them to enjoy their first experience to backpack? Are you ready to bring your little crew? What things you should do to backpack and to trip together in the rugged mountains?
So, with a lot of question in your head, you want to share your experience someday with your kids. It is incredible if you can wake up in a tent, especially at the top of a beautiful mountain. Besides, you are watching your kids to struggle up steep the trails and even against the windy weather. It is really awesome!
If you wonder how to bring your kids to hike with you, here are the tips to take your kids into the backcountry for their new experience. Don’t worry, these tips are based on the real experience of the true family of backpackers.
This is the key point. Planning everything carefully is what you need. It is all about your kids’ first backpacking experience and therefore, there are many questions to consider. Your plan should answer the questions below:
- What are the goals?
- What are you going to do?
- How many nights to spend?
- How far can your children hike?
- When are you going to start the trip? In the morning? After dinner?
- How steep is the trail?
Well, it is important to know your kid’s limits so you are not going too far for them.
Here is the simple plan to inspire:
- For the overnight hike, leave around 2 p.m.
- Hike about four to five miles to the campsite.
- Eat dinner
- Enjoy the lazy morning
- Hike back out at the lunchtime.
2. Make It Simple
Estimate how far your kids can hike. For example, do they able to hike for more than ten miles? You can hike short or long trails, hike in the mountains or desert. The most important is to hike with them and repeat it in a year. For the first backpacking trip, it can be as short as hiking for 3.5 miles. After that, you can gradually increase the distance in the next experience.
Keep in mind that the idea is to train your kids so they used to hike whether it is only one mile or more, but they can reach the campsite with their pack.
3. Enjoy Your Time
For the multi-day trips, just remind you two as parents that you have ALL DAY to hike with your kids. The incredible part of backing is you do not do many things unless hike, smell the flower, throw rocks, take the snack break, and do not make it too hard.
4. Pack Treats
Candy, gummies, and snacks are the best treats to motivate all hikers. In fact, quick sugar and carbohydrates are what you need. It is good to have a goal to reach before you pull out the treats for them. Again, the goal you set is based on their capability.
5. Cook Simple
Your kids are hungry that you should have Freezer Bag Cooking for both breakfast and dinner to complete the snacks and treats. Prepare all the dry ingredients at home. After that, seal in the freezer bag. Serve the dinner instantly by boiling water and adding to your freezer bag, stir and let it sit in 10 minutes. This is great to enjoy the meals. For example, you can bring Chocolate Protein Oatmeal, Cheesy Bacon Onion Mashers, Chicken Thanksgiving Dinner, and others.
6. The Boredom Is Coming!
This is the reality. Kids love screen time. They can feel happy for one to two hours. But sometimes, they can start complaining after ten minutes. Therefore, it is important to learn about the time to spend at the camp. It is not about the nearest locations to explore. It is more about how to make them enjoy the time such as bringing the card games, bring toys to play at the camp, pack a compass for the hunts, have Geocaching with a GPS unit or whistle sticks from a pocket knife.
7. The Gear
There are many things to bring as the gear such as the sleeping bags, the food, the cooking gear, and pack these things into two larger bags. By the time, you can adjust the less weight gear and increase the distance gradually. The most important thing is to start with the things you have. For a short-distance trip, it is not a big problem if little kid wears her ‘Frozen’ backpack and her stuffed animal.
8. Good Attitude
The big reason why good attitude is important is that it is a valuable investment for kids. To help your kids have a good attitude and appreciation of their new backpack experience is that you should start from you, as the model. If you tell your kids about how much you love the view and enjoy it, the great challenge in front of you, the good memories when you share the backpacking trips with others, then, your kids will adopt the same attitude.
On the other hands, if they hear you complain, how dirty and you much you miss your home, and the pains of your legs, for sure, they will also adopt the feelings. Therefore, it is challenging to have a good attitude but it is worth to learn!
In conclusion, when it is all about taking your kids to backpack for the first time, make sure that the main goal is to let them have the experience that backpacking is awesome. For some backpackers, they feel it is a big success if their kids can follow their three and more trips happily. It is also important to underline that doing anything outdoors with kids need a different mindset. You are not doing the trip for you, but for them. Make the miles shorter, choose easier terrain, and do not focus on the majestic views. It is all about spending time together for hiking, setting up the camp, and snuggling in the sleeping back.