Camping can be a great family adventure that you can enjoy again and again as your family grows. Having fun and building memories camping with your children for years to come will depend in large part on how you introduce them to camping while they are little. The pack that they will carry is a good place to start their camping experience.
It is a good idea to introduce your child to new things while he is small. Giving him a pack to carry can make him feel like he is really taking part. Be cautious about how much weight you ask him to take on, however, as you do not want to tire your child out too quickly which can result in discouragement. You know your child and are the person best ableto gauge their limits.
What Kind of Pack
Obviously, you want something lightweight and durable. Depending on your child’s age and size, a school back pack may be sufficient. As children get a little older, you can get packs specifically designed for younger
backpackers. Campmor offers several great options.
What to Pack
With smaller children, you should start off with just a few things. As they get older you can increase the load. Just remember, for a very young child, you may end up carrying his pack as well as your own. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Letting your child carry his own water puts him in control and can imbue him with a sense of responsibility. It will make life a little easier for you too, when he can reach for his own water rather than constantly asking you for some.
This one is practically self explanitory. Kids like snacks. Letting him carry his snacks is part of the fun.
Depending on how long you plan to be gone and the amount of clothing you think will be required, your child may or may not be able to carry all of their own clothing, but every child should be able to carry something. At the very least a young child should be able to carry his own hoodie or light weight jacket so that if the temperatures get chilly, he can reach into his pack to make himself more comfortable.
This one also depends on the age of the child. Ideally, however, a sleeping bag is not heavy and even a younger child may be able to carry his own.
Children love flashlights. Giving your child his own flashlight to hold onto can make him feel important. Giving each child his own flashlight can also cut down on fighting.
Finally, Just Have a Good Time
In the end, it is just about having a good time. The way you conduct early backpacking adventures with your kids will determine how willing they will be to go along on the next time.