Backpacking With Kids
Prior to this past weekend we never thought backpacking with kids was something we would enjoy. It turned out to be a great experience full of teachable moments, youthful enthusiasm, and lots of fun and games.
Backpacking with your kids lets you escape. You can escape the busy campgrounds full of RVs and trailers. You can escape the trap of screens. You can escape the monotony of your regularly planned weekend activities. You can do this all while spending intense quality time with your children.
Unlike hiking, backpacking with kids requires much more planning, equipment, patience and sense of adventure. You need to carry all of your supplies and then be prepared to set up camp in whatever conditions greet you on the trail. This may sound difficult or daunting, but our experience was anything but difficult.
In February we had booked our spots to hike up to Berg Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park with some friends. They unfortunately had to cancel a few days prior to the hike so we decided to invite our friend and his 6 year old son. Due to time constraints they weren’t able to do the full trail with us, but they did join us for the first 7kms and our first night at the breathtaking Kinney Lake.
It took us exactly 2 hours to hike the 7kms to the Kinney Lake campground. We started just before 9am and arrived to the lake at 11am.
Along the way we had some fun on the trail, checked under all the bridges for trolls, and took an easy pace that was dictated by the smallest member of our group. He may not have been able to carry his backpack for most of the hike, but he did give it a try. To be fair, his 10lb backpack was 25% of his body weight, whereas ours all ranged from 15-20%.
Every activity through the backpacking trip was a learning/teaching experience. Hiking, carrying your backpack, setting up the tent, cooking meals, playing in the lake – they were all the moments we are sure will leave positive lasting impressions on a young child.
There was no cell service and no need for screens. Instead, we played many games of “gold fish” (Go-Fish), and taught the youngster a new game – Crazy 8s.
Overall it was a great day. We started it with a 2 hour hike to a stunning lake, followed that with a few hours of exploring, swimming, and playing at the lake. We cooked dinner on a camp stove, then played cards as the sun began to set, and finally went to bed to the sounds of water lapping at the shores.
If you plan on going backpacking with kids and want some more information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the links below for more tips and information.