Backpacking Guide for a Family Hike and Trip Outdoors

Backpacking Guide for a Family Hike and Trip Outdoors
30 Mar 2020

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When you’re looking for an opportunity to go on a trip that will strengthen your family bonds, improve your physical and mental health, and allow you to gain some new experiences together in a budget-friendly manner, outdoor trips and hiking adventures sound ideal! But in order to make the most out of this family getaway, it’s crucial that every member of your family packs properly for the trip. With the following tips and tricks, you, your partner, and your kids can make sure to bring everything you might need for a nice vacation outdoors and avoid the inconvenience of overpacking.

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Research Your Destination

In order to prepare for your outdoor family trip, you need to know what to expect. That said, it’s crucial to take into consideration everything you can find out about the destination(s) you plan to visit. Obviously, the first thing you should focus on is the weather forecast. But, keep in mind that learning more about available amenities can make a huge difference. Will there be an available camping space, showers, grocery stores in the area, and maybe even BBQ? Is there any danger of potential allergies in the area, and what kind of animals and insects typically live there? Finding out more about your outdoor trip destination(s) will allow you to prepare and pack for the said trip accordingly.

Each of You Should Make a List

You and your partner might already be familiar with packing light and bringing only the essentials with you when you plan an outdoor hiking trip, but you also have to make sure that your kids know what they’re doing. The best way to help them choose what to pack is to have each and every one of you make a list of things you believe would be necessary for this trip in particular. So, choose the bag that every member of your family would use for this vacation and then get on to thinking and writing. That way, you’ll be able to provide suggestions and discuss the necessities quickly and easily, instead of going straight into packing. Through list-making, kids also get to learn more from you about why certain items are not needed outdoors while others might be a necessity.

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Some of the Packing Essentials

The entire list of the things you and your family will be bringing with you highly depends on the research you did about your destination. However, when it comes to hiking and spending time outdoors, there are some general essentials that you should never forget.

For starters, fashion ceases to be important. It’s all about being comfortable and practical. In that respect, layering, moisture-wicking garments, and saving space in your bags are crucial. Wind-proof pants together with leggings or shorts are more than enough. Basic shirts, with short and long sleeves together with a warmer jumper/sweater and a wind-proof jacket are also ideal. Travel in your hiking shoes and pack sneakers or sandals. You don’t need to bring too many pairs of socks and underwear either, especially if you’ll travel during the warmer months and have a water source nearby. A hat and/or a scarf are also good options.

Aside from clothes, you might need to bring camping equipment. Some popular outdoor vacation spots have these for rent, and this could be a great solution for packing light. However, make sure to bring your own first-aid kit. You can easily get a premade one and then add additional items your family would need. Tech-wise, you might not be able to charge your phones traditionally, so power banks are definitely worth it. Also, investing in good-quality field watches can make a world of difference outdoors, so at least one of the adults should have it.

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What You Need to Know About Packing

In general, the best way to go about the whole packing endeavor is to roll things up and stuff them inside the bags. What’s more, kids will love the new rolling concept instead of traditional folding. If possible, stick to the rule of three when clothes are concerned. So, no more than three shirts, three pairs of bottoms, and so on. Also, you won’t need special PJs for your outdoor family adventure. Why waste space when you can all sleep in thermal shirts and bottoms you’ll be bringing with you anyway? Don’t forget to squeeze your bags as you pack to get rid of the air.

If you’re in doubt about taking your kids outdoors, just remember that not only will your kids learn more about the efficiency of light packing, but they’ll also get in touch with nature and discover their love for it. The benefits of physical activity for kids are many, and starting with an outdoor trip for the whole family is a great introduction point for utilizing them.

You don’t need to go somewhere far from civilization and amenities in order to experience the mindful (and affordable) trip to nature with your whole family. Actually, it’s better to start with some more popular nature areas that already have existing spots for camping and other essentials, so that you can all enjoy this trip and get used to spending time in nature gradually. After all, the goal is for everyone to wish to return again.

Diana Wills

Diana Wills is a freelance writer and a Biochemistry graduate. Besides her Ph.D. studies, she has a special interest in writing about a healthy lifestyle, family wellness, and self-care. She’s a regular contributor at and, along with many other online publications. Her case-study articles on healthy nutrition and family wellness topics were featured on relevant websites from the niche and her current projects are focused on child development news and research.

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