Written by Joe from Nature Rated
Backpacking rule 101, always pack light. For parents, this is not always the norm. We often want to carry extra, just in case something goes missing. Remember, with kids you never know. However, this notation might not be the best when backpacking with your kids. You stand a chance of having backaches due to the excessive luggage.
Does this sound like you? To avoid such bad backpacking habits, here are five things you should forget when packing with kids.
The Don’ts to backpacking with kids
Rule no.1: Forget the heavy toys
Kids love their toys and if given a chance they would pack the whole house. Take the case of your five-year-old who can’t live without his monster truck or that large Barbie doll house. It would be difficult to convince him or her to leave the toys at home. However, you being the adult, you have to make the tough decision to leave the toys at home.
Remember, your child will have their backpack on for the majority of the journey so it’s best to pack light. Avoid heavy toys at all cost. Try carrying at most one or two stuffed animals. Another great option would be eliminating all toys and try having fun the old fashion way, maybe playing some hide and seek with your little one. By doing so, you will give your kids the chance to also enjoy nature’s pleasure.
Rule no.2: Avoid carrying unnecessary clothing
Unlike dads, moms tend to overstuff their children backpacks with plenty of extra clothes in case of an emergency. Even though it comes out naturally, at times their instincts are misleading. When planning a trip, it is best to forecast the expected weather conditions for you to pack the right clothes to suit the weather. If you are planning on going to the tropics carry more beach wear and dish out the heavy snow suit that only take up space. Likewise, when going for camping expeditions, carry a few clothes that are a camper must have and consider a light and durable hammock tent for something different. Look for man-made materials that are light and moisture wicking. This will not only ease the luggage but you will have plenty of space for other camping essentials. Furthermore, if you will be carrying the backpack only during a flight, carry one jacket you can wear in case it gets cold and leave the rest of your clothes for the suitcase.
Rule no.3: Forget sharp objects in your child’s backpack item list
As a wise parent keep all sharp cutting items out of bounds when backpacking with your kids. A penknife can be a useful tool when out camping. However, in the hands of a ten-year-old, it may turn into a deadly weapon. Your inquisitive son or daughter may try to use it as a toy by cutting up things and in the end, he or she may injure themselves in the process. Instead, educate your kids on the right handling of knives, it’s an essential skill to learn when heading into the wild.
Rule no.4: Stay away from oversized backpacks
Oversized backpacks are spacious enough to carry everything your child needs and much more. However, they are not the best choice when selecting a traveling backpack. Remember, you are trying to travel light so the extra weight isn’t an option. Some of these large backpacks won’t even fit the luggage cabinet in many commercial flights and trains, so it shouldn’t be on your back either. Rather go for a medium sized bag that carries less and is comfortable on your back. Carry only the essentials your child will need during the trip.
Rule no.5: Leave all luxurious electronics at home and enjoy mother nature’s finest
Electronics are a luxury when packing for a trip. Remember, the point of going out on a vacation or a camping trip is to get away from technology and enjoy each other’s company. For this reason, try to reduce the number of gadgets you bring along in your child’s backpack. Remove items like tablets, laptops or even phones. Try embracing other conventional ways of having fun such as going for a swim, singing karaoke during camp fire or reading a book. All these things will draw your family closer as you get to enjoy the pleasures of mother nature.
A backpack plays a big role in how your camping expedition is going to end. If it is too heavy, you might end up hating hikes but if it is the right size you will enjoy the outdoor experience. By staying away from the mentioned list, you will have an easy time backpacking with your kids. In the end you will enjoy the benefits of traveling light.
I’m Joe, I run Nature Rated. I love spending time in the outdoors. Whenever daily life gets me down I head to the nearest lake or river with my kayak and my camera and I spend time recharging my batteries. I hope you’ll love my no fluff to the point reviews and that they’ll help you choose the right gear for your next adventure!