Three reasons why backpacking as a family is a great idea – and how to plan it

Looking for holiday ideas to enjoy with your family? Find out why backpacking should be on your list – and how to plan it.

Time spent with our children is extremely special, and some of the happiest memories we can make are a family day out or family vacation.

There’s a wide world out there waiting to be explored, and we want to ensure that our children enjoy every moment of that exploration. But some of the most rewarding adventures can be had right here in America.

Backpacking is an unbeatable way to explore the great outdoors with your family. Here are three reasons why, and how you can plan a backpacking adventure you’ll all love.

1) You’ll spend quality time with those you love most

We live in a fast-paced world, where we often have to spend more time at work than we’d really like to. That means that we see less of our children than we might choose.

A backpacking vacation allows you to enjoy quality time with those most precious to you. It’s the purest form of holidaying, and that means that you will be spending more time with your children than you would on a package vacation or a resort that provides separate entertainment for children.

There are many ways to get children involved with hiking, such as taking them on a hiking scavenger hunt for kids, which can really make the trip the highlight of their childhood. This will keep them entertained by asking them to find different woodland objects during their hike. 

That’s why backpacking trips are usually the ones that your children will remember for the rest of their lives.

2) It’s great exercise for all the family

Keeping healthy and in great shape is important in every stage of our lives, and as parents one of our most important duties is to encourage a healthy lifestyle in our children.

The key to this is to help them enjoy a nutritious, balanced diet and to give them a love of exercise. Backpacking is a great way to keep fit, while ensuring that your children receive lots of fresh air away from the pollution of our towns and cities.

Hiking can burn around 300 to 600 calories per hour, and it also helps to strengthen muscles in children, and build endurance.

3) You can explore nature together

Playing video games and watching YouTube videos is okay in moderation, but some children spend far too long doing little else. Taking your children on a family backpacking excursion allows them to experience life away from a screen, and it can open their eyes for life.

Whatever part of the United States you live in, there are sure to be lots of spectacular locations that are perfect for backpacking. Your children will see nature up close, and learn to love its variety and beauty.

In this way, backpacking can also bring educational benefits for your family and help to foster a greater awareness of environmental issues.

How to plan a great family backpacking vacation

You’ve seen the benefits that a family backpacking holiday can bring, but how do you ensure that a great time is had by all?

The key to this is planning and preparation. Ensure that you know exactly where you’re going to go, and that you have all the equipment you need – including a hiking GPS. When it comes to backpacking, however, it’s important that you don’t carry too much.

High quality backpacking tents tend to be lighter than the tents you may be used to, and this can help make the excursion more fun and less laborious.

Also remember to pass books and games that will keep your children happy and occupied, and build up the excitement before you travel by telling them of some of the sights they might encounter while on their backpacking adventure.

Remember not to plan too ambitious an agenda for your family trip – little ones can tire quickly. And ensure that you have prepared thoroughly and have a backpacking tent you can rely on. With all these preparations in place you can have a vacation that you and your family will cherish forever.

Photo by Greg Rosenke