Backpacking Trips with Your Family
If your family loves spending time outdoors, and that does not mean time outdoors doing things like cleaning out the gutters, then a backpacking trip can be a great way to experience nature together. Given the strenuous nature of this kind of activity you will need to take the time to make adequate preparations before setting off on your adventure to make sure you have everything you need to stay safe and healthy throughout your trip. A few simple considerations will help get you started on planning your outdoor excursion.
Plan for the Necessities
Everything you need for your backpacking trip will have to be carried with you including food, sleeping accommodations, a change of clothes or bathing suit or navigation gear. You will need to consider how much weight each member of your family can handle carrying throughout your hike to determine who can carry each item you need to bring along. If someone is carrying more weight than they can handle this could lead to serious injury out in an area where it will take some time to get help. To avoid this issue, practice carrying the packs before you leave to make sure everyone can handle the load.
Be familiar with the trail you plan to take before you leave home. Get an idea of how steep it is, where you plan to set up camp each night, where you can find safe drinking water or firewood, what kind of animals you may encounter and other safety concerns. An extremely rugged trail may not be appropriate for a family that will be backpacking with younger children or someone with difficulty walking at an angle. Be honest about what you can and cannot handle so you can enjoy your experience rather than being stressed.
If you will be backpacking in a wilderness area that is far from your home you will need to plan how you will get there and back and where you will stay if it is a drive that will take more than one day. Determine the cost of gas or airfare into the preparations for your trip as well as any accommodations you will need to make regarding storing your vehicle while you are hiking. Consider where you will stock up for supplies and what you can bring from home without the worry that it will spoil along the way. Keep these kinds of expenses and what preparations you might need to make if your backpacking trek winds up taking longer than you originally planned.
When you are backpacking there is a chance that you will be in a remote area without other people around for some length of time. Even if you are very experienced with this kind of activity you need to be aware of how to get help should it become necessary. Talk to the local rangers that supervise the area you will be and get multiple forms of contact information for the group responsible for patrolling the area. Plan to bring along a radio if you might not get cellphone service where you are hiking.
Backpacking trips with your family will provide a lot of exercise while allowing you to get away from the stress of everyday activities at home. This can be a great opportunity to teach your kids about nature or to try activities like canoeing that you have never done before. Taking the time to plan fun activities within your backpacking trip will make the adventure seem more like a vacation and will give you more of a chance to include things everyone will want to do.