- Clean sweep. Use an unscented baby wipe to wash away grime before and after meals, and to clean little hands after a potty break. Available in small and large plastic carriers, these always-ready washcloths are indispensable, especially in environments where water is scarce.
- Upgrade the first-aid kit. With kids in the picture, you'll need to adjust the contents of your first-aid kit. Bring children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen, aloe vera gel for soothing sunburn and other skin irritations, and stock up on twice as many adhesive bandages. Eyewash is also a good idea for the twigs that slap kids in the face or the mud that gets in the eye. A good tweezers to pull out the inevitable splinters, cactus spines, and ticks is a must.
- Safety first! Research the access points and safety resources in the area you plan to hike, and program in the flexibility to go to a Plan B itinerary if things don't go exactly as planned.
- Hire a Sherpa. No matter how light they try to go, parents always pack a heavy load. Recruit an adult friend to share the burden, but make sure you feed him or her well.
Nuggets of knowledge from those who have brought their youngsters into the backcountry.