Trail-tested tips and gear to keep young hikers in high spirits.
With a bit of know-how, some toys and games to entertain, and decent gear to keep your offspring warm and dry, exploring the backcountry becomes a fantastic family experience. Just ask any of the Backpacker editors and contributors
who regularly hike with their children.
Gear and tips for kids only.
Infant to 2 years
2 to 6 years
6 to 12 years
12 to 18 years
Here are their hard-won tips on keeping young campers happy, plus a look at some of the gear that has earned the approval of trail-seasoned testers Austin, 4, son of Southwest Editor Annette McGivney; Siena, 5, daughter of Northwest Editor John Harlin; and Hadley, 5, and Abby, 3, daughters of Managing Editor Jonathan Dorn. Their field trials took place in such varied locales as Oregon’s Mt. Hood, the deserts of Arizona and Utah, and along Pennsylvania’s portion of the Appalachian Trail.