What to Bring on a Family Backpacking Trip: The Ultimate Packing List

Backpacking trips are always fun especially if you are going with other members of your family. Spending time outdoors with your loved ones can be a great experience that will surely bring you closer together. Additionally, it can be very beneficial for the kids to leave technology behind and spend some quality time in nature and the outdoors. That said, preparing for a backpacking trip with family, especially one with kids, will take more planning and preparation than taking a solo trip or going with friends. So keep reading for a list of the essentials that you should bring on a family backpacking trip.

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Hiking Boots

Since you and your family will be doing a lot of walking and hiking then you should be wearing comfortable hiking boots or shoes. For your kids, it is better that they wear hiking shoes since they won’t be carrying a heavy backpack. You and other adult family members should opt for hiking boots because you will be carrying heavier backpacks so you will require ankle support.

Camping Chairs

A camping chair is one of the most important items that you should pack on your backpacking trip. When you are camping, you and your family will need to sit somewhere while you are cooking, swapping stories, or playing games. You can’t sit on the ground especially during the cold weather. For this reason, you should pack camping chairs. Camping chairs are very comfortable and come in different sizes and shapes. Since you and your family will be carrying them on your backs, it is better to opt for lightweight ones.


You can’t go on a backpacking trip without a backpack. Make sure that the ones that you will choose for you and your family members are well-fitting and lightweight. The last thing you want is to spend the whole trip struggling with a poorly fitting and heavy backpack that will slow you down and ruin your whole trip. Additionally, in order to ensure all of your stuff is protected from water, dirt, and sand, you should consider opting for a waterproof backpack. You can easily find them online along with the best selection of backpacking, hiking and camping gear so a simple online search will help you find a wide selection to choose the right one and color for you and your family. Additionally, make sure that you opt for the right size of a backpack that will fit every family member’s needs. Choose a smaller size backpack for your children so they can easily carry it.


A tent is another important item that you will definitely need on your trip. Some people opt for a big tent so that all of their family members can sleep together while others choose multiple one-person or two-person tents for each one or two family members. There is no right or wrong here, it is a personal choice either way. However, whatever you choose, you need to make sure that they are lightweight since you will be carrying them on your backs.

Water and Food

It is essential that you bring enough water and food for you and your family on your backpacking trip. Since you won’t be able to carry dozens of water bottles with you, you should bring a filter or purifier to treat the water that you are going to drink. You should also make sure that every member of your family brings a water bottle to fill it up and drink from. Remember that you will be doing a lot of hiking so you must stay hydrated. If you have kids, you will need to remind them to drink water every hour.

You should also pack extra food. Some families make the mistake of only packing just enough food for the trip but it is recommended to pack extra just in case. For instance, it may rain which will make it hard for you and your family to hike back so you may need to stay for an extra day or two. Additionally, make sure that you pack food that will be easy to prepare and won’t spoil like cereal, dried fruit, energy bars, and nuts. Remember that kids tend to get hungry at night so pack extra snacks as well.

Backpacking trips are a great opportunity to spend some quality time and have fun with the people that you love the most far away from life’s distractions. In order to guarantee that you will have a fun and relaxing trip, make sure that you pack all of the essentials that you will need. Additionally, ensure you opt for lightweight items that you won’t have a problem carrying all the way. Last but not least, it is vital that you pack a first aid kit in case of injuries and to ensure you and your family will have a safe trip.

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