Happy Backpackers: Planning a Family Wilderness Trip
Written by Andrea Leigh Ptak
2. Practice, and have fun
Prior to the big trip, practice hiking as a family with full packs. Neighborhood parks are a good place to start — In Seattle, try Seward Park, Volunteer Park, and Camp Long, which have trails that have some elevation gain and more rugged terrain.
Try a few of these tips to keep the kids moving along (borrowed from my neighbor Mark Wilkerson, father of a 4- and 7-yr-old): “Use a bread crumb strategy, offering a small treat for every 10–15 minutes of forward progress. Play hide-and-seek — one parent with child runs forward to find a place to hide and scare the trailing group, then the other. You'd be surprised at how fast you can move doing this. Plan to stop a lot, don't get too frustrated, try to remember it’s fun, and figure that you'll move at no more than one mile an hour.”
(Photo credit: sean drellinger, flickr)