Backpacking with kids: The third time’s a charm


I returned home from a frenetic week of travel with a funeral and a workshop to take my son to school. He asked me before drop off when we could walk in the woods to go sleep: he wanted to backpack and so did I. We arranged plans with a friend and his son and headed out for an approximately 1.5 mile, mostly flat hike in to a backcountry site in the Smokies. This was my third time backpacking with my son and it went even better than on the last two occasions.

A few months ago, a friend remarked that he has surprised that his son happened to love two of the things he loved most. It wasn’t a surprising to me at all; he clearly loved to do things things on his own but also with his son. The same is true for me with my family and that my son asked me to go backpacking - that we were able to have a good time on a beautiful day with friends - is still a happy surprise to me.