Backpacking with Kids - 2022

Backpack with your kids! This course is for parents with some backpacking experience who want to take their children (little ones to teenagers) backpacking and explore the wilderness opportunities here in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about trip planning, trail tips, kid-oriented food, gear and safety recommendations and meet other interested families.

Backpacking with your kids in the backcountry can be a rewarding adventure for children and parents alike.  Unplug, expose your kids to the joys of being outdoors, be together as a family, and watch your children mature into outdoor enthusiasts.

This course is for parents with some backpacking experience and little ones age 2-6 (make it fun and simple), grade school kids (fun and adventure), or teens (challenge and learn skills)!  Parents must be Mountaineers members and must participate with their kids on the field trips. 

Course Details

  • Introductory online lecture on Tuesday, May 3   6:30 - 8 pm (for parents).  Interactive lecture focused on strategies for success including pre-trip planning, trip selection and pace, safety, kid specific gear advice and the softer skills of parental attitude and expectations. Presented by experienced parents who backpack with their kids aged 2-19.
  • "Skills Carnival"  Backpack workshop and gear demo day on Saturday, June 5   9am – 12pm (for parents and kids).   Will be at Cougar Mountain Regional Park with hands on activities including gear demonstration, food and animal safety activities, backcountry hygiene and review of packed backpack prior to summer trips.
  • Overnight backpack trips  June - August led by Mountaineers leaders  in the Cascade wilderness. Multiple destinations will be offered to accommodate the ages, interests, and abilities of enrolled families.  Planned trips offered by course leaders  are listed below (and additional trips may be offered).  We hope that each enrolled family will have the opportunity to participate in at least one overnight trip and experience backpacking magic!
  • Backpacking with kids resource recommendations.

We hope to build a family-based backpacking community!  Both Seattle and Foothills Backpacking with Kids/Family Backpacking course leaders will be offering backpacking trips designed for enrolled families  and as space allows, families will be able to register for backpacking trips in both courses.

Join us for this family friendly course that`ll get your kids excited to explore and share time with you outside.  The investment you make now will pay off in kids who are engaged, competent outdoor adventurers and advocates, and hours of family fun in the backcountry!

Registration Details

  • Parents need to set up a family membership, add all your family members to your account and sign their waivers. After registration, make sure to complete the Youth Information Form (on kid's profile, will see a Youth Form button on the right).  Information here on setting up or changing to family membership. 
  • Register for the course by clicking on the Registration button at the right of this course listing. You will need to register each participating member of your family individually.
  • Next register for individual activities  (Online lecture, Skills Carnival, Backpacking trips) within the Backpacking with Kids course.  Please register for only one overnight backpack at registration (to allow all families to experience at least one trip) and as space allows and more trips are posted, may register later in the course for additional trips.
  • To register for  backpacking trips after initial registration (or cancel or change registration for a trip/activity). Return to the Backpacking with Kids course, click on the blue Manage Registration button on the right and then select your desired activity.  
  • The course fee is $20/person.  If this poses a burden for your family, please,    apply for a Mountaineers scholarship.
  • If you have any questions or would like help with any part of this process, please don't hesitate to call the friendly folks at Mountaineers Member Services at 206-521-6001.

Other Considerations

  • We respectfully request that all eligible participants be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.  Individual trip leaders may require proof of vaccination prior to backpacking trips.
  • Backpacking course badge will be awarded after completion of lecture, skills workshop and one backpacking trip. 
  • Should you also be registered for the B3 course,  you can  receive credit for the overnight family backpack toward B3 graduation credit.

1/13/21 9:00 AM
5/1/22 12:00 PM

Online lecture will be via Zoom -- appropriate internet and computer/device required.  Additional  equipment  will be communicated in detail prior to field trips/backpacks.

Missing: For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
Family Activities Program Form
Birgit Grimlund
Course Instructor Feedback

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