Backpacking with Kids - 2018

Backpacking Course

Backpacking with Kids

Backpack with your kids! This course is for parents with some backpacking experience who want to take their children (little ones to teenagers) backpacking. Learn more about planning, on the trail, gear, tips and tricks, etc. Parents must be Mountaineers members and must participate with their kids in the field trips.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Backpacking with your kids in the back country 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 0-6 (make it fun and simple), grade school kids (fun and adventure), or teens (challenge and learn skills)!  The course includes:

  • An evening information session for parent(s) Friday, May 18, 6:30-9:00pm, at The Mountaineers Program Center`s room Goodman A.  Teens are welcome but this session is not appropriate for young kids.  Learn about trip planning, on the trail tips, kid oriented gear and food, safety, and other tips and tricks from experienced parents that backpack with their kids aged 2-19.
  • An overnight group practice camp with your family at Tolt River-John MacDonald Park in Carnation the weekend of June 16-17.  Walk in 1/2 mile, sleep in your tent, test your gear, go on a day hike, and practice for a real wilderness backpack trip.
  • Backpacking with kids resource recommendations.
Later on,  during the summer months, backpacking trips will be offered on the Mountaineers backpacking activity page for families in the course to participate in, designed for the ages of kids that are signed up for the course.   These  are not a required part of the course but we hope that families participate.


 To sign up for this course, first parents need to set up a family or guest family membership and add all your family members to your account, and sign their waivers.   If you or your family members are already registered as guest adults or have regular adult memberships we are offering free family membership upgrades for those taking this course.

To upgrade your adult membership type to be a family membership type please email with "Backpacking with Kids Membership Upgrade" in your email subject line. 

Once you have an account set up as a Guest Family or regular Family membership you'll see a blue Add Family Members button on your profile that will allow you to add your partner or children to the membership. 

For kids under 18 there are also youth forms to complete to provide staff and volunteer leaders important information about their emergency contacts and any medical conditions or allergies.  Once you set up your kids on your account, go to their profiles and you'll see a button called 'Youth Forms'.  Click on that button and complete the main Youth Form.  That information will 'live' on their profile and won't have to be re-entered when you register them for future activities.  OR you can complete the youth form when you register for the course, below.  


 Register by clicking on the Registration button at the right of this course listing.  Please register each participating member of your family individually.  Ex: A family with dad, mom, child #1, and child #2 will complete four separate registrations.   Registering for the course automatically registers you for the lecture and the overnight field trip.

The course fee is $30/person for the first two family members, and any additional family members will be able to register for $10 each.  To get the reduced rate, when you register family members beyond the first two, use the discount code CO18FMBACKPACK on the checkout screen and the discount will be applied automatically.  (This is on the honor system - please do not apply the discount to the first two family members you register.)

If you have any questions or would like help with any part of this process, please don't hesitate to call our friendly folks at Mountaineers Member Services at 206-521-6001, or call the Foothills Backpacking Committee chair Cheryl Talbert at 253-229-4018.  We look forward to meeting you and your family in the course!

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Overnight Car Camp Practice
Tolt MacDonald Park
Sat, Jun 22, 2019 -
Sun, Jun 23, 2019
Registration closed Jun 20
42 participants
4 instructors
Overnight Backpack Field Trip
Shi Shi Beach
Sat, Jul 20, 2019 -
Sun, Jul 21, 2019
Registration closed Jul 18
6 participants
Tolt MacDonald Park
Sat, Jun 13, 2020 -
Sun, Jun 14, 2020
Registration closed Jun 11
45 participants
Backpacking with Kids - Basic Gear and Skills Lecture for Parents
Seattle Program Center
Thu, May 14, 2020
Registration closed May 12
25 participants
Required Equipment

To be communicated to participants in advance by course leaders.

Course Materials

There are no materials for this course.