What Should Kids Pack for Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

When kids are ready to hit the trail and go backpacking, they need to be prepared for the adventure ahead. Packing for a backpacking trip can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are a few essential items that every child should bring with them when they go out on their journey.


The clothing that kids pack should be lightweight and breathable. It is important to layer clothing so that kids can adjust to any changing weather conditions they may encounter while out in the wilderness.

A pair of lightweight pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a light rain jacket are all essential items. A hat and a pair of gloves can help keep the sun and wind off of their skin as well.


Footwear is probably one of the most important things for kids to pack for their backpacking adventure. Sturdy boots or shoes with good ankle support will help protect their feet from any rough terrain they may encounter on the trail. A pair of lightweight camp shoes or sandals is also a great way for kids to give their feet some air after long days on the trail.


A tent or tarp is an essential item for any backpacking trip. Kids should choose something lightweight yet durable enough to protect them from any rain, snow or wind they may encounter while out in the wild. A sleeping bag rated for cold temperatures is also essential, as it will keep them warm during cooler nights in higher altitudes.

Other Essentials

Kids should always bring along sunscreen and insect repellent while out in the wilderness to protect them from sunburns and bug bites. A flashlight or headlamp is also important so that they can easily find their way around in the dark if they need to get up during the night. Additionally, first aid supplies such as bandages, gauze and antiseptic ointment are essential in case of any injuries.


Backpacking can be an amazing experience for kids when properly prepared with all of these essentials items — clothing, footwear, shelter, sunscreen, insect repellent and first aid supplies — packed ahead of time before hitting the trail.