How to Prepare Your Backpack to Go Hiking

Today, we'll give you some tips to prepare your backpack to go hiking with your children. These tips will help you avoid unnecessary setbacks.
How to Prepare Your Backpack to Go Hiking

Last update: 06 April, 2021

It’s important to know how to prepare your backpack to go hiking, for you and your whole family. Try to avoid unnecessary setbacks and write down everything you need to bring with you.

Hiking trips to spend time with your family

In the beginning, the first travelers were scientists and naturalists, who went hiking in order to investigate things. After the 20th century, hiking became popular and it was considered a sport. Nowadays, it’s an outdoor sport, which takes place in natural environments and represents few risks.

This activity benefits both mind and body. According to Dr. Gregory A. Miller, director at CREST, Center for Responsible Travel: “Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety.”

How to Prepare Your Backpack to Go Hiking

To get ready to go hiking, you need to do the following:

  • Plan a safe route.
  • Respect the environment that surrounds you, during the whole trip.
  • Don’t use motor vehicles. 
  • Use GPS devices.
  • Prepare a backpack with everything you need. 

The last point is the most important one. This is why we’ll talk about it in this article.

How should you prepare your backpack to go hiking?

To choose the things you’re going to take on your trip, you need to know where you’re going, for how many days, and how many adults and children will go with you. After knowing this, you can start organizing the things you’re going to take. So, pay attention to the following tips that will make everything easier for you.

Choose the right backpack to go hiking

The capacity of the backpack will let you know how many things you can take with you. There are different sizes, such as 18, 20, 24, 30 and even 70 liters. But, what are the differences between them?

If you’re going on a trip by the end of spring or the beginning of fall, when the weather is still nice, you’ll probably need an 18 liter backpack.

However, if you go with two kids, you’ll probably need 24 or 30 liter backpacks. Remember to choose a backpack with many pockets and different compartments to keep things, such as sunglasses, water bottles, insect repellents, etc.

Proper outfit

To choose your outfit, check the weather forecast, and bear in mind that if you go to the mountains, the weather can vary (the higher you go, the colder it gets).

Try to dress in layers, wearing light breathable clothes, and take a comfortable waterproof jacket. The same tips apply for kids.

Take enough water with you

If you go on a half-day trip, you should take at least 33 ounces of water per person (kids or adults) and twice as much if the weather is hot. Even if people tell you you’ll find drinkable water along the way, you should be prepared. Always take enough water with you. 

Take enough food

When people are outdoors and moving, they tend to get hungry. Having snacks at hand can save your day. Put in your backpack granola bars, nuts, salted crackers, etc. In addition, you should take food for lunch that is easy to handle, like sandwiches, fresh fruits (apples or oranges).

Extra tips to prepare your backpack

Don’t forget to take insect repellent and sun protection accessories, like sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, etc. Another important thing to take is a first-aid kit with alcohol, cotton and bandages. Other important elements are soap to wash your hands, a knife, maps, a compass and a fully charged phone.

Smart organization

When you prepare your backpack to go hiking, you have to optimize space. To do this, you should keep in the outer compartments the things you need to have at hand, such as water bottles, insect repellents, maps, GPS, etc.

How to Prepare Your Backpack to Go Hiking

At the bottom of your backpack, put your clothes. If you’re leaving for a couple of days, put your extra clothes inside a waterproof bag, to prevent it from getting wet. Next, place the food, and finally, the waterproof jackets.

The heaviest part should be located at the center of the backpack, so it can adjust on your back. This way, you’ll walk more comfortably. Then, place the rest of the elements in the different pockets, trying to balance the weight. Finally, tighten or loosen the straps, depending on what feels more comfortable for you.

Hiking with your family: how many backpacks should you take?

Depending on the number of people involved, family trips require meticulous thinking. For example, in order to carry things for four people, the two adults should carry the heaviest things, using medium-size backpacks (20 to 30 liters). Children can carry their own backpacks, but the weight shouldn’t exceed 10% of their own weight.

Finally, packing your backpack to go hiking is something you learn with experience. However, this simple guide will help you plan your first trip with your family. Have fun!


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.