camping with kids

How to Plan a Backcountry Camping Trip With Kids

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from everyday life and do something a little different for a change. When it comes to holiday activities with kids, one of the most popular choices by far is camping in the backcountry.

It’s an excellent way to remove yourself and your family from technology, stress and go back to basics. If you’ve never been camping with your children before, you’re probably reading this to gain some insight and advice on the subject.

Without further ado, take a look at these practical hints and tips to make your backcountry camping trip with kids memorable for the right reasons with these helpful planning tips:

Organize Your Trip Properly

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you plan your family trip to the backcountry.

You’ll need to answer several questions to help you plan the trip properly. For instance, how long are you planning to go camping? Where do you want to go? How far can your kids go hiking? What are your kids’ limits? Those are some of the many questions to answer.

Other things you’ll need to consider include the date and time that you’re all leaving home, when you’ll be returning from the backcountry, and the types of activities you all plan to do when you’re camping.

Pack What You Need

It goes without saying that you should ensure you take all the essential items (along with a few small luxuries) when you head out into the backcountry with your kids. But, what is it that you should take?


Firstly, it makes sense for everyone to pack clothes appropriate to the weather conditions in the backcountry. For example, it’s likely to be hot during the summer months, so you should pack some loose-fitting clothing to help keep you all cool.

In the fall and winter months, you’ll all need to pack some clothing to keep you warm during the day and in the evening. Remember that you won’t have the luxury of staying in a house, so you’ll need to keep warm at all times.

There will likely be times where it rains or even snows, so you should ensure you’ve got some waterproof outer clothing to wear. Plus, everyone should wear hiking boots as there will be plenty of rough terrain to negotiate on your adventures.

Cooking Accessories

As you can appreciate, you will all likely be several miles away from any amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes. With that in mind, you need to think about how you will cook meals for yourself and your family when you’re all camping in the backcountry.

It makes sense to pack a portable stove as you can use it for cooking food in pots and pans and boiling water. You should also pack some plates, cups, and cutlery. Otherwise, you and your family will find it challenging to eat from a single pot or pan!

Another thing to remember is to pack plenty of gas canisters to use with your stove and other gas-powered cooking appliances.

Food and Drink

You might have aspirations of taking your kids to a nearby river and catching some fish for your dinner. However, you’ll still need to take plenty of other food and drink with you.

As you’re camping in the backcountry with your kids, you must remember to take food that they will want to eat. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a very unpleasant family camping experience!

It also makes sense to bring plenty of bottled water for you, both for drinking and other purposes like cooking or washing. Also, consider getting a water purifying device with you if you’re planning to use river water for drinking and cooking.

Food and Drink Storage

What will you use to store all your food and drink? It makes sense to take a portable cooler or “cool box” with you that you can use for food and drink storage. They don’t require any power and keep all your perishable food cool and edible for several days.

You can get food and drink storage in various sizes, so you’ll undoubtedly find one suitable for your requirements.


While most people go camping in the backcountry with a tent, you can consider some other options for shelter.

For example, you could erect a yurt if you’d prefer to have an unusual but practical shelter during your camping adventures. Alternatively, you could bring a “home on wheels” with you in the form of a camper caravan.

Whatever you decide, make sure it provides enough sleeping and living space for you and your family.

First Aid Kit

Most camping adventures in the backcountry occur without any issues. However, if you’re heading to a remote area with no cell reception, for example, it makes sense to take a first aid kit with you.

That way, you’re equipped to deal with any minor medical emergencies such as cuts and scrapes. If you’re camping during the summer, consider packing mosquito repellant in your first aid kit.

Basic Tool Kit

Whether you’re traveling to the backcountry in a car, truck, or RV, it’s a good idea to pack a basic tool kit with you. It should contain things like screwdrivers, a ratchet socket set, a knife, and other similar items.

You can leave it inside your vehicle and bring it out whenever you need to use them. Such kits are perfect for camping and highly useful in emergencies.

Washing and Toilet Facilities

You’re all likely going camping for several days, so you’ll need a way to stay clean. These days, it makes sense to set up a small yet tall outdoor tent to provide privacy when washing. You can also attach a portable shower to it.

The same tent can also house a portable toilet. It has a cassette inside that you can empty when you get home or at a campsite en-route to your home. Don’t empty it in the wilderness!

Portable Power

Lastly, you’ll need a way to charge devices like smartphones, tablets, and portable games consoles. If you use your vehicle’s battery, you could end up leaving yourself and your family stranded due to a flat battery.

That’s why it makes sense to take a portable power bank with you. They come in different configurations, and some can even double up as a jump-start pack for cars and trucks!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, the above tips will help you prepare, plan, and organize a fun and memorable backcountry camping trip for you and your kids. Enjoy!