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A Family Backpacking List

July 04, 1993|Mary Mapes McConnell

The total weight of a child's fully loaded backpack should never exceed 20%-25% of his body weight. Anything over this limit must be carried by the adults. This minimal list can be expanded when the ratio of adults-to-children is higher.

Personal gear: Long pants, shorts, long-sleeve shirt, T-shirt, wool sweater or parka (depending on weather), long underwear (doubles as pajamas), rain poncho, hiking boots, tennis shoes, wool socks, lightweight socks, knit cap, gloves or mittens, sun hat/sunglasses, whistle, small flashlight, water bottle, toothbrush, comb or small brush, small towel, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.

Family gear: Backpacking tent, backpacking stove/fuel, disposable lighter/waterproof matches, aluminum cooking and mess kit, dishcloth/towel, toilet paper, biodegradable soap, toothpaste, SPF 15 sun block and lip balm, microporous filter/water-purification tablets, map and compass, multi-bladed knife, large and small plastic bags and duct tape/nylon cord.

First-aid kit: Children's aspirin, pain medication (prescription), topical antibiotic, anti-itch cream, Ipecac (for poisoning), Band-Aids/gauze pads/adhesive tape, elastic bandages, moleskin (for blisters), needles/scissors/tweezers.

Optional items: Camera/film, binoculars, fishing line/fish hooks, one small toy per child.

Sample menu on the trail: High-energy trail mix, lemonade drink mix.

Breakfast: Granola, dried fruit, powdered milk, coffee.

Lunch: Carrot sticks, oranges or apples, peanut butter or cheese and salami, hard rolls and crackers.

Supper: Instant vegetable soup mix, macaroni and cheese with tuna, pudding, hot chocolate, herbal tea.

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