- Go for it. Make the decision, pick the date, and the rest will fall into place.
- Keep it short. Go only a few miles the first time. Be prepared to carry most of the weight and hear whining (it might be from you!).
- Prepare, but don't worry. You'll need the basics: backpack, tent, stove, sleeping bags and pads, lightweight clothing, water containers and filter, first-aid kit, shoes, hat, sunscreen, toiletries, and lots of food. Don't bring much else — remember, you're carrying it.
- Let the kids help. Once at the campsite, give them jobs. Filtering water, helping put up the tent, and helping to prepare dinner are all good jobs for children.
- Enjoy. Once you're settled at your campsite, sit back and watch your child spend an hour building a sailboat with a leaf and sticks by a mountain lake. Gaze at the clouds and just enjoy having some distraction-free time in nature with your children.
Photo Credit: kirin_photo/istockphoto