The Insider’s Guide to Family Camping

Know Your Physical Limitations—Part I
Page 3 of 6   |  
Kid Everest
The trick to taking your kids mountaineering is choosing the right summit. Outside handpicks five peaks to bring out your kid's inner Messner.

If you haven't climbed a mountain since the Cardinals won a World Series (that would be 1982), please don't try to make your children summit 14,162-foot Mount Shasta. Take day hikes around your neck of the woods weeks before your outing. Prior to a backpacking jaunt, we always climb nearby Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire, schlepping our loaded packs to give us a taste before the main course. If your kids are too young to carry their own packs or can't possibly make it up and down mountains, take them on a canoe-camping trip that doesn't include a portage. This way, mom and dad don't have to play Sherpa and carry everyone's cargo. You can simply throw all the gear in the hull of the canoe and paddle onward. And, if you've been paying attention, you know to practice your stroke at the local lake, so Junior can hold his own when canoeing into a stiff wind.

Boston-based writer Stephen Jermanok has authored or contributed to 11 books on the outdoors, including Outside Magazine's Adventure Guide to New England , Discovery Channel's Backcountry Treks , Discovery Channel's Paddlesports , Outside Magazine's Guide to Family Vacations and Men's Journal's The Great Life . His latest book is New England Seacoast Adventures . His many adventures appear in National Geographic Adventure , Outside , Men's Journal , Forbes FYI , Travel + Leisure , Hooked on the Outdoors , and Backpacker . He can be reached at

Published: 20 Sep 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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