Gear List For A Family Of Four

When heading into the backcountry with kids (that can’t carry much weight in their own packs) you need to make sure you have everything you need, but at the most minimal level. Finding gear that is ultra lightweight is a really good option but can be expensive. You don’t need the best and lightest to get out into the backcountry, but it does make it easier on you. When we first started out we didn’t really pay much attention to how much things weighed as it was just the two of us.  Now with our girls in tow we have started to reassess what we have and are starting to switch out some of our heavier things for lighter, when gear goes on sale. 

We have things pretty dialed in as to what we need and don’t need when heading into the backcountry with our two girls. After all, everything we bring has to fit in our two packs being an Osprey Aether Plus 85L and a Deuter Aircontact 60+10L. Here is a detailed list of what we bring.

How we all dress for day of hike:

Merino wool T-shirt



Merino wool socks 


***This list is for 2 kids of the same age that wear the same size so can be shared if needed.***

Merino wool base layer set x2 

Pants x2

Sweater x2

Underwear x4

T-shirt x2

Mitts x2

Toque x2

Brimmed hat x2

Thermkids – Rain jacket and pants x2

REI Puffer jacket x2

MEC Fleece zip up x2

Lamington merino wool socks x2

Pull-ups x2 (wear at night as a precaution, as a wet sleeping bag could end the trip)


Pants – OR Ferrosi


Long sleeve Lasting merino wool top

Tera Kaia underwear x1

Icebreaker underwear x1

Tera Kaia hiking bra x1

Merino wool socks x2 – Icebreaker hike light cushion

Puffer jacket – Patagonia 

Rain jacket – North Face, and pants


Merino wool gloves – Icebreaker tech glove liners

Long underwear (shoulder season hiking)

Mammut brimmed hat


Pants with zip off legs to make shorts

Long sleeve Lasting merino wool top

Underwear x2

Merino wool socks x2 – Icebreaker hike light cushion

Puffer jacket

Rain jacket – Marmot minimalist, and pants


Lightweight gloves

Long underwear (shoulder season hiking)

Tilley hat


MSR Elixir 4P tent

Adults – Thermarests x2

Kids – MEC Reactor sleeping pad x2

Kids – Junior sleeping bags x2

Tyson – Mountain Hardware Bishop Pass -1 sleeping bag

Shannon – Kelty -7 sleeping bag

12L Compression sacks x2 for all sleeping bags/puffer jackets

Seat cushions – double as a pillow


We all eat our meals out of the same pot/dehydrated meal bag so don’t bring plates/bowls.

MSR Pocket Rocket stove

MSR 1.3L cooking pot with lid

Fuel canister 

MSR heat reflector with windscreen



Bamboo travel mugs x4

Biodegradable camp soap

Blue scrubbie 


We bring two types of water filtration as we use the SteriPen while hiking, refilling our water bottles at creeks and streams along the way, and the Platypus GravityWorks once at camp.

Platypus GravityWorks 4L


Nalgene bottles 500 mL x4


First aid kit, Bactine, chapstick

Medication (Motrin, Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl prescription)

Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, ziplock bags (in dry bag)

Toothbrushes, toothpaste

Tensor bandage

Foldable knife

Head lamps x2 Petzl adult

Head lamps x2 Petzl kids

Fire starter

Bug nets for face

Luci light

Battery charger pack

Extra carabiners

Bear spray x2


Thermacell (for the bugs)


Adults – Julbo sunglasses x2

Kids – MEC sunglasses x2

Wet wipes

Garmin InReach


Face cloth pack towel

Camera – Nikon

Garbage bag (we usually just use our dehydrated meal pouches as they seem to lock in the smell)


***Disclaimer*** This is what we bring for our multi days. This is just a rough guide more for ideas than actual amounts. This WILL vary for everyone. 

Dehydrated meals x the amount of days you will be gone plus 1 extra just in case

***We always do bring a dessert dehydrated meal in case the girls don’t eat much dinner. They hike some much and need the calories and this chocolate Mudslide is loaded with them, plus they LOVE it!***

Snacks – granola bars, protein bars, fruit bars, trail mix, chips

Electrolyte drinks 


Powdered peanut butter

Wraps, salami, cheese, mayo packets


Beef jerky, pepperoni sticks, precooked bacon

Apples, veggies

Lifesavers (keep in waist belt of pack for quick energy boost)

All small items get placed into our Colibri bags to keep organized. They are waterproof bags, made in Canada. Much better for the environment than plastic bags. You can use code Shannon10 to save.

We also bring cheese and salami in Stasher bags as they are leakproof and can also withstand boiling water making them also double as a bowl to make oatmeal if needed. 


Girls – Mountain warehouse Junior drift waterproof hikers

Shannon – Scarpa GoreTex hiking boots

Tyson – Meindl hiking boots

Girls – Native shoes/rubber boots depending on time of year (around camp)

Shannon and Tyson – Crocs


Tyson’s – Osprey Aether Plus 85L mens

Shannon’s – Deuter Aircontact 60+10L womens

Girls’: – Mini backpacks – some stuffies, small blanket, granola bar, fruit snacks (hiking candy)

Trail Magik’s x2 – These we keep hidden from the girls, but they are there for if and when the girls get tired and need a ride. Use code RESTLESSCRUSADE for a discount. This is an affiliate code, and we do get a small kickback when you use our discount code.

And, the final thing we tend to forget a lot…..

Hiking poles x3 – Sometimes the girls want them so we bring one extra pair that we can rotate with. 

A few items may be added or removed depending on the season and duration of the hike and weather forecast.

***This gear list is just a guide of what we bring. There may be other things you will need that are not on this list. Please use your own judgement when packing for your trip***

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