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Backpack hunting gear for kids


Jan 12, 2023
GNP | x | BOB
Love this thread. Check out the brand Reima - our 4 year old and 1 year old practically live in their "outdoor jumpsuits" all winter. They have good rainsuits/waterproof shells as well.

Also, hand warmers and toe warmers always come in handy.

Keep us posted on your hunts!


New member
Sep 12, 2021
Creating this thread for a reference of gear for backpack hunting with kids. Im looking for recommendations for my soon to be 5 year old kid, but would like to hear about what gear works, and what doesnt, for all ages of kids.

My boy is already set on going with me and pretends to hunt constantly. He proved himself this year when I took him on a truck camping hunt. He woke up early, hiked as far as he could, and never complained. For all purposes his hunt was more successful than mine - he “shot” an elk, deer, and antelope. Most of my best spots are around 3-5 miles in and he can make that trip one way no problem. With rest and food, Im sure he can hunt from there and be able to hike back out too.

I will probably need to get new clothes and boots for him for next season but the cheap amazon stuff I got this year worked great. I have family and friends to pass it down to so Im not worried about buying more.

Gear from this year:

Merrell Chameleon 7 Boots - highly impressed with these boots for him. Velcro closure so he can put them on himself. Waterproof, rugged, comfy.

Basic amazon synthetic pants, shirt, soft shell jacket, base layer, wool socks, gloves, beanie. Fleece sweatshirt and a syn puffy - he was just barely warm enough at 30*. He already had some of this stuff so including the $60 boots, I was only in around $120. Wish my clothing/boots were that cheap lol. Also got him a hunter orange thin fabric vest for safety for $5. Rain gear - figure cheap frogg toggs if it comes down to it, or sit him out for those days?

Next year Im looking at a nest for the tipi for him and Ill use my bivy. Will hand down my sleeping pad to him and get a better one for me.

One recommendation I could use is for a kids sleeping bag, preferably made with down, under 2lbs, and not over $150 hopefully - 30* range. He is only 3’6” tall right now so something short that he can grow into would be nice. Figure he will need a whole new setup by age 8 or 9 and again in his teens. My daughter and friends will get hand me downs.

The other recommendation I could use is for a pack. Thinking something not too beefy, but big enough for basics. One I have my eye on is the Osprey Ace 38 kids pack. Its a granola eating type pack but light weight. He weighs 40lbs so 25% of bodyweight to carry is 10lbs. I only expect him to carry his water, snacks, and layers. As he gets older, add his sleep system. Again, past 8 years old, a bigger pack and keep the old one for the next kiddo.

5 years old may seem kind of young to some people but he has gone above and beyond my expectations. I feel like hes capable, willing, and its up to me to get him ready. Thanks in advance for the help and I hope this thread helps other people start em young in the future too.

Wyatt: Day 4, over a mile deep, up before dawn daily. Packing out a “deer” in this pic.
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Priceless hunting with my father and my son.
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Future hunts with him will always be successful if he enjoys being out there as much as I do. When we get our first animal together it will be the cherry on top.
Nice work Dad! I’m following this thread to get tips for my two boys as well


Well-known member
Jan 3, 2017
We got a sleeping bag at Sierra trading post that is for kids up to 5 foot tall. Really small to pack. Smaller than loaf bread in stuff sack it comes in. I throw in a small kids fleece blanket also.
Why would you two sleep separate? For a kid that might get scary and blow the whole thing up


Well-known member
Sep 10, 2022
@Falcon75 Was thinking of taking a thin fleece blanket just in case. Definitely don’t want him being cold.

As for sleeping separate, I just dont have a floored tent for backpacking anymore. Plan was to take one of the tipis, and we wont need the stove in fair weather. Doubt he will come with me in bad weather. Id prefer if I could get him to be in a bivy next to mine, but would settle for an insert. Bugs arent really an issue, the rare spider just crawls over you. But for a kid? We shall see. I live in the forest so I may have to do a few test camping trips in the backyard after it stops snowing. I appreciate that insight, its a possibilty I had not considered that could end a trip.

@MADGRZ thanks will check out that brand