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Kids enjoy family hiking too, but you have to be careful not to overload their young bodies with packs that are too heavy. A good way to figure how much your child can carry is to weigh them, and then divide that number by five. For example, if they weigh 100 pounds, divided by five, they can carry about 20 pounds.
However, if the child is overweight, you need to reduce the load. If the child's ideal weight is 80 pounds, but they weigh 100 pounds, they could carry 12 pounds of gear. You subtract one pound of weight for every five pounds they are overweight.
Overloading your child can create health problems later on, and they probably won't enjoy the experience nearly as much. If you want your kids to enjoy family hiking for years to come, make sure you know how much they can carry, and buy them high-quality pack that fits them well. Also, the younger they are, the less they should carry.