What fantastic timing to tag me in this! We just did our first Bikepacking trip yesterday/day before. While it was supposed to be 3 nights and I pulled the plug after 1, they did simply amazing on the trail (but I don’t tolerate poor campers, and there was a disconnect at our campsite, zero help from either child… I adventure solo with the 2 kids, 3 and 6 years old… when you’re in the backcountry alone with young children you can’t take a chance that they aren’t listening… so I pulled the plug, I’m hopeful that the message was received even with the listening ears clearly turned off)…
My daughter is 6 now, riding a islabikes beinn 20s… my son is 3 and on a strider pro. All I have is our experiences and a lot of research… someone mentioned 2 wheeling tots up ahead of me and I’ve found them to be the most useful over all… no matter you stage in the game or your financial level.
My 6 year old began on a balance bike, she moved to pedals at a new 4 and never fell. I mean, she falls, especially while learning to navigate her bike for the first time 2 days ago with loaded panniers.
My son is more adventurous and ready for pedals but they’re now hard to come by given how light weight he is.
My tips and advice??
Get the lightest weight bike you can afford, shop used. The younger the rider, the more important this is.
Get out there. Try all different terrains and experiences. My son far prefers the pump park. My daughter, a nice paved trail…
Keep the bike available as often as possible… 24/7.