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Topic: Mileage With A Wee One< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
rodwha Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2014, 10:55 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

With the pace slow, and it being a tiny person, just how far can one expect a child (5) to go in a day on an extended trail hike?

She does so well for an afternoon (maybe 5-6 miles) that it seems as though she could probably do 12-15 miles with her 3-4 lb pack without too much problem. Is this extreme?

It doesn't seem too far fetched to think we could get up late and pack slow, do 6-7.5 miles and break for lunch for an hour and continue on the other half. It almost seems mild.

Granted our Hill Country here doesn't even match up to the foothills of mountain ranges. We might see 12-1500 ft in elevation or so, and it's not extreme.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2014, 2:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My old rule of thumb was no more mileage than my childrens age; ie 5mi max for a 5 yr old. I was guilty of stretching that a little bit on occasion, but it's pretty reliable in avoiding a late day, sit- down strike.

All kids are different, but 12-15 mi for a 5 yr old seems like you're trying to fit them into your agenda vs setting a practical pace that the kids can still enjoy.


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rodwha Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2014, 7:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yea. Initially my thought was 10-12 miles, and then I began thinking we should go further.

We've never pushed a forced march like such other than getting to the camp site to pitch the tent before dark. Those usually become irritating.

I can't help but think that with more mild terrain that 4 miles in the AM and another 4 miles in the PM wouldn't be too much, especially with a nice break at lunch time.

As we may very well be moving to VA we'd certainly get plenty of chances to do weekend marches. Even our Hill Country is nothing in comparison…

Quite frankly maybe my first idea was a better one, though I felt like I was being a bit selfish, but it was to drop the kiddo off at the grandparent's so we could try the CD trail (we LOVE the Rockies!). Being much more dangerous I felt it wasn't a good place with a smaller child. At any rate maybe it's best to wait until she is big enough to carry her own gear before an extended trip (more than a week) is attempted.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2014, 8:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree with SWT.  Adding a pack makes a big difference, and a child is unlikely to happily repeat in the afternoon what she did in the a.m.  Better to save the big trips for either a few years down the road, or the times when you can go childless.  When you take the kid, think in terms of what will make it fun for her.  That's probably more time throwing things in the water and less time slogging up a trail.

I don't know if this is universal or not, but I also found that our boys didn't develop an appreciation for scenery until they were approaching their teens (they liked backpacking, but it wasn't about spectacular scenery for them.  It was about playing in the woods).  And they still are unimpressed with wildflowers .


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 4:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree with SWT and Rebecca.  I have a 6 1/2 year old who is a very good, enthusiastic hiker.  But I wouldn't push her past eight miles in a day. My almost-5 year old is a little less enthusiastic, and five miles is about the limit for her, unless we're in her favorite desert terrain, where she'll go six if the hiking is mostly easy.  My girls are a little small for their ages, fit, and very active in day to day life. Remember she's going to be taking two or three steps for every one you take.  And there is a BIG difference between an 8 mile day and a 12-15 mile day.   The only kids I've heard of that can pull that many miles in a day are little thru hikers who are very well conditioned for that sort of effort. The best way to turn a kid who likes hiking into one who hates it, is to push too hard.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One more thought...we try to get as much of the hike done before lunch as we can.  I don't know what it is, but they seem to want the hike to be over shortly after lunch.  That may just be my kids, but they do much better before the big break.  I keep them going with little snacks until about 2 pm, break for lunch, and try to have just about 1/4 of the total distance to cover after lunch.  That could be just my kids, but I definitely can't expect the same enthusiasm after lunch as they had in the morning.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 5:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hell, Ponderosa, You are describing me!  I want all of the uphill to be first thing in the morning, and all of the easy hiking to be in the afternoon. Then, I want to be at camp, resting, about 3 PM.  I think either I am a little kid, or it is like that for everyone.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 6:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jan. 20 2014, 2:49 pm)
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Hell, Ponderosa, You are describing me!  I want all of the uphill to be first thing in the morning, and all of the easy hiking to be in the afternoon. Then, I want to be at camp, resting, about 3 PM.  I think either I am a little kid, or it is like that for everyone.

Well, I've been assuming we just got into that habit because of the kids.  But yeah, even without them, we prefer to be done and taking a bath by 2:30 or 3.

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 Post Number: 9
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 6:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I agree, and my husband would REALLY agree.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, gee, good thing I'm not your daughter 'cause I'm not sure _I_ could do 15-mile days with 1,500-foot elevation every day on a long hike!

I like SwimsWith's rule of thumb.  It was about what hikes with my son worked out to be when he was younger.  Unless your 5 yo is exceptionally tall, I think it's unrealistic to think she can maintain a 2.5-3 MPH pace for 5-6 hours a day.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2014, 10:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Jan. 20 2014, 6:33 pm)
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Well, gee, good thing I'm not your daughter 'cause I'm not sure _I_ could do 15-mile days with 1,500-foot elevation every day on a long hike!

LOL!  I didn't like to admit that I haven't topped 13 mile in years (we hit that last summer on a day hike, and twelve with pack ), and found when we did that most parts of my body objected.  Of course, I'm ten times his daughter's age.  I do remember doing 15 to 17 mile days in my 20s.  Those were tough, though--even though I was young and fit, all but my feet.


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rodwha Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2014, 6:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My daughter is exceptionally tall for her age as she's always been in the 90 something percentile.

My daughter goes on day hikes with us that are as long as 5 miles, but it's also just the one go, and not continued again after lunch, and this is why I wondered about doing an afternoon march too, but is also without a pack.

Our Hill Country is likely something like the foothills of average mountains. Not extreme by any means, but not easy either.

I think it likely best to do just weekend type hikes with her until she is bigger where you just set up camp and enjoy a few days.

As I realize she is just a child I wouldn't subject her to the types of walks I've been known to do, which are quite far (w/o a pack).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2014, 7:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As we aren't in proper condition I'd think after 12-15 miles my body would likely object the next day too, especially in the mountains. But we are beginning to work on that.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2014, 11:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My oldest son grew up hiking with me - he was tall, rail thin and is in the Autistic Spectrum. Yes, he could hike 10 mile days at 5. Most kids cannot though. They have to have training, energy and most of all, a parent that drives them.

But...just because he COULD didn't mean he enjoyed it. I realized years in that it was MY hobby and I was pushing it on him. I don't push it on my younger kids in that way now. (They are nearly 2 and 4, my oldest is 16)

Kids hike best early in the day. They need downtime in camp, where they can be lazy and have fun. Save all day death marches for when older or you are without them ;-)


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 Post Number: 15
rodwha Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2014, 5:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Indeed, and the conclusion I came to.

If we are in VA she will certainly get plenty of opportunities to hike! And with grandparents there we will likely get an opportunity or two for an extended hike, though time would tell I suppose as it would have to be summer when she's not in school since she's nearly that age now.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2014, 7:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

And you never know what they can do as well :D Have fun and enjoy the time!

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15 replies since Jan. 17 2014, 10:55 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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