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Topic: Taking the kids backpacking, For the first time this summer.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 11:44 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My oldest kids (boy and girl) will be 8 and 6 this summer.  They're good day-hikers, generally up to ~5 miles or so in a day.  They're experienced campers too, we car camp regularly.  But this'll be the first time we combine the two as a family.

I am an experienced backpacker, those who know me know this well enough.  I have a huge load-hauler pack and have no issues playing sherpa-dad for a night or two.  My kids will each have a little daypack with a few essentials, but I want to avoid "loading them up" too much too early.  No need for a death march.

We live in Colorado.  I plan to take them on short (less than 5 miles in/out) hikes to lakes, make camp for a night or two, hike out.  Should be fun. :)  I don't care if it's crowded, kids don't need the "deepest remotest wilderness" to enjoy themselves in the hills.

I guess I'm just here for general recommendations.  Things to look out for.  Things to avoid?

Er, also, sleeping bags!  Their car-camping bags are enormous synthetic mummies, I'd like to get lighter bags without costing too much $$.  Say, less than $100 each bag, preferably, as light as that'll get.  Down or syn, I don't really care either way.  Kid-sized, but big enough that they can still use it for 2-3 more years.  My boy might be tall enough to use an adult bag in a few years, who knows... but I have a 3-month-old daughter as well that can grow into it eventually.  Any tips on bags, or otherwise?

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My boys had kid-sized Eureka synthetic bags that worked well and weren't very expensive.

We had an old external-frame REI pack that I got for cheap on ebay that was perfect for younger kids--when my boys were 8-9, they carried their bag + their own clothes in that pack with no trouble and minimal complaints. By 11, they carried all of their own personal gear.

I definitely agree with the base camp plan. I think hiking with a full pack every day is a very adult-oriented way to enjoy oneself in the wilderness: kids are much more likely to enjoy a day to just putz around.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 12:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://store.eurekatent.com/children-sleeping-bags

Just the kinda thing I'm looking for.  Thanks cweston. :)  I might think about a small e-frame for my boy Tommy.  Maybe after the first trip I'll get an idea of what he's up for and go from there.  Odds are he'd enjoy feeling like a bigger kid and carrying more of his own stuff anyway, so long as I don't overload him.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've made the Death March Mistake, it's real easy to do and everybody is miserable
(especially you, because your wife is going to take it all out on you  :D )

Another problem I learned about the hard way- unmaintained trails. bushwhacking with kids through blow downs, etc. isn't much fun. If you can, call ahead or check out online trip reports.

I'd stick to the well maintained trails, even though these will be the most crowded.

I think you got the right idea, keep it short & sweet.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have limited experience with kids, so I won't offer any advice about hiking with them.  I will say that maybe the choice of snacks would be more important to them.  Every kid I know is looking for cookies, goldfish, or something of the sort.  I seem to recall both of yours pestering you about such when I saw you guys at PG or HOTB.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 3:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Btw, this is the backpack that Walker is wearing now (he'll be 4 in March):
http://www.deuter.com/en_US....=Junior

As for Walker's and Alistaire's sleeping bags, last year we got an incredible deal two Deuter Starlight bags. As far as I can see Deuter quit making them, they are NICE though. Way nicer than the TNF Tigger Ford used for years. I think we scored ours for around $40 each.

Alistaire turns 2 this week. He isn't yet big enough for the Deuter, but soon :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 6:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sarbar @ Feb. 04 2014, 1:51 pm)
QUOTE
Btw, this is the backpack that Walker is wearing now (he'll be 4 in March):
http://www.deuter.com/en_US....=Junior

Great. :)  Actually, if I get one of the blue and one of the pink ones, they'll both be included, and I can simply vary how much (if any) either one is carrying inside it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 6:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We use those eureka ladybug bags. My kids have been comfy in them down to about 25* with normal pj's, warm socks, and old 3/4 thermarests.  I shopped around and thought these bags compared very well to all other kids bags on the market, for a lot less $ than most.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 7:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Feb. 04 2014, 3:16 pm)
QUOTE

(sarbar @ Feb. 04 2014, 1:51 pm)
QUOTE
Btw, this is the backpack that Walker is wearing now (he'll be 4 in March):
http://www.deuter.com/en_US....=Junior

Great. :)  Actually, if I get one of the blue and one of the pink ones, they'll both be included, and I can simply vary how much (if any) either one is carrying inside it.

Exactly!!  :laugh:  :laugh: The blue is really nice I can tell you - and they are quite roomy without allowing too much stuff :) It is still big on Walker, so it'll fit them great.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 7:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Walker at 4 is probably as big, or nearly so, as Timmy at 8. LOL  You have a couple of biggins there, sarbar.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hmm.  I have a kid pack full of clothing sitting here waiting for someone to need it.  I'm thinking maybe still too big for Tommy, though.  

Two things:  M&Ms are hiking pills.
Kids have two energy sources: a small one for hiking and a much larger one for playing.

And one more, serious thing that we almost learned the hard way: skinny little kids can become hypothermic FAST.  Keep a very close eye on them in wet and chilly weather.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2014, 11:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey Mike, the other thing is while your kids are old enough you probably don't have to worry about it....synthetic does wash easier if you ever have any accidents. Ford only had one, it was though when he was younger than them (I think he was like 4 1/2 then). But yowza, he got bags DIRTY as a kid! I had to wash his sleeping bag every quarter :D He'd spill everything on that thing......

Ol Zeke...lol! No kidding. Those two Scottish Princes are large and in charge and look just like their Dad. So glad I will have minimal carrying of Alistaire from now on. I have him hiking as much as he can handle. He is nearly as tall as Walker. And HEFTY.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2014, 8:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I dont know if you need em or not, but I have 2 pair or pretty much new, Keen hiking shoes. My kids outgrew them, only wore them on 2 or 3 short trips. They look good as new. If you are interested, you can have them for...cost of shipping only. Its a boy and girl pair..I will check which size is which tonight when I get home..shoot me a pm if you want..

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2014, 1:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Feb. 05 2014, 6:45 am)
QUOTE
I dont know if you need em or not, but I have 2 pair or pretty much new, Keen hiking shoes. My kids outgrew them, only wore them on 2 or 3 short trips. They look good as new. If you are interested, you can have them for...cost of shipping only. Its a boy and girl pair..I will check which size is which tonight when I get home..shoot me a pm if you want..

PM sent. :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2014, 5:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Keen boots for kids are soooo nice!

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2014, 5:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Btw, I couldn't resist it and I picked up this pack for Alistaire:
http://www.deuter.com/en_US....%C3%A4r

I love it! And he will have a mini-me version of Walker's Deuter Junior pack (and of my Deuter).


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2014, 5:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sarbar @ Feb. 05 2014, 3:40 pm)
QUOTE
Btw, I couldn't resist it and I picked up this pack for Alistaire:
http://www.deuter.com/en_US....%C3%A4r

I love it! And he will have a mini-me version of Walker's Deuter Junior pack (and of my Deuter).

:D  That's cute as all getout.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2014, 6:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Comes in pink. Your youngest will be all grown up before you know it :D :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2014, 8:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might want to have the "pee in the woods" talk in advance with your kids. The boy will love it, but the girl might want to practice first if she's never done it :)

Also, my kids love whistles and glow sticks. They work great for fun and safety.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2014, 7:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(VAN @ Feb. 06 2014, 6:11 pm)
QUOTE
You might want to have the "pee in the woods" talk in advance with your kids. The boy will love it, but the girl might want to practice first if she's never done it :)

Also, my kids love whistles and glow sticks. They work great for fun and safety.

She does it just fine.  Like I said, she's been camping plenty of times (and I guess I should add, not at drive-in sites, but rather at a couple off-the-beaten path "secret" spots near FS roads in our area), that isn't new to her.

Good call on the glow-sticks.  The thin flexible ones, we often take car-camping, they enjoy them.  Might be nice to pull out one or two when we get to camp. :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2014, 10:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I bought the Kelty Extender but I don't see them on line anywhere...great bag!

My 9 yr old used it last night for a camp out in the living room, (it was -8 at our house last night...no winter camper here yet)


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