Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#103052 - 09/13/08 10:54 AM backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear?
punch Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/12/08
Posts: 8
I'm planning a 2-3 day overnighter, next year, hope to bring my 6 yr old with me, thus i will need to carry almost everything, she will have a small pack with maybe her clothing, but the rest will be carried by me, any tips, ideas? obviously I have to pack light, and have a hubba hubba tent, and lightweight stove, I'm looking for a lightweight sleeping bag, maybe a quilt for me and small bag for her.

I also plan on going the thermorest pro 3 route 3/4 length.

anyways looking for some ideas, or real life stories..

we did some car camping this year, over 3 nights, using some backpacking gear with no issues, she also covered 10km of day hike trails..

steve

Top
#103053 - 09/13/08 03:04 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: punch]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Im kind of in the same boat.... I want to take my daughter who is currently 5yrs old but I probably will not get a chance till next summer.
This is what I'm planning on doing for our first overnight.

*Since I've heard many great things about quilts I'm going to have one made with synthetic inuslation and try it out. If I like it I'll have my daughter try it out also and have one made for her. This should reduce bulk quite a bit.
*My current tent Alps Mountaineering zephry 2 is a two man tent that's about 4.5lbs.
*The last overnight I went with my wife and I used a closed cell pad torso length. I probably wont get her one torso length but I will cut it to fit her size.
*I also plan to go somewhere that has plenty of water, so we do not have to carry much at a time. 1liter is about 2.2lbs
*I'm thinking we will probably hike a max of 3 miles. I don't want her to think its work.
*Ive also read to let them go at their own pace and let them stop and look at the plant and bug life they see.
Unless I forgot something other then extra food and fuel that should be about it.

I was thinking in her backpack she can carry her clothes, pad and quilt which none are heavy just bulky. Going to have her walk around at home with everything to see how she handles the loaded pack and take things out as needed.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
My gear is no where near lightweight

Top
#103054 - 09/14/08 07:08 AM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: Cesar]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
A five or six year old can handle a backpacking trip just fine, as long as you making the hiking part fun. So, short hikes with plenty of creeks, ponds, wild horses, etc., are good. Long slogs through the "green tunnel" to a single view of some distant peaks -- not so good.

A kid that age should have *very little* on his or her back. A rain shell, some gorp, a full water bottle, maybe a fleece jacket. My daughter also carried a small stuffed animal, Beanie Baby size. A flashlight or headlamp is a really good idea. Teach him or her what to do if separated from the group. (Hug a tree. Stay in one place. Don't hide from rescuers.) While on the trail, talk, make up stoies, sing, etc.

Don't skimp on clothing -- the kid will need synthetic hiking clothes (not cotton), real rain gear, and fleece for around camp and on breaks. There is nothing worse than a cold wet kid after a summer thunderstorm in a "water resistant" jacket. (Ask me how I know this.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />) As for footwear, light sneakers are fine, but again, use synthetic or wool socks, not cotton. A good wide-brimmed hat is nice, but a ball cap will do.

Yes, the parent will need to carry everything else -- 2 sleeping bags, larger tent, more food, emergency supplies, books, etc. I had about 65 pounds on my back the first time we took our 5-year old to the Mt Rogers high country for a long weekend hike. (OK, that was before we "saw the light," as it were, but still.)

Go slow, stop a lot, have fun, enjoy the outdoors. Don't set unrealistic mileage goals. Once your kid is 8 or 9, you'll have a hard time keeping up on the trail.
_________________________
--Ken B

Top
#103055 - 09/14/08 02:06 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: kbennett]
punch Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/12/08
Posts: 8
thanks for the response, care to post your gear list for a 2 person hike with one pack?

Top
#103056 - 09/14/08 02:41 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear [Re: punch]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If you look at the "Hiking with Kids" archives, you'll find lots of good ideas. There is also the first (sticky) article by Penny S, which is must reading for all parents.

I can't stress enough--keep it fun! If you have to stop for an "energy break" or stop to examine a slug or a beetle every 10 minutes, that's fine! Center the trip around the kid, not on what you want to do.

Be sure your child's pack fits her; I keep seeing young kids out hiking with a pack sized for a 12-year-old that hangs down to the knees. Unfortunately Granite Gear discontinued their "Sidekick" day pack, just the right size for a 5-7 year old, with a good hip belt and reasonably good weight transfer to said hip belt. It's just the right size for the child's wraps, rain gear, snacks and a water bottle.

I think one of the best sleeping bags for kids (especially if you go out in fall or spring where you may encounter a frosty night or two) is the TNF Tigger. The new version uses ClimaShield and is relatively light. By the time the kid outgrows this one, (s)he will be ready for a grownup bag. Rather than a Thermarest (which might not take the bouncing), consider a cut-down Ridgerest or Z-Rest type mattress. Cheaper, too.

Each of my grandkids wears a whistle on a cord around their neck, with instructions never to take it off except when inside the tent (and yes, I check frequently!). They are also instructed not to use it for play, except for a twice-daily practice session with signals (to help them remember the distress signal, I taught them "Help Come Quick!").

Children vary enormously in what they can do--whether distance hiked or varying weight. You really have to tailor distance and weight to the individual child. I'm going to have a particular problem next summer because "Sissy," who will be 7, is stronger (and a better athlete) than her older brother "JP," who will be 9. I think I'm going to have to load her down (secretly) with more than her older brother carries so that he can keep up!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#103057 - 09/14/08 04:49 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: punch]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Quote:
thanks for the response, care to post your gear list for a 2 person hike with one pack?


I'd love to, but our daughter is in college now. That hiking with small kids seems like it was a *long* time ago.

--Ken
_________________________
--Ken B

Top
#103058 - 09/15/08 08:06 AM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: punch]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Quote:
thanks for the response, care to post your gear list for a 2 person hike with one pack?

My son started backpacking with me at 5-6ish. The blunt truth is as a shorter female I couldn't carry his gear along with mine. Yes, I carried the tent, stove, etc and for a couple years I carried the food.

But from day 1 he carried his sleeping bag, pad, clothes, toys, water, snacks. When he was little (6) I kept his weight to say 7 lbs and then as he grew he has carried more - 12-13 lbs or so when he was 8 and 9. Pushing 11 now, he can carry a lot more - and for instance, he carries all of his food now.

A 6 year old can carry 5-7 lbs with little issue - go short lengths at first, take breaks, etc. And of course......always backpack somewhere with a pay off at the end - a lake, stream, etc where the kids can be kids <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

Top
#103059 - 10/21/08 05:49 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: Cesar]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I think my daughter might like to go camping with me. Shes 13 and about 5'5" and slim. I think she could carry most of her own gear but the problem is that she would want to bring everything including the kitchen sink. I had also thought about letting her walk a couple of blocks with what she thinks she needs to take and after her walk she might come back to earth or decide she couldn't live whitout her stuff.???? Although she uses a north face pack as a book bag and it is usually very heavy. I would say 20 to 30lbs.
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

Top
#103060 - 10/21/08 06:16 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear [Re: OregonMouse]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
My son started backpacking at around age 5, carrying an REI comet. It was really to big for him but he WANTED to do it. My daughter, who has been backpacking since she was six (now 8) just got her own real backpack. Previously, she was using a school bag, and I had to carry her sleeping bag. Now she has an Osprey Jib which fits her just fine and allows for plenty of grow room. Osprey lists an even smaller child's backpack on their site but I haven't seen it anywhere. For trips with just one of them I take:

Clip flashlight
Noah's Tarp if there is rain predicted
alcohol stove
pot and fry pan (never understimate the power of pancakes with kids!)
water purifier
dromedary bag
bear bag
first aid kit
trowel and toilet paper
the usual stuff like matches, sunscreen etc..
my own gear and the food.
I usually end up around 30 lbs

The child (which ever one for the trip) take:
their own
sleeping bag (TNF Tigger)
rain gear
clothes- fleece, nylon and wool!
water bottle
cup and spoon
headlamp
a soft cover book
games like uno, cards, or yahtzee

My goal is to keep their backpack weight under 1/5 of their weight-not an easy thing to do when they are young and weigh less than 50 lbs.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

Top
#103061 - 10/22/08 01:27 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: punch]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Kids bags should be synthetic, not down. I had an old synthetic half-bag left over from my climbing days (these bags are called an elephant's foot). Even at 5-6 years old accidents do happen so having the bag washable and quick drying was great. I also used this bag when my kids were still in diapers. If you sew, it is quite easy to make a kids bag. My kids never would put their heads in a hooded bag and cinch it up, so I just had a basic rectangle, narrowing at the foot and a 1/2 zipper and drawstring top. The older kids would sleep in balaclava hats and thier jackets when it was cold. The toddlers slept in their footed pj's and balaclava . A balaclava is better than a hood because they can move thier heads independently from their shoulders and not end up with restricted breathing space. Whatever you get, try it out in the backyard first.

Top
#103062 - 10/28/08 05:07 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: wandering_daisy]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I'd agree on the down versus synthetic for kids...I figure when Ford hits say 18 he can have a pricey down bag. I bought him the best and lightest synthetics as he was growing up - kids get dirty, they can have accidents. Better to spend half the cost (especially as they grow so fast between say 4 and 10) each time and not have to worry about ruining a bag when washing them.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

Top
#103063 - 11/04/08 02:16 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: sarbar]
flemdawg1 Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 4
Another vote for the TNF Tigger sleeping bag. It's barely 2 lbs, compact and very warm. I would say a 5/6 yo can probably be expected to carry a small pack w/ Sleeping bag, sleeping pad and some clothes (for just an overnight: a change of sock, undies and a rain jacket). Plus a couple of fun items like a headlamp, stuffed animal. Also make them wear a whistle, and you should have one too.

Top
#103064 - 11/05/08 10:03 AM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: flemdawg1]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
If the kid's pack doesn't have it on the sternum strap, you can buy a cheap ($) after market kit to change the sternum strap over to a whistle strap <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Many of the new packs come with this built in - it is a very safe way for a kid to have a whistle that they cannot lose.......
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

Top
#103065 - 11/05/08 08:22 PM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: flemdawg1]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I vote for the tigger too. Great bag for kids! Watch out on the weight though. Kids backs are growing and take special consideration. My rule of thumb is to keep the weight in their pack less than 1/5 of their body weight. For my son at age 6, your list was fine, but for my daughter who still only weighs around 50 lbs at age 8 it would have been way <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />n too much.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

Top
#103066 - 11/06/08 06:36 AM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: thecook]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think how much they can carry depends more on height than weight. Not sure.
But my own feeling is to carry everything until they are about 2/3 your height. Good rule of thumb. I just made it up. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

If you want to go on a really long hike it is best to carry their stuff. If you want to go on a shorter hike, more towards camping, then it is not so critical. My own feeling is that, because of the way we evolved as a species, young children are ideally suited for long distance walking, like 20km per day even in rugged terrain. They're not the best pack mules, at least not until they gain some height. But once they are too big to carry, by design, they should be able to keep up. If you think about it it makes sense.

It is hard sometimes finding clothing systems that don't overburden them, so start with clothing. Find light weight clothing solutions, same as for an adults with no 'extra clothes', just many layers within one clothing system appropriate for the worst weather. Finding lightweight shells is tricky sometimes. You can save alot of weight and bulk in shells. You can sometimes take a small adult wind shell with a hood and shorten the sleeves for a very packable 4oz knee-length kids anorak. Footwear can be tricky also. Kids don't need heavy boots, but it can be hard finding something for snow they can still walk in. Often better to tow them in snow, and have them do their running around when you stop. Sleeping solutions are very tricky also. There are some good childrens sleeping bags but they don't come in enough sizes. I think it is generally better anyway to have everyone sleep together in one lightweight tent with blue foam pads to cover all the sleeping area, and then to use a combination of light sleeping bags, lightly woven wool blankets, and light overquilts, in order to find a weight efficient solution minimizing total surface area, usually with adults on the outsides and kids in the middle. It might take some work to build a solution customized to your family and with enough warmth for the season you are hiking in. When hiking with kids solutions can get complicated, and keep changing. For kids, the stuff in stores is not generally geared towards less encumbered longer distance hikes, but it is easy to make or modify or make do. Frankly I've forgotten what worked best for Margaret at that age, but if you keep having fun you will keep working something out, from one year to the next.

I will post something once I set her up again for this winter. Might even get her on cross-country skis this year. She has now turned 9 years, but still only 48" tall, if that. Still under 50 pounds I think. Its been awhile since I last checked. lol

Top
#103067 - 11/06/08 08:27 AM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: punch]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
I'm planning a 2-3 day overnighter, next year, hope to bring my 6 yr old with me, thus i will need to carry almost everything, she will have a small pack with maybe her clothing, but the rest will be carried by me, any tips, ideas? obviously I have to pack light, and have a hubba hubba tent, and lightweight stove, I'm looking for a lightweight sleeping bag, maybe a quilt for me and small bag for her.

I also plan on going the thermorest pro 3 route 3/4 length.

anyways looking for some ideas, or real life stories..

we did some car camping this year, over 3 nights, using some backpacking gear with no issues, she also covered 10km of day hike trails..

steve
Reading you post again I think you are totally on the right track there, with something over her and then a quilt over both of you. If you can't find a summer weight sleeping bag that is just her size then you might be better off anyway to make her one out of a loosely woven wool blanket and a few buttons, assuming she is tucked under the quilt with you. A blue foam pad might be better for her than an inflatable. Warmer for its weight, and you can size it to fit her and integrate with your pad. If it doesn't bring her up to the same level because of your own sleeping pad then you might use two or use your backpack or something to raise her up. I like having my daughter slightly higher rather than lower, like she would be on a mattress. Backpacks can also make great bivies for kids if it gets extra cold or wet.

Here is a real life story from summer 2007. I didn't have a sleeping bag for her so I left mine home also and we used a combination of polyester fleece and light nylon over both of us inside a small kids tent with blue foam pads. Normally such a solution would be heavier than proper sleeping bags or quilts, but for summer for an adult and small child inside a small tent you can usually put together something at least as good as two separate sleeping bags especially if the child is quite small. I remember Margaret slept like a log and gave off heat like a radiator. I was somewhat colder, as it was damp, and she had most of the covers. I remember the light nylon layer helped trap the heat even though we were inside a tent, so always include some sort of shell in your system if you make something out of fleece or wool even for inside a tent. Something like a light spinnaker cloth, or a rain poncho.

Top
#103068 - 11/06/08 08:30 AM Re: backpacking with kids, and carrying there gear? [Re: punch]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
thanks for the response, care to post your gear list for a 2 person hike with one pack?
I will post our clothing and gear list after our next trip.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
Yesterday at 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Rockfalll on El Capitan in Yosemite
by balzaccom
09/28/17 09:47 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 26 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Weve, Tones21, Pasquale, Rahultravel, Tated
12422 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com