I started Rock Climbing in 1995, Ice climbing in 2002, Big Wall climbing in 2003, and general mountaineering in 2005. Over the years I've acquired ultra-lite gear and tips I read in Backpacker. My oldest was born in 2007 and we have had a kid every 2 years since then. Now I've stated to think maybe my kids need a Dad more than a climber, meaning I climb a lot and don't spend enough time with the little ones. Maybe backpacking can be a substitute for climbing?
This week I decided to conduct a simulation. Not real backpacking, but something close. I wanted to see what my little ones are capable of so we did a test run in the backyard. We packed the (1)tent, (2)pads, (5)sleeping bags, (4)PJ's, food, water, stove, spoons, cups, and (4) diapers. The kids insisted on carrying their own sleeping bags which are Sierra Designs 2 pound 20 degree bags. Which for June in Idaho, Perfect!
We left the house at 7pm walked a half a mile, and turned around and came home at 8pm. We've camped in the backyard before so the kids know the drill.
Here are the stat's;
Dad weighs 180 and 220 with the pack = 19%.
Mom weighs 146 and 174 with the pack = 16%.
Winter 8-year-old daughter weighs 42 and 49 with the pack = 14%
West 6-year-old son weighs 41 and 47 with the pack =13%
Walker 3-year-old son weighs 29 and 30 with the pack = 4%
Whisper 1-year-old daughter weighs 18 and was carried by mom in the "Kelty" kid carrier.
After one mile of flat ground the kids were more bored than anything. Winter stated to complain, but not too bad, The boys were ready for more. Sleep came but the baby (Whisper) kept scooting forward out of her bag in the night. Walker woke up at 7:30 and said "That's good enough sleep for me!" He started looking for breakfast.
I have a few lakes in the Sawtooth range in mind. Many have a 2-5 mile approach. Stay tuned.