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#181942 - 01/14/14 11:29 PM How far is too far?
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
My son can do 8 miles of pretty tough trail backpacking. Many times he wants to go further but I try to stop before he is worn out completely so we can fish or bird watch, chase frogs, you know kid stuff. So my question is how far can a athletic 10 year old go safely? We are planning several long trips and I would like to plan appropriately. So what's your opinion? Thanks!
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#181946 - 01/15/14 01:28 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
You might want to talk to a good sports medicine Doc to get his opinions. My concerns would be for the knee and other joints being worked at an appropriate level for age. I really cant imagine any harm especially if I recall he is not carrying excessive weight. Of course excessive soreness or any kind of internal pain would call for a stop for the day. Main stream sports would worry me a lot more than hiking with impact and twisting joint injuries. I think building up to his goal mileage would be a good plan before taking off for a week or more. Just let him know your not out to break any records right off and being honest about his condition will allow him to hike for many years if he doesn't risk and injury at a young age, then go have more fun than you ever imagined. laugh

jimmyb

Quote:
fish or bird watch, chase frogs, you know kid stuff


Hey, not just kid stuff. Im all in for all of the above. cool


Edited by jimmyb (01/15/14 01:31 AM)

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#181951 - 01/15/14 10:36 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: jimmyb]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Thanks for the reply Jimmy, he carries between 5 and 7 lbs, so pretty light. He's a very active kid, soccer, basketball, track. I think your right about letting him know it's not a race and enjoy every step.
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#181959 - 01/15/14 02:20 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
OregonMouse Offline
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Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'd have flexible plans so you don't have to push him if the longer distances don't work out, and just to allow for more spontanaity.

Of course the last trip with my 13-year-old grandson, he was running me into the ground! Fortunately, the purpose of the trip was fishing. We hit the first lake a mile from the trailhead. He wanted to fish a while. After about 40 minutes he caught a 10-inch cutthroat, so I didn't even ask--I just found a good campsite and unpacked!

There does come a time, and I'm there with this grandson, that you load the kid up with all his own gear, including food, and half the shared gear, and hope that will help you keep up with him. It may be that next summer he'll carry my food, too!


Edited by OregonMouse (01/15/14 02:23 PM)
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#181963 - 01/15/14 03:55 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Thanks OM, I don't think my son is quite ready for too much weight, he is a bean pole right now. Healthy but on the lower end of the bell curve. He does carry most of his gear just not food. Shoot his school backpack weighs 3 times what his backpacking set up weighs, even with water and extra clothes. Maybe soon he'll be carrying his share of the food. He does carry some snacks.

I really like the idea of a flexible plan, even set up a camp at the 8-10 mile mark then dayhike further to see how far he could go safely.

Thanks once again for the great advise, I greatly value your opinion.

Tyson
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#181979 - 01/15/14 11:18 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Tyson, I was thinking of this thread today and I'm sure you probably already have but if not be sure to teach your son about the rest step as well as resting the weight of pack and body on the bone structure when resting on climbs instead of using muscles when at rest. It may get him further down the trail with same amount of energy expended. When grinding upwards the rest step really helps my skinny butt progress without needing to stop for a breather.

jimmyb

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#181980 - 01/15/14 11:24 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: jimmyb]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By jimmyb
Tyson, I was thinking of this thread today and I'm sure you probably already have but if not be sure to teach your son about the rest step as well as resting the weight of pack and body on the bone structure when resting on climbs instead of using muscles when at rest. It may get him further down the trail with same amount of energy expended. When grinding upwards the rest step really helps my skinny butt progress without needing to stop for a breather.

jimmyb
Great point, and to be honest I haven't taught him the rest step, I have shown it to him once some time ago going up a steep off trail climb, but I need to take the time and really show him, Thanks Jimmy!
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#182037 - 01/17/14 12:03 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
What is a rest step?
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Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182040 - 01/17/14 12:55 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rodwha]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
http://www.backpacking.net/bad-back.html#techniques

http://www.hitthetrail.com/rest-step-for-uphill-hiking

Read the short descriptions at these links. Together they pretty much cover it. As one article says it may seem awkward at first and you will swear it is slowing you down but after adapting it into your hiking routine you will find yourself automatically kicking into rest step as you start up inclines or climbing and although you may not be traveling as fast as others at the bottom you will not burn your legs out and need to stop to rest on some really hard uphill slogs. As you pass up the jackrabbit hikers gasping for air you will find the real value of the step is in its turtle like quality enabling you to walk on by. Of course I still get whooped by just about everyone on the trail but it still saves me burning muscles and time lost huffing and puffing. laugh

jimmyb

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#182088 - 01/17/14 11:17 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: jimmyb]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I'm not even sure what to think of this as I learned in middle school (many, many moons ago) that speed walking was the most efficient way to walk, and I've been doing it since. I have a hard time walking at a moderate pace, much less slowly.

I can sing songs (and do) walking at this pace even when my daughter (40 lbs) is on my shoulders when I've walked her to school for a mile or so.

Walking at a more deliberate and slow pace would no doubt be helpful.

I read in the first link to lock the knee. I didn't quite understand this explanation.

Now that I'm 41 and haven't been very active much lately I could use all the help I can get no doubt, especially when I'm carrying the bulk of the weight.
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Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182090 - 01/17/14 11:36 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rodwha]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Clarification. The rest step is useful when climbing or on steep inclines. If the trail is flat or just sloping you go at your regular pace of course. When your climbing or on a longer steeper incline you can lock back your knee with each step. You are then using the skeletal structure of your legs and torso to support your weight which momentarily takes strain off the muscles of that leg. The other leg muscles are also resting as you methodically swing it forward. Yes these are subtleties but over miles of uphill hiking it works nicely. If you concentrate on particular muscle groups you would be surprised at how unnecessarily tense they are sometimes. Something I learned in the shooting sports where relaxation = less movement.

YMMV, I find it helpful, especially as I get older. Also I don't really mean that you slow down if you don't need to. It just feels that way at first as you eliminate the urge to sprint and rest for a more controlled energy saving stride.

jimmyb

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#182091 - 01/17/14 11:51 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: jimmyb]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
So is this like swinging your legs around as your knees are locked? Just don't bend (use) them?
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Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182129 - 01/19/14 02:11 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rodwha]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Go to Youtube and put in the title box rest step hiking. Lots of videos. Here is one. Hopefully Ward can better show you than I can describe it. smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt17m_KtJ-A

jimmyb

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#182133 - 01/19/14 09:23 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rodwha]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
More like step, weight on the foot, lock knee, pause, step with the other foot... repeat.
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#182136 - 01/19/14 12:24 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: jimmyb]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Ahhh… Nice! Thanks!

I've often been completely pooped going uphill, and I think a part of my problem was learning to speed walk in middle school. Since then my pace is just way too fast for most people, and having a little one who's often pokey, it has made it hard for me as I just can't seem to walk very slow. We try to have her be the leader to set our pace.

One thing I've done to get her going is to tell her she can't beat me and put my arms out to make it difficult for her to pass me! cool Gets her going faster and trying to get in front on our simple little hikes (no packs).
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182138 - 01/19/14 07:31 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
We went for a short hike with our packs today and on the hill I tried it. It felt mildly awkward. I'll continue to try it though, and hopefully I'll not forget it when it's actually needed! Thanks again!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#182139 - 01/19/14 09:04 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rodwha]
jimmyb Offline
member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 276
Yeah its a little awkward at first but like anything else after a while it will be second nature. You wont forget it, it will come to you when you feel that lactic acid burn. cry

jimmyb

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#182211 - 01/23/14 02:06 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: jimmyb]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
A couple years ago I took my 9 year old on a 10 mile day hike. It was pretty much flat the whole way. 8 miles seemed pretty easy, 9 seemed doable, but 10 was just too far for him at that time. So, my recommendation is no more than 10. Of course, once he is 13 or 14, then you can just plan as far as you want to go, and he will go that far for sure. At 16, you need to put some of your stuff in his pack....that way you will be able to keep up. smile
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#182212 - 01/23/14 05:45 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: finallyME]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Last year my son and I hiked 8 miles in the Sierras so a decent amount of gain and loss and that was about his max. So I'm close to your limit amount.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#182214 - 01/23/14 09:07 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I think the kid will tell you if it's "too far!"
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#182215 - 01/23/14 09:47 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I think the kid will tell you if it's "too far!"
kind of why I asked, my son will quietly hike and hike and never say a word about stopping. Once we stop he'll say he's tired a bit.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#182258 - 01/24/14 11:48 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2752
Loc: California
Every kid is different. I think a 10 year old has lots of energy and could hike many miles with a light pack, BUT, would get bored to tears. Hiking is pretty boring, compared to competitive sports or a video game. Kids usually do not get into appreciation of hiking until late teens.

You want your kid to continue to backpack so you MUST make it fun at first. How about involving your kid in the planning. Do some day hikes with the pack on so he gets a feel of the miles. Then let HIM decide. This would also start to teach him to read maps, some math skills to calculate rate of travel x miles = time on the trail. Do some car camping - time your set up and take down times for camp. Do you need to plan 2 hours from getting up to getting going? Or three.

In general I would not make a kid hike more than 4 hours then spend the next 4-6 having fun - fishing, exploring, making fires, games, whatever.

And if you are considering elevation gain, go out and try a bit first.

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#182263 - 01/25/14 09:03 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: wandering_daisy]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Every kid is different. I think a 10 year old has lots of energy and could hike many miles with a light pack, BUT, would get bored to tears. Hiking is pretty boring, compared to competitive sports or a video game. Kids usually do not get into appreciation of hiking until late teens.

You want your kid to continue to backpack so you MUST make it fun at first. How about involving your kid in the planning. Do some day hikes with the pack on so he gets a feel of the miles. Then let HIM decide. This would also start to teach him to read maps, some math skills to calculate rate of travel x miles = time on the trail. Do some car camping - time your set up and take down times for camp. Do you need to plan 2 hours from getting up to getting going? Or three.

In general I would not make a kid hike more than 4 hours then spend the next 4-6 having fun - fishing, exploring, making fires, games, whatever.

And if you are considering elevation gain, go out and try a bit first.
Luckily he has grown up in the mountains and truly loves hiking and camping. He only gets upset when it's time to go home. I totally agree fun is priority #1. He is quite special( I know every kid is special) but he is a A+ student, loves sports, hiking, camping, and especially anything outdoors. I find I rarely have to entertain him. He likes to observe and talk about what he sees. Really most of our hikes is one constant conversation between the two of us. He takes after his mother and can find a lengthy conversation on just about any subject. Really I couldn't be more proud of him. I can't even remember ever being slightly upset with him. He likes to fish and can work a creek quietly for hours, or watch a sun set and count the stars that follow. I'm very lucky. I wouldn't trade him for a thousand other sons!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#182275 - 01/25/14 02:06 PM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2752
Loc: California
You are one lucky man to have such a son. I am sure your parenting had a lot to do with it.

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#182421 - 02/02/14 01:38 AM Re: How far is too far? [Re: rockchucker22]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Awesome!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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