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#84017 - 12/02/07 02:38 PM Gear for Youths (my kids)
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
So, I'm trying to gear up so that when the opportunity for a 2 or 3 day backpacking trip comes we'll have what we need, but of course divorce + new job + preparing to buy a house = cash shortage.
I have a 14yr girl, 13 boy & 10 boy.

For a backpack this was tempting
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3905445

but I decided external frame backpacks would probably last longer, so we tried these on at a big box where they were $114
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores...;productId=9084

on the two biggest and they look like they'll adjust just fine for 3 or 4 years, so I bought 2 from campmor. I haven't figured out what to do for my youngest & smallest yet.

We have big, heavy, rectangular cotton bags that have been used for fair weather car camping & sleepovers, but now we need light backpackable bags.
I've tried to search out everything I can about down vs man made fibers but am still unsure. I want full size bags so that they can be used all the way to adult size, which the 14yr old girl is 5' 6" already & 13 yr old boy is close to that. I expect mostly milder, 3 season camping, but 2 of the kids sleep cold.

This is tempting, but I think it'd be to cold & not last
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=2579726

Then I think this
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores...mberId=12500226

Then I think wet conditions with kids would demand this
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores...mberId=12500226

I don't want to be to cheap but for me $120 per bag * 4 bags is my credit cards limit.

Suggestions?

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#84018 - 12/03/07 08:38 AM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
The frame packs are fine, and probably a better fit than the Eureka internal. Just make sure they are adjusted properly for torso length. For the smallest child, you could look for the smaller Kelty Coyote pack, or REI has a kid's ultralite pack which might fit.

Either of the mummy bags from Campmor would be fine. The down bag would pack significantly smaller, though space usually isn't an issue with external packs. The Campmor down bag gets rave reviews for the price, though realize that the 20-F rating is somewhat liberal. It should be fine down to freezing, anyway.

Some other things to consider, thinking back to my own personal child in the backcountry:

Get basic blue-foam sleeping pads from Walmart for the kids. They'll need the ground insulation.

They'll need decent rain gear. A backpacker's poncho from Campmor is probably enough, or maybe a w/b jacket from Campmor or Red Ledge.

Synthetic clothing is mandatory except in very warm weather. Kids get wet, and they can get chilled and on toward hypothermic without realizing what's happening. (Been there, done that. Not fun.) Bring fleece hat and gloves even in summer (these need not be expensive.)

They should always have a whistle, and a headlamp or flashlight with them at all times. Teach them to stay put if they get separated from the group.

Good luck, and have fun.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#84019 - 12/03/07 04:24 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
Well maybe the younger one doesn't need a pack ?? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Hear me out before you all jump on me. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> At 10 years old, he is pretty small to carry what he may need for a long time, they like to play around and well they are just kids. Maybe a small pack (or backpack) with no frame for him to carry his water, strap on a small sleeping bag and some personal items would be enough ?? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

At a group of 4 people, having 3 people carry the amount of food and clothing it wouldn't weight down the packs much more.

But before you go camping with the new packs and gear, remember take a small walk or 2 around the neighborhood with the packs carrying the same amount of items they will be carrying, wouldn't be fun to head into the trail, a couple of hours later realizing the packs are weighting down the kids too much.

For shelter (I know you didn't mention it but I consider shelter MORE important then sleeping comfort in cold weather you can always add extra layers on before sleep, but in rain, or snow a shelter in my opinion is a must), you can carry a few tarps and some rope, weights less then many tents out there, and that is what I generally use. Not the best method, there are light weight tents out there that work, but the tarp/GI Pup tent system has worked for many years for many people.

Remember, pack alot of water, if you think 3 quarts of water per person will be enough lets say, pack 4 quarts per person of water minimum.

Dimitri

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#84020 - 12/03/07 06:14 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: Dimitri]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
At 10 a kid is plenty old to carry their own personal gear - unless the kid is very small or weak. My son has been carrying his personal gear since he was 6! It isn't fair to the other kids to have to hump the youngest's gear. Having a kid carry his sleeping bag, pad, clothes and other personal items isn't that heavy. By watching weight, it should be around 10-15 lbs at most.

As for bags, you might look at REI at their entry level backpacking bags in synthetic. Most sport reasonable weight and come in 3 sizes as well. A 20* bag will cover most aspects.

As for backpacks? Make sure they try said packs on, and loaded during the test. Each kids body will be different in fitting <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#84021 - 12/03/07 08:57 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
Thanks for the comments.

I went ahead and ordered the Marmot synthetic bags.
I saw a post by Earthling that finally persuaded me to go ahead and get the more moisture tolerant synthetic.
I just didn't want to end up in a 40'F, rainy, muddy situation with damp down bags.
That means the kids will each have to carry 18oz more than the Campmor down bags I was considering, I hate that but I also saved well over $100 in the difference.

Backpack = 3lb 11oz
bag = 3lb 8oz
---------------------
= 7lb 3oz

a little more weight than I wanted, but I still think we'll keep it all under
20lbs

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#84022 - 12/04/07 03:58 AM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
If I simply added the weight of the water I normally carry when hiking I'd be at the 20 pounds mark real easily (6 quarts = 12 pounds). <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

Dimitri

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#84023 - 12/05/07 09:06 AM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
Chrisandco Offline
member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 39
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Good raingear is a must, so are mitts and a toque.

Given your eldest is already over 5 feet, I'd imagine she's pretty much done growing and your safe with "adult" gear. As for the 13 and the 10 year olds, they'll probably grow a fair bit.

External frame packs are a wise choice because they balance the weight better. Internals are nice, but you have to pack them just so or else you'll end up with sore or off balance.

You'll want to make sure you have a sleeping mat, preferably the closed-cell foam. They keep you so warm, insulating you from the ground.

As someone else said, it's important they have a whistle and light, but I'd add a compass to that. Be sure they know how to use it and have them practice while they're hiking. That said, the should know the "hug a tree" rule---if you can't find the rest of us, hug a tree and we'll find you. Remind them that three blows signals an emergency.

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#84024 - 12/06/07 02:35 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
"I haven't figured out what to do for my youngest & smallest yet."

If you haven't gotten him something yet, at the very least, get him a day pack. There are other threads here on kid's packs, so search and go back a year or so.

Even if you are carrying almost everything else, a day pack should have (weather dependent, of course) some extra clothes (fleece, gloves, hat), snacks, and as already mentioned, minimum ten essentials (whistle, small flashlight, etc.) and a water bottle. Tossing in a cheap space blanket wouldn't hurt (one of the ones in a tiny plastic bag) just in case.


Edited by TomD (12/06/07 02:36 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#84025 - 12/12/07 09:25 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
I went with the synthetic sleeping bags instead of the down and I'm glad I did after reading this account,

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7963667
"We left on a short overnight hike with a forecast of 3 to 5 inches of snow followed by rain and wind. Perfect to test new gear. What we got was 3 to 5 FEET of powder followed by torrential rain. We just couldn't make it out without snowshoes. Took 7 hours to go 1 mile.

So it ended up with 4 of us in a 2 man Sierra Designs tent for 2 nights. We immediatly went on reduced rations and pulled together. We had one synthetic sleeping bag. The other 3 were down and worse than useless, everything being thoroughly soaked by this time."

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#84026 - 12/13/07 09:02 AM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“went with the synthetic sleeping bags instead of the down and I'm glad I did after reading this account,…”

Synthetic bags are good for wet conditions and other abuses; but not for the weight and short loft life. When my son is with the scouts, he uses a synthetic bag because scouts seem to do funny things to bags; so I prefer it to be cheap.

But when he’s on a serious backpacking trip (with me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />), we take down. It takes a lot of water to get a Western M bag soaked—and that’s hard! Sleeping bags will always stay dry if you pack it right AND have the right shelter setup <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. Even my WM Flight jacket got soaked once while backpacking and I was still warm in it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

You only have to buy a Western M bag once (or twice <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />) in your lifetime. In the end, down is cheaper for the habitual backpacker.

-Barry

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#84027 - 12/13/07 07:14 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Only thing is...those dorks in that case are not your standard "what to expect" when backpacking in off season". They were woefully unprepared and blew into their trip head strong. They are rather lucky they all survived that trip. And should be very grateful to whatever deity they pray to that they survived it. That same weekend 2 people were killed by an avalanche a couple ridges over.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#84028 - 12/13/07 10:36 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I wouldn't put too much stock in that report. From all I read, those people were unprepared and unskilled. There is no reason their bags got wet except carelessness, from what I read of their own accounts of what happened.

I have hunkered down in torrential rain in my old SD Flashlight and stayed dry, so I don't what they were doing. Poor choice of shelter seems top of my list. Who goes out in a snowstorm without snowshoes or skis? I'm sorry, those people are idiots.

However, for kids in the PNW, I think you made the right choice. I have a down bag and an old synthetic bag. I've never gotten either of them really wet, but I do have a bivy sack for my down bag that won't keep it perfectly dry, but will repel casual water.


Edited by TomD (12/13/07 10:38 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#84029 - 12/14/07 04:54 AM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: TomD]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
It is even harder to find suitable clothes and gear for kids than it is for adults. Too often kids clothing and gear is just scaled down crappy stuff, which makes it even more crappy the way it is scaled down. You really have to 'design' for yourself what makes sense, then look for it. Some of it you might be better off making. Because its smaller it is easier to make than adult stuff, so it makes sense that if you should DIY anything it should be for them. Maybe you can do it with them.

Some of the stuff I find most difficult for smaller kids:
1. Running shoes that are not to clunky and high off the ground.
2. Winter boots that they can actually walk and run and play in.
3. Cheap light nylon wind jacket and pants. Most stuff is so heavy by the time you put it on there is not much room left for insulation layers.
4. Rain gear that is not to heavy and cumbersome.
5. Sweaters and hooded sweaters and skin layers that are 100% wool.
6. Daypacks that actually fit and are not too heavy for small preteens.
7. Ultralight backpacks that fit small teenagers.

Fortunately it is possible to find good fleece and synthetic skin layers for kids, but they should mix wool with that. I think the ideal for kids would be a wool skin layer under quality fleece, and a hooded wool sweater if its really cold. There are some good sleeping bags. Make sure most of the weight is insulation. I agree with Dimitri that the smallest children shouldn't carry everything they need. All the more reason that they shouldn't have a 4 pound pack to carry 6 pounds of stuff. My 8 year old daughter now carries a small shoulder slung bag with just the stuff she likes most, like map, compass, whistle, thermometer, noculars, water, snack, her wind layers, her hat and mitts, and a stick. Always a stick. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#84030 - 12/14/07 08:17 AM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: JAK]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
It isn't hard to find a great fitting pack for young kids (the Dueter Fox 30). For kids under 10 this is one of the best fitting packs around. Makes a great, excellent fitting daypack after they get to big for using it for backpacking.

This pack is NOT UL. Neither does it weigh 4 lbs though.

A well fitted pack does wonders for kids carrying a load, be it heavy or light.

As for shoes? LLBean. They sell excellent trail runners, boots, hikers, etc for kids. Same with rain gear, fleece, down jackets, pants, etc. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Sierra Designs carries kids clothing as well. So does REI, Patagonia and my two cheapie favorites: Target and Walmart.

I can say that kids gear is out there, you just have to know where to look. Ford has pretty much always had a kids version of my gear since he was 4.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#84031 - 08/02/08 09:42 PM Re: Gear for Youths (my kids) [Re: coyotemaster]
PapaRon Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 5
Im going to be the rebel here and probably get some critism. You do live in Arizona. Depending on the time of year and the environment your going to be backpacking, there are a lot of things you probably wont need. Rain gear comes to mind , tents come to mind. I would go with the blue sleeping pads ,again depending on season and area (desert or mountain) you more than likely wont have to worry about rain .

I would put the money into a quality nice fitting pack, Deuter is nice , REI brand also has a nice pack for kids. I live in SoCal and when I was a kid backpacking here in the local mountains we backpacked alot with next to nothing.

You'll need a stove, there are some good canister stoves for about 40 bucks .he snow peak and Msr have nice stoves for that price.

The rest of the stuff you can use your imagination, for example back in the day before the light weight cooking gear, we used to use metal coffee cans to cook with (boil water etc). You just need to use your imagination.

When I return from the sandbox in 6 mos, I plan on taking my family to JT for a nice trip. I was going to find a fancy tarp, I had one all picked out, But I remembered I have a good tarp, though not fancy , new or lightweight but I own it and it will work fine for a party of 5. I was going to use that as a ground cloth for us to sleep on.

So basically where your at right now I would buy the best you can afford, But you dont have to buy everything at once, Buy what you can/ really need, improvise the rest.

Check the Pennysaver, Garage sales, 2nd hand stores, recycler, there are plenty of places to get what you need if your on a budget.

Be creative and it will be alright

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