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rmncwrtr

Backpacking with Kids

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Hubby and my 8 yo are headed out on a three day/two night father/son backpacking trip with others. My husband has backpacked a lot, but never with kids so does any one have any tips or advice. I already made him add to the food he'd planned to take since I've hiked more with the kids than him and know how they eat when on the trail. Thanks!

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Go short, easy shakedown trips to get them used to systems and trail living. Sierra Trading Post has had some deals on soft packs designed for women that have shorter torso length that works for kids ...it's called the Lowe Alpine Systems Merak model. Also, Jansport makes a frame pack sized for kids. I believe they call it the Scout model. My kids like the Lowe better.

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Hide a liter of koolaid or something in his pack so the kids don't know its there until they are almost ready to mutiny.

Hide it from the kids. Not the dad.

Have him take a couple shots of scotch for the late evening.

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Go someplace with water: lake, pond, stream, etc. Kids love water. Indulge the kids when them want to stop and rest/investigate/drink/eat etc.

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Keep your expectations really low. Bring lots of sugar to throw at any problem. Go with many other families with kids. We've found the more kids the easier it is. They don't complain about their feet or how tired they are when they are racing to keep up with the rest of the gang.

 

+1 on water or other attractive things to do/see on the hike.

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I am taking my daughters this weekend on our anual father daughter backpack trip. Bring fishing poles to a lake and it is really fun for the kids. Let them bring a book, coloring book or small game.

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Let them carry their own gear, but make sure they get some "group gear" you know, chocolate, marshmallows and graham cracker :tup:

 

On my first backpacking trip, our stove turned into a fireball and melted into a little puddle of aluminum :tup: It was cool!

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Wow. It seems like a lot of parents on this thread recommend sugar as a way of tricking the children into getting to the top or to the camp site. This is very interesting. How about protein? Beef jerky or some sort of snack that is not sugar.

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Wow. It seems like a lot of parents on this thread recommend sugar as a way of tricking the children into getting to the top or to the camp site. This is very interesting. How about protein? Beef jerky or some sort of snack that is not sugar.

 

I bring good food plus treats - sandwich, baked crackers, cheese stick for good food. Cheetos, kudos bar, fruit leather or some such for the "reward".

 

Also, they get more rewards for harder hikes (7+ miles), and less rest breaks.

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Thanks for the tips all! Son really enjoyed backpacking and can't wait to go again. They went with 31 others on a father son trip. He really fell in love with fishing, too!

 

Strumpett - I think most people bring healthy stuff, at least I'd hope so, but the sweet treats work wonders especially when the kids are dragging or hurt themselves. Our first time Smith Rock last summer, my then 4 yo scraped her leg on a climb. It wasn't bad at all, more of a shock than anything, but she couldn't stop the crocodile tears streaming down her cheeks. RuMR had suggesting hiding some candy in my pack for such instances so I pulled it out. Tears stopped. She only ate one piece and was ready to climb again. And there's nothing like the reward of an ice cream cone or slurpy to help motivate them up that hill to the parking lot! Another sugary tip I took from RuMR that's really helped.

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before you know it, your kids will be sending 5.12 cracks like its nothing!!

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