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Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum
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Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum on 04/14/2008 16:01:30 MDT Print View

Having read thru many of the postings on the various BPL forums, I do see a small trend where parents are adopting UL methods and techniques so that they can more easily backpack with their families without hauling around 80 lbs of gear. (Been there, done that).

Often these question are sprinkled around under the General Area, Gear, and various others.

Could creating a specific forum for this topic open up a new tapped area/topic that can generate more traffic/business to BPL?

It seems to me that there are a number of light weight backpackers who have started families and want to share their love of the outdoors with their kids and are seeking advice/information on what UL gear there is for kids, child carriers, etc.

The other area that I see that could be a new market for BPL are those "traditional" backpackers that might be interested in adopting UL techniques and gear solely on a practical level of reducing amount of weight that they carry when they are saddled with all the extra gear for their children.

I subscribe to Backpacker Magazine and there are a few articles from time to time that talk about taking children backpacking, but none of the articles talks about strategies for parents to be able to manage the weight or even reduce the weight of the gear that they have to carry.

UL seems like a perfect solution to attract these backpackers to BPL and expand to a new demographic.

Having a forum devoted for this topic would make it easier for existing BPL members and potential new BPL members to sort and find information and reduce the duplication of questions/threads in others.

Anyway, just some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head.

Hope this helps.


Karen Wilson
(kwilson) - MLife

Locale: French Pyrenees
Re: Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum on 04/14/2008 18:56:07 MDT Print View

Hi Tony -

Great idea. I will propose this to my fellow BPL staffers. As a parent, I have seen first hand the benefit of switching to lighter packs, and the new horizons that opened up to my family as we made that switch.

Thanks for the idea,

Edited by kwilson on 04/14/2008 19:33:37 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum on 04/14/2008 22:40:27 MDT Print View

I would LOVE to see that! This would be a great resource for families.

Here is a link to a forum about my first family backpack- my son was 11 months. :-)

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum on 04/14/2008 23:02:20 MDT Print View

You have my vote. I have gone for a 2-4 mile hike in the foothills with my wife and 2 year old son (in a backpack carrier) 8 of the last 10 days. He is in no way UL at over 35 lbs + backpack + water = about 50 lbs. But he loves it, he is good training for me, and he will make 10 to 12 lbs feel like it's not even there! The experiences of others would be helpful as I look forward to a year or two from now when he is able to hike a reasonable distance on his own. I am thinking that there is probably a MYOG or mYOG (modify-YOG) subset of this related to kids too.

I really enjoyed Doug's article last year on the first trip with his son. And if I recall, Ryan occasionally has a piece about outdoor experiences with his son on his personal site.

Edited by jbrinkmanboi on 04/14/2008 23:03:34 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum on 04/14/2008 23:35:23 MDT Print View

Thanks Jason. Henry's been on 3 backpacking trips now (and loads of dayhikes). On the last trip we learned that he's a warm weather backpacking kiddo- he didn't like the cold Fall blast we had on our last trip.

We've got our system pretty dialed now and it's the same as in my previous post- Amy carries a Pinnacle with high volume stuff and I carry a Sherpani Ultralight with Henry and the heavy stuff (food, water, etc.) It works out pretty well, but Henry's gaining weight all the time- it's really messing with my UL mentality!

This spring I want to try a father/son overnight. I think it will have to be a full Pinnacle pack for daddy and with Henry switching off from walking himself to my shoulders. I'm guessing it will be 2 or 3 miles- pretty low key. We'll see how it goes!


David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 04/15/2008 01:31:09 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/20/2014 15:04:37 MST.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: just what... on 04/15/2008 09:05:23 MDT Print View

Actually, breaking out family & kids needs would free up the other forums for those not interested.

As a father of one, soon to be two, I know I'd be interested in easily finding the comments about family camping and backpacking.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: "Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum" on 05/13/2008 15:33:00 MDT Print View

I'm a bit late in responding here but I would love to see this... The two concepts (lightening up and hiking with kids) are so closely intertwined. Additionally, it's in BPLs long term interest to expose as many kids to backpacking (the fun way) as they can, no? Though, the new scouting forum is a welcomed addition to fill a similar need...

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Put in a vote from me on 05/14/2008 14:49:02 MDT Print View

I think this would fit well in the scout category. Perhaps "Scouts and Family"

Hiking with a four and two year old is a major driver to go lightweight.


Jake Calabrese
(trekmore) - F

Locale: Colorado
So.... um... where is it? ;) on 06/10/2008 22:17:01 MDT Print View

Ok, so we have some staff folks saying its a good idea... I was just lurking around for a place to put my report on the backpack we just did with my 23 month old. I can just post it, but it would be cool to do it in a "group"!

We have another trip coming up and I can post that too.

Doug's post was quite useful as was help from a number of people. We went with a TarpTent and a Alcohol stove (first time for both) and had a killer trip. That said, there are a LOT of little details as far as weight, the right gear, dealing with dirty diapers (I used a simple setup that had zero smell!)... anyway... tell me where to post and I will write it up and post some photos...

- Jake

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Suggestion for Family & Kids Forum on 06/10/2008 23:06:07 MDT Print View

This would be great! I was camping/backpacking with my 5 year old daughter (I have 4 kids) this weekend and ran into another Boy Scout Troop with a bunch of younger Scouts and parents. I ended up handing out the website information and suggesting they start looking there. After trying on my pack loaded with all the water and weekend supplies I carry many of the boys and parents were suprised at the light weight and I am a big guy. One of the boys told his dad he didn't want to cary the external frame anymore (oops). They even came by on Sunday to see me pack up the two of us. It only took a few minutes and many were convinced it was worth looking into. BPL could really use another hook. We will see!

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
ditto on 06/11/2008 07:38:38 MDT Print View

i've been running a yahoo list for 5 or so years dedicated to backpacking with kids, and i think having a kids forum on BPL would add immensely to the discussions already going on about what we parents do and how we do it. i'd love to see a separate kids forum here.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: ditto on 06/11/2008 16:28:43 MDT Print View

Me three!

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Family & Kids Forum on 07/16/2008 10:27:23 MDT Print View

I think this sounds great, and I'll pursue it with the higher ups. Thanks for all the feedback!