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Gear List for family backpack: Mom, Boy (9), and Girl (5)
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Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Re: Fire starter for kid on 04/30/2008 05:30:32 MDT Print View

I have a firesteel (Light My Fire Scout) that all three of my kids (8, 7, and 5) have been able to successfully use to light a cotton ball or tinder-quick fire starter. They are durable, waterproof, and relatively easy to use with a little practice.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Try a non-Bic lighter on 05/06/2008 03:14:02 MDT Print View

Elizabeth, I missed your post when it first came out, but I would look out for an off brand lighter.

I'm guessing you have similar laws to us regarding child proof lighters (which you have found work), but lots of cheap and trashy $2 stores here still sell non-child proof ones.

The other thing you could consider is a stove lighter. It's not LW, but the flame is a long way from his hand, and out of the combustible material.


Matt Ahonen
(ahonenma) - F

Locale: Western MN
Childproof Bic on 05/06/2008 07:45:48 MDT Print View

Take a srewdriver or similar tool and remove the safety mechanism from the Bic lighter. It should slip right out. I think it is the first thing anyone who uses them on a regular basis does.


Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
child proof lighter on 05/06/2008 08:36:34 MDT Print View

I second the removal of the child proofing tab on the mini bic lighters. that is the first thing I do, and after that, they are the best working lighter (of the cheap kind) out there. a few modified mini bics and a firesteel scout (and cotton ball covered in vaseline) should be good!

Mireille Halley
(tinyscrafts) - F - MLife

Locale: So Cal
yahoogroup on 05/08/2008 22:54:27 MDT Print View

I'll look more at your list later but wanted to tell you there is also a backpacking with kids yahoo group, that might be helpful :)
I just recently took my 5 yo overnight- we had a blast, despite getting ripped a new one by grandma upon our return... going alone... blah....

She carried my sleeping bag (down) her clothes and her cheap walmart sleeping pad (9 oz) in a slightly modified marmot kompressor pack, all together under 3lbs. She was mighty cute bopping down the trail.

Elizabeth Kunkee
(ElizabethK) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
trip debrief on 05/29/2008 03:35:02 MDT Print View

Our Sespe Creek trip was wonderful and many thanks to all who contributed ideas towards the gear list. We used just about all the gear we took (except emergency gear, of course); however there was one area that I'd like to improve right away -- food. Maybe it's the "mom" in me but I wanted to be sure no one was hungry and we ended up returning with 28 oz. of food. That's a lot of unnecessary weight! Does anyone have tips on how to correctly gauge the right amount of food to take? Are there threads that discuss this issue?

Our pack weights when we started were 28, 10 and 4 pounds. For my next step in lightening up I’d like to buy myself a new pack. I'd be moving from a 4.5 pound external frame backpack to something that can carry the bulk of fleece jackets and up to 25 pounds of gear. I appreciate the pack recommendations above and the reviews elsewhere on this site but I still have a few questions -- first, where can I get info that is specific to how well a pack fits a woman? and second, is there anywhere in the Los Angeles area that would provide me with the opportunity to try on lightweight packs before buying?

Thanks again, Elizabeth

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Start a diary. on 05/29/2008 21:18:51 MDT Print View


I think it will be pretty hard, and probably inaccurate, for anyone else to try to help out on the food thing, since all kids (and adults) vary so much. I found the biggest help was to start keeping a spread sheet of what we carried and what we ate, meal by meal. This is important, since often we all eat less on the first night out, and then start to eat more than aat home on day two or three. I also hate to prepare food and then not be able eat it. What do you do with it then.

It's also worth trying to work out at home how much you need. Is 1 cup of rice enough to feed you, or do you need 1 & 1/2. This will all help to level it out.

Good luck, Rod

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
why didn't i see this before? on 06/13/2008 20:03:30 MDT Print View

i'm not that far away from you - south orange county. if you would like to get together for a kids & mom gear confab, i would be more than happy to. i actually run the backpackingwithkids yahoo list that somebody mentioned above and have been backpacking with my kids for almost 6 years now.

let me know if you're interested - tarbubble at yahoo dot com.

Tim Briggs
(el_vaquero) - F
It's been a while since the last post... on 04/18/2009 11:38:40 MDT Print View

but as far as trying on gear, there is REI and Adventure 16 that carry a wide variety of gear. Also, look at the manufacturer's website for a "dealer locater" to help find local stores that may carry what you're looking for.

As far as food goes, you can make the same meals at home to see how much everyone eats and figure a little more than that if you're going to be burning a lot of calories...