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Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Lack-of-a-trip report on 09/10/2008 23:31:13 MDT Print View

I'm new to BPL, and more or less new to lightweight backpacking in general. Although it had been a couple years since my last backpacking trip, and one every few years is par for me, early this summer I suddenly became obsessed with solo UL backpacking - I'd never backpacked on my own before. I started spending all my free time optimizing a new gear list, and then assembling gear.

My second child was due later in the summer. Could that have been an factor in my sudden urge to hit the trail? Very likely. Hopefully a single wall tent and down bag are heathier midlife crisis purchases than a vintage Corvette.

My wife wasn't wild about be hitting the lonesome trail so close to her due date, but I managed to negotiate a one-nighter, and my soul was fed. Since then, though, I've managed to shave off 6 lbs on paper from my gear and I'm eager to put it into practice. Also since then, my 2nd son was born; he's two weeks old.

Today my two-year-old couldn't nap, and though I don't usually do this, I put him in the car to try to lull him to sleep. Only 15 minutes East from Seattle we were in forested mountains, and the urge to disappear for a while was strong. Even Spokane sounded mysterious and exciting. The boy never fell asleep, but I kept heading up for almost an hour until the kid got antsy and I turned off at a forest road and drove on dirt to a trailhead.

My boy and I kicked a beach ball around the parking area for a while, and then we headed back home.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Lack-of-a-trip report on 09/11/2008 05:14:39 MDT Print View

Eric,
When there is nice weather I take my oldest son (5 yrs) and/or him and his little sister (<2 yrs) in a child carrier on a shirt hike so I get out into the woods and their mother gets a much needed break. It works best early in the morning since those two wake up early, and mom would like to sleep in. It's also a great way to introduce the kids to the outdoors and some 1-on-1 time since my youngest often falls asleep during the hike.

It is hard to keep pace with some of these single folks or empty nesters that have much more flexibility in their schedule and get out on all of those multi-day hikes.
Tom