Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Proposed Kid gear list
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Proposed Kid gear list on 03/20/2009 06:25:42 MDT Print View

Kid gear list for 6-8 year old children. Girl is currently 8 years old, 4'10", 100 pounds. Boy is 6 years old, 3'11", 50 pounds. Summer backpacking in California's high Sierra. Temperature range 30's at night to 80's in the day. Expect mosquitoes, prepare for rain.

Listed in order of priority for them to carry.
?? indicates ideas especially subject to suggestions.
(h)= have already (n)= need

Shoes- Trail runners or similar sturdy low-top to mid shoes- probably not boots.
Socks- (h)Smartwool 1/4 crew.
Underwear- (n)?synthetic boxer briefs? (to prevent inner thigh chafe and monkey butt.) Girl tends to get rashes wearing cotton underwear when sweating a lot.
Shorts/trousers- ?synthetic shorts or zip-offs. (Have zip-offs for girl, hopefully they'll still fit this summer)
Shirt- ?collared sun shirt? Synthetic 3/4 sleeve baseball shirt? Icebreaker T? Polo shirt?
Hat- (h)Brimmed sun hat for him, ball cap for her (hair covers ears & neck)
Sunglasses (n)(plus spares)
Trekking poles (h) REI
gaiters- (h)REI Sahara gravel gaiters

---In pockets/lanyard
Whistle (h)
Head net (h)

--In/on pack
Pack. Have REI Comet for her (2.5 lbs), Tim Marshall special for him (0.5 lbs).
Windbreaker (h)(very water resistant)
Mosquito shirt (n)(netting/taslan) Considering making bug shirts, possibly with sun protection on top of sleeves.
Water- 1/2 liter bottles
Rain gear- ?rain coat, poncho, rain cape, rain shorts, rain skirt?
Insulation layer- (h) fleece pants and sweater
Beanie and polypro gloves (h)
Headlamp (n)
Games ??
Toy ??
Sleeping pad (h)(we have 16 oz self-inflating for all, but they would probably be fine with lighter closed cell foam)
Sleeping bag (have REI Zig-Zag for girl, need something for boy)
Pillow- attach cord to sleeping bag stuff sack so it will stay in place on pad
Share of trip food (probably not)
Share of group gear (dishes, cozies, etc.)

--Carried by parent, beyond normal group gear
Change of clothes for child- at least underwear, socks, shirt. Just in case their pack falls off a cliff or goes swimming.
?Spare footwear of some sort? (Crocs?)
Secret stash of favorite treats in bottom of bear can.
Secret surprise toy? Water pistol?

Edited by jimqpublic on 03/20/2009 09:56:44 MDT.

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
10-year-old comparison on 03/20/2009 09:30:06 MDT Print View

inserted comments based on 10-year-olds doing the JMT last year

Shoes- ?Trail runners? or similar.

you won't have a lot of choice there anyway - last year we were looking everywhere for some solid hiking boots for her 2 1/2 sized feet and couldn't find anything better than the Vasque boots REI sells. The shoes were the reason we had to abort. This year she's wearing La Sportiva Glacier boots, twice the weight, 10 times the protection. Hevier, sure, but a trip can go sour when the feet don't work. Now, for anything under 50 miles, I'd have her use slight shoes again.

Socks- ?Smartwool? 1/4 crew.

worked well for them last year - they had one pair on, one for change

Underwear- ?synthetic boxer briefs? (to prevent inner thigh chafe and monkey butt.)

cotton worked fine

Shorts/trousers- ?synthetic shorts or zip-offs

zip offs in their size are hard to find. we brought nylon shorts and nylong long pants. She brought some heavier and warm cooton climbing pants and Gore-Tex Sierra Designs pants. They wore these long pants much more than I did, given their smaller bodies don't retain core temp as easily.

Shirt- ?collared sun shirt? Synthetic 3/4 sleeve baseball shirt? Icebreaker T?

I think we had some Campmor or similar brand Nylon hiking shirts. They even come in cool purple for girls

Hat- Brimmed sun hat for him, ball cap for her (hair covers ears & neck)

hair was a big issue with my daughter - tangle mess. This year the hair is a few inches shorter and should be easier to keep tamed. The hats they had were exactly the same as you are planning.


we lost a pair, in spite of those nifty neck straps I bought for them, plus we had carry cases.

Trekking poles

REI ultralights worked for us. First time they ever used them. Turned out after a few days that he prefered to use only one pole, so I ended up carrying his second one for 95% of the hike. Only at river crossings did he use the second one.

gaiters- REI Sahara gravel gaiters

didn't bring any - see no need unless you're going to do some serious off-trail on loose material. But if you're doing trail runners, you probably need them

---In pockets/lanyard
Head net

we didn't have any bandanas, no head net. Bugs were never a big deal. I had more issues with them than the kids (my blood must be tastier)

--In/on pack
Windbreaker (water resistant)

we went with waterproof

Mosquito shirt (netting/taslan)

Don't even know what that is. We had some DEET and used it maybe twice in 3 weeks.

Rain gear- ?rain coat, poncho, rain cape, rain shorts, rain skirt?

we had ponchos that were useless (water leaked through after half an hour of heavy rain/hail), but their REI gore-tex jackets worked great. She had gore-tex pants and was usually just fine when it rained. His pants were just "water repellant" and failed. Upgrading this year, and we're leaving the ponchos behind.

Insulation layer- ?pile pants and sweater?

both had fleece jackets, and they were the right choice for the wet weather we ran into. For warmth he layered nylon long pants with the repellant wind breaker pants, she had the Gramicci climbing pants and Sieera Designs gore-tex that were penty warm on the coldest morning (Muir Pass, about 25 degrees) we experienced

Flashlight with reflective lanyard

we all had the same headlights - worked great the day they decided to push on past sunset to reach a destination.


didn't bring any - they found a million things to do from building fires, dropping rocks into lakes and streams, chasing frogs, playing frisbee with 5 gallon bucket lids at the Muir Ranch, playing with the dog at the Muir Ranch, bowling at 10,000 feet with a Flintstone-caliber bowling alley they built, etc - I would not worry about kids needing some entertainment. She had a small camera and was our official still photographer - took it very seriously, too, while he was the official camp fire builder. We even made mountain cookies at Reds Meadows...stuff will come up.


two of our teddy bears have seen the Muir Trail. This year two others get to come along.

Sleeping pad
Sleeping bag

we didn't bring pillows - the fleece jackets or other clothes worked fine.

Share of trip food
Share of group gear (dishes, cozies, etc.)

last year I carried all food at all times, but once in a while they carried the pot or the tent stakes. This year, on the second half of our trip, they'll have their own Bearikade Weekenders and the light part of the food, because there's no way I can fit 9 days of food into my canister. I plan to carry more of their gear at the point we pick up that load, plus we'll be eating their food first to drop the weight on their backs quickly.

--Carried by parent, beyond normal group gear
Change of clothes for child- at least underwear, socks, shirt. Just in case their pack falls off a cliff or goes swimming.

good idea - we had a river crossing incident when she fell backwards and her pack got submerged for a second. Lucky it wasn't worse, because other than wet pants there wasn't a problem.


?Spare footwear of some sort? (Crocs?)

we used regular heavy flip-flops, but this year we're taking Sprint Aquatics shoes. Much lighter, pack better and don't float away during stream crossings.

Secret stash of favorite treats.

in the bear canister... hard to hide. Gummi bears and Gummi Sharkies made their spirits rise whenever needed :-) Cliff bars were the hit - we need to bring more this year.

They also loved hot chocolate in the mornings, and pretty much anything warm to eat. And one final word on food: NUTELLA.

Secret surprise toy? Water pistol?

guess my kids are older so I didn't plan on that, but when I realized I still had the heavy iPod packed (wasn't supposed to be) and it had a charge, they spent hours in the tent playing the games on that thing. The scary hail storm was forgotten in minutes... Eventually it ran out of juice, since I didn't pack the USB/12V solar charger adapter. We won't bring it this year - guess now we are "veterans" and they both agree that packing light is the way to go.

what did we carry you didn't list?

he brought a small fishing rod, which was an ongoing quest to get fish, but it also was frustrating, because the light rod we brougth was rather prone at dropping line off the reel. They spent more time disentangling fishing line than casting it out. We neve rcaught a thing, but that wasn't a big deal. This year we're not going to bring fishing gear.

For a while he also carried a heavy horse shoe he found, but 10 miles later on a steep uphill, he realized that that wasn't a smart thing to do and left it.

Edited by Fishmonger on 03/20/2009 09:31:24 MDT.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Proposed Kid gear list on 03/20/2009 09:57:36 MDT Print View

Thanks Peter. Great pictures. I made some edits above.

Mosquitos were hell on our June trip last year (Reds Meadow- Shadow Lake). Part of the problem was bringing Repel Lemon-Eucalyptus instead of DEET. This year we'll go in August but I still want to cover the bases. Maybe just DEET and the headnets.

Edited by jimqpublic on 03/20/2009 10:00:23 MDT.

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
DEET on 03/20/2009 10:07:17 MDT Print View

time of year and elevation matters, also the weather in spring. Last year was an issue at about 9000 feet in July, which probably means bad below 9000 in June, bad above 9000 in August.

We had all our long sleeve clothes treated in Permethrin - didn't work (perhaps the Army kit I used was past expiration, but I would have expected those bugs to drop dead on contact, however, they landed happily on my hat on day one and never bothered). I will try over the counter permethrin this year and bring more DEET. There's a point when bugs are so annoying, you just have to do it.

At night we had a lot of camp fires keeping the bugs at bay, and then there was the tent to hide in. Kids wore long pants/sleeves more than I did which helped with the bugs, too. Last spring was very dry and I think it kept the bug population at bay. I recall much worse summers from the early 90s.

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
pads on 03/20/2009 10:19:41 MDT Print View

we had Z-rests - no complains from the lightweights. We'll probably bring them again.

starting to have second thoughts about the fishing rod. they really had a blast with it, even though I dread the idea of having to actually prepare smelly fish in bear country.

ultra-light Teddy Bear at Marie Lakes:

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Permethrin on 03/20/2009 10:21:34 MDT Print View


On that same trip where we got eaten alive I had long shirt and pants that I had treated with Sawyer Permethrin. Some mossies landed and walked around but none drilled.

My wife is opposed to DEET and probably permethrin if I threatened to treat the kids clothes with it. I'll probably just secretly use permethrin and bring DEET along. If the bugs aren't bad we'll use the Repel, but if they're bad I'll offer up the DEET.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Kid Pads on 03/20/2009 10:28:42 MDT Print View

My son has slept the last few nights on his bedroom floor- hardwood covered by an area rug. More room for all his stuffed animals that way. I guess a closed cell pad should be plenty.

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
plenty comfy on 03/20/2009 11:16:31 MDT Print View

yeah, hard to get them out of the bags, even with thin pads

starting on time in the morning was the biggest challenge each day, and I think it will be again this year. Rarely did we get moving before 8am.