Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Thru-hiking with a 3 month old baby?


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Dave T
(DaveT) - F
never. on 11/19/2009 09:49:28 MST Print View

(loosely paraphrasing Apocalypse Now)

"... never leave the crib, never leave the crib..."

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: Re: Re: Parenting even more irresponsible than thru-hiking or jumping babies.... on 11/19/2009 09:52:48 MST Print View

"Something needs to lighten this thread up."

Flying babies???

PJ Flies

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Parenting even more irresponsible than thru-hiking or jumping babies.... on 11/19/2009 10:52:40 MST Print View

My in-laws HATED it when I did that with my kids!

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
casey. on 11/19/2009 11:03:09 MST Print View

uh oh!

now YOU will be the subject of four more pages of "Tssk Tssk Poor Parenting" posts.

throwing a poor defenseless child into the air! for shame! that child needs to be wrapped in shock absorbent foam, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap, and set gently on an expanse of soft grass, not tossed willy-nilly into the atmosphere to face the brutal reality of gravity.

for shame!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Parenting even more irresponsible than thru-hiking or jumping babies.... on 11/19/2009 11:06:20 MST Print View

THIS ought scare the crap out of some parents here. And yet it is a very effective method for helping infants survive if they fall in the water and are alone.

(warning: contains images that might be detrimental to heart conditions!)

Please, this is no call for conniptions...

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Parenting even more irresponsible than thru-hiking or jumping babies.... on 11/19/2009 12:25:34 MST Print View

Awesome video! The little dude is just floating there...

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
Re: Re: Burns on 11/19/2009 19:30:22 MST Print View

Thanks, Craig, for pointing out my yelling. yes it is a bit silly. I apologize for some of my comments.

but... it is equally silly to impose once parenting views on others, and that is the heart of some 100+ posts here. but those who are imposing their views mask this act behind their genuine care for the kid they don't even know. i say, most people whom i've observed in life that are truly and meaningfully contributing to kids safety and happiness, are not spending their time on internet forums criticizing others in such preachy, unyielding way!

please forgive me my idealism and slogans..but nevertheless...aren't there more problems in the world to worry about?

yes, i need to lighted up. Listening to Pink Floyd's "Leave them kids alone..."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUASiDg-kg4

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: Re: Burns on 11/19/2009 23:13:45 MST Print View

It's just an internet forum, guys. Wouldn't it be great if we could just have a discussion about a given topic without being met with gut-reactionism, aversion to thoughtful consideration as though it had a poisonous chemical taste, and dozens of people all too willing to jump on the bandwagon?

I think it would, which is why I kept posting as long as I did, in spite of people like Mr. Caffin mysteriously trying to connect my opinion with a certain predestination to fall into the fires of Hell, other people speciously playing the "statistics card" yet unwilling or unable to themselves quote statistics for their opinions, and still others questioning whether I'd been dropped on my head in early childhood or had some other tragic past affecting my mental health. Obviously the group mentality here is too strong to permit that the "annoying guy with the minority opinion," as I have apparently been labeled, might have a point.

And with this, I take my leave of the thread. While I have no reason not to expect that many of you will whole-heartedly wish me good riddance, I must mulishly make the final request that, with me now absent from the discussion and out of your lives, those of you who might ever have the opportunity in the future to decide whether or not to take a three-month-old into the mountains, or recommend on a public forum whether or not this be done, first stop and try to think where I might be coming from when I say that you do not have the right to make a decision like that.

Just think about it. That's all I'm asking. Why would I say something like that? I'm well aware that it's bold and presumptuous--distasteful to anybody who has the slightest sense of self-righteousness in his convictions. Yet there's a reason why I say it. Can you leave your reactionism at the door long enough to figure out what that reason is?

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
oh art. on 11/19/2009 23:53:58 MST Print View

you place words in my mouth like so much banana puree into the mouths of babes.

i never said you were "dropped on your head..."

i only speculated that you were "dropped."

onto what i did not specify.

however, it most likely was from a low height whilst your parents attempted to fry a little spam and serve up banana puree to their newborn, whilst sheltering to prepare for the last pitch up Campbell Hill on that foggy and blustery morn.

anyway... cheers!

(also, all those claims you are levelling at people might find a seat in your lap also.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Burns on 11/20/2009 02:13:30 MST Print View

Hi Art

> Mr. Caffin mysteriously trying to connect my opinion with a certain predestination
> to fall into the fires of Hell,
Whee! That has to be one of the better out-of-context extrapolations I have seen for a while.
No, it was not aimed at you. It was meant to be a very light-hearted analogy. Perhaps you took it that way too?

> when I say that you do not have the right to make a decision like that
Now here I will be serious.

If parents do not have the right to determine how they will look after their baby (which in this case they did with great care and safety), then who has the authority to deny them that right? This is not a dictatorship or a totalitarian State: it is a Democracy. Have the people voted to remove that right from parents? I didn't hear about it.

And if parents do not have the right to determine how they will look after their baby - then who does have that 'right'? The State? Some arbitrary unelected body? No way!

Sorry, but you and I must differ on this point. I will fully support your right to express your opinion, but I will oppose any claim you might make to have the right to dictate to other parents what they can and cannot do. Not in this Democracy.

Or am I reading too much into what you wrote here as well?

Cheers

s k
(skots) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Burns on 11/20/2009 09:19:03 MST Print View

>Or am I reading too much into what you wrote here as well?

You may be, Roger. My hunch is that Art thinks that the parent has the right to decide the answer to the question, "Can the parents take the baby on the backpacking trip?". However, if the parent answers yes, Art believes, (rather strongly; probably based on personal experience) that the parent is irresponsible. And, regarding the baby, the parent has no right to act in an irresponsible way.

I realize that this interpretation represents the edge of another cliff, but fearful of heights, I'm leaning back.

Art said: >Just think about it. That's all I'm asking. Why would I say something like that? I'm well aware that it's bold and presumptuous--distasteful to anybody who has the slightest sense of self-righteousness in his convictions. Yet there's a reason why I say it. Can you leave your reactionism at the door long enough to figure out what that reason is?

It's clear that you have strong emotions/feelings around this topic, Art, but I'll confess that I haven't tracked this thread, I don't know your personal history, and I can't read what you don't write.

Based on what you haven't said, I assume that the source of your sentiment is best left private.

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
Thru-hiking with a 3 month old baby?" on 11/20/2009 14:16:12 MST Print View

That's very sensitive Skots and you may have interpreted Art correctly.
If someone does have a terrible disaster as a backstory they need to tell the story in the hope that it persuades the correct decisionmakers in this case Nick and Fany to change their mind, not batter them with criticisms.
I have a different backstory:
In 70's Britain I bought a derelict mill to renovate, our neighbours included an old couple in their 60's. They were not man and wife but brother and sister, twins. They were of the family that had run the mill as a sawmill since the 1800's. They were nice but a bit strange, they kept to themselves and only went out once a week for shopping. This is in the countryside. There were very few other neighbours. In the 90's we started an oak beam business at the mill. One day an old man in his 80's came by and stopped to chat. He mentioned that he used to play round the mill when he was small. I asked if he knew the twins and he said they were childhood friends. I mentioned the adjective reclusive and he told me this story: One day he who was 5 and the twins who were 4 and their older brother who was 6 were playing around the mill when the older brother was killed by being run over by the sewage cart. According to the man the twins were never allowed to play out again from that day on. He lost all his friends and played elsewhere. As far as he was concerned the strange reclusive behaviour of the twins was a direct result of their parents decision around 1910 to not let them play outside after their brother was killed. Although there is no proof, cosseting your children and filling them with fear of the outside may keep them safe but it may have other unforseen consequences. I do not tell this story to dictate that parents constantly test their children's fortitude and bravery with outdoor tests. What I say is tell the story and let people hike their own hike.

Edited by Derekoak on 11/20/2009 14:19:39 MST.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Thru-hiking with a 3 month old baby? on 11/20/2009 15:49:11 MST Print View

"Although there is no proof, cosseting your children and filling them with fear of the outside may keep them safe but it may have other unforseen consequences." This also seems to me a possibility, but based on my understanding of how the brain works an individuals perceptions of how safe the world is come from the oldest circuit of the brain and can be imprinted by an event that we don't even recognise as being important at the time or in hindsight.

I am just pleased that the trip went well and they had fun. Personally I wouldn't have done it, but I fully support them being able to do it and wouldn't try to influence them either way.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Burns on 11/21/2009 00:35:37 MST Print View

"And if parents do not have the right to determine how they will look after their baby - then who does have that 'right'? The State? Some arbitrary unelected body? No way!"


I know I said I was leaving the thread, but I don't see what you wrote to be the rhetorical question you seem to think it is, and I am highly disturbed that you seem to have phrased it as such.

Roger, the baby (any baby) has an inherent right to life. The parents (any parents) do have the right to raise their baby in the way they think is best, but only on the condition that this right is not obstructed. This is what I believe, and the basis for my strong view stems from this belief and what I consider a basic responsibility to evaluate any elevated risk as excessive when an infant is so delicate it can't even hold its own head up. Older babies, as I have said over and over to deaf ears, are a different story; but three months is too young.

Curiously enough (in the context of your question at least) the legal systems in most, if not all, developed countries seem to hold the same belief. Parents whose infants die in easily avoidable ways do time in prison. From all that I've tried to see things from your point of view, I honestly can't bring myself to see any jury in the world ruling that "it could happen to anybody" if a parent had let his newborn die of hypothermia from getting caught in a rainstorm above treeline with a baby strapped to his chest.

I'd also like to clear up two things while I have the chance. There is no "story I'm hiding" and I don't want kids to be kept in padded rooms either (as though either of these had any bearing whatsoever on the discussion). If Nick's kid had been 10-11 months old when he was doing the hike, I wouldn't have said a single thing in this thread. If his kid were 18 months old, I probably would have wished him good luck on the hike.

This all-or-nothing type persona many of you have projected onto me has no place in reasoned discussion. There are degrees between basic safety and protective neurosis, and I hope that it's a vocal minority of the total backpacking community here that automatically connects concern for a three month old with "there must be something seriously wrong with that killjoy, I bet he had some tragic past, blah blah blah."

OK, now I'm really leaving the thread.

Edited by artsandt on 11/21/2009 00:39:28 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Burns on 11/21/2009 14:18:08 MST Print View

Hi Art

A well-phrased reply, thank you. I understand your position much better.

> a basic responsibility to evaluate any elevated risk as excessive when an infant
> is so delicate it can't even hold its own head up.
I think we might agree that this is the pivotal point where we disagree with each other. My problem is the phrase 'any elevated risk'. This phrase is so vague as to be meaningless. It is totally dependent on hidden personal value judgements.

Would picking a baby up from it's cot be an elevated risk? What if you drop the baby?
Would carrying the baby outside near a pool be an elevated risk? What if you trip and drop the baby in the water?
Would carrying the baby around the local shops be an elevated risk? What if there is an armed hold-up or you get involved in a mugging?
On the other hand, is letting the baby sleep in its cot an elevated risk? What about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

You see, there is a genuine continuum in risk, with no absolute threshold. In fact, there is always risk. I am sure you have a personal threshold, but so does everyone else. And no-one has the right to enforce their value judgement on someone else.

As to the jury issue: in this case I think Fany (mother) was probably in closer and more sustained contact with Flora (and more attuned to here state) than most mothers ever would be at home. Which mother would be judged to be more carefully supervising her baby - one who was in physical contact with her 99% of the time, or one who left her baby alone in a cot in another room for hours on end?

> if a parent had let his newborn die of hypothermia from getting caught in a
> rainstorm above treeline with a baby strapped to his chest.
A good question - but could it happen where they were walking?
First of all, in that part of the Pyrenees in summer, I very much doubt it - I have walked there too. The weather does not behave like that. If there is going to be really severe weather it doesn't happen just suddenly, and there is always shelter within a reasonable distance.
Secondly, how would a baby die of hypothermia when strapped to a walker's chest chest under protective raingear? Me, I sweat under raingear! I don't think this is even a credible scenario, and I am sure it was taken into account on a daily basis.

I appreciate your concern for the well-being of the baby, but I just don't think any of the what-if scenarios you have painted are applicable in this case. But I accept that you have your own value judgements; I just ask that you accept that others will have theirs.

Cheers