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Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Yosemite with kids report- Lighter, farther, fewer bugs! on 10/19/2009 23:16:51 MDT Print View

This year's trip was longer, lighter, and way better than last year's.

Team:
My wife and I- Age 44.
Daughter age 8- She's very tall and a heavy for her age, but also strong and tough.
Son age 6- He's a bit tall and pretty skinny for his age; he usually eats nothing but when he does he becomes Super Hiker.

Last year's trip:
15 miles over 3 days near Devil's Postpile/ Shadow Lake. Mosquitoes and mud. Good times but very buggy.
Packs: Dad 55 lbs; Mom about 45; Girl about 8; Boy about 5- total about 113. Had way too much food and way too much weight.

This year's trip:
33 miles over 5 days from Tuolume Meadows to Yosemite Valley via Lyell Cyn; Ireland Ck; then down past Vogelsang & Merced Lake. August so no bugs or water crossing issues.
Packs: Dad 35; Mom 35; Girl 6; Boy 4- Total about 80.

Big difference in our load. I was happy to dawdle along with the kids with my lighter pack. My son and I each have new packs since our family trip last year- mine is a 31 oz Six Moons Starlight and my son's is 8 oz made for him by Tim Marshall.

My wife once again carried her 6.5 pound Eagle Creek travel pack and daughter carried her 2 pound REI kid's pack. Both have seen the light and want new packs before next year. My wife especially as she saw that I carried 10 pounds more group gear than she but my load was the same (I also had way less personal stuff).

We still (of course) had too much stuff, but way better than the prior trip.

The biggest deal was how well my kids did. The trail was flat 5 miles first day, then uphill 6 miles; downhill 8, downhill 9; downhill 5 to the end. As you all know, "downhill" isn't ever all downhill and even so it can be exhausting. The Yosemite horse trails are really brutal for short legged kids. They would have been happier on rolling terrain.

We learned a lot as a family and my kids are bucking for a much longer trip next year. We even talked about the full JMT, but that was mostly just dreaming. At this point I'm looking for a good 80-120 mile trip to spread over 2-3 weeks.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Yosemite with kids report- Lighter, farther, fewer bugs! on 10/19/2009 23:33:56 MDT Print View

That's really cool. Be even cooler with pics! Wow, you wife has a heavy pack....

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Family lightening up. on 10/19/2009 23:51:28 MDT Print View

Last year I carried my trusty 7 pound Lowe Expedition.

I've identified about 15 pounds total that we can easily trim; if my wife lets me pack for her make it 20!

Sorry about the lack of pictures.

Good Yosemite View

Final stretch to Yosemite Valley