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Gear for my Young Daughter
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Jay Bonzani
(UltraBound) - F

Locale: NE Oregon
Gear for my Young Daughter on 02/01/2011 20:39:29 MST Print View

My oldest really enjoys day hikes and is to the point that I think she is ready for some overnighters this spring. I am looking to find her a light child size pack, a 20 degree synthetic bag, and possibly a short sleeping pad. She just turned ten, is probably only seventy pounds and four foot ten. I am hoping somebody with kids getting older wants to pass along some gear. I know this will only be used for maybe two seasons with the way kids grow so I am not wanting to invest a lot. I also don't want to get her a bunch of junk that is going to make backpacking miserable. Long story short if anyone has anything like this let me know and I will see if I can afford to take it off your hands.
-Jay ( and Sierra )

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
thoughts on 02/01/2011 20:49:32 MST Print View

I dont have any gear to pass on, but do have a 12 year old that I just went through this with.

He is taller and still darn hard to fit with any kind of decent gear.

REI has had more than one kids size bag in the bargin basement section of their site, so check there once a week or so.

If yours is anything like mine, a simple short z rest will make them happy for sleeping...mine has never complained sleeping on one I have.

The pack is going to be tough to fit I think. I put mine in an exos 34 small I found but I believe it would swallow your daughter. Maybe just any sort of school type pack, or again something in the rei bargain area

Jay Bonzani
(UltraBound) - F

Locale: NE Oregon
Good Thoughts on 02/01/2011 20:57:46 MST Print View

These are the same thoughts I have been having. The REI garage sale is coming up in Kennewick so I will go and check that out and see if I can find something there. The 3/4 pad I have now works good, but that leaves me with no pad so I am going to keep an eye out for one of those. The pack is the biggest challenge. She wont be carrying a lot of weight, just clothing, sleeping bag, pad, snacks, water, and emergency essentials. All together maybe ten pounds. I have been pondering doing a make your own gear type pack and sizing it down, but I don't think I will have the time to complete it before next winter.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Gear for daughter on 02/01/2011 21:04:02 MST Print View

I wish I had some gear to offer to you, I think BPL will come through. I am always glad to see little girls getting to experience the outdoors. Too often they get to stay home while brother goes with dad. Good for you! I can contribute a hat if you'd like.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
something like this? on 02/01/2011 21:10:08 MST Print View

would something like this pack

it's a day pack for an adult, but may be the right size for your daughter.

anyway, I bought it when I was looking for a day pack, I decided on another so I no longer need it if you think it would work.

Jeffrey McConnell
old external frame pack on 02/01/2011 21:10:44 MST Print View

I have an old external frame pack from when I was 12 and in scouts - I was small for my age. Unfortunately, shipping it may be cost prohibitive, but you can have it if you want it for just the cost of shipping. I can take pictures if your interested. Besides pad and sleeping bag, what else do you need for her?

Edited by Catalyst on 02/01/2011 21:11:26 MST.

John Devitt
(cabana) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Gear for my Young Daughter on 02/01/2011 21:33:32 MST Print View

I have no gear to offer that would assist you. One of my teenaged bouys is a twig, and packs were a real challange. The osprey tallon 44 was a good fit, but the buckles seamed flimsy to me. There are short sized quilts that pop on here for sale. I have 2 moonestone 30 deg F synth bags in short that have served us well. Sometime these show up on C.L. & E-Bay.
There are a couple of guys on here who may be able to make a bag & pack to meet your needs. If you just need very basic designs, these may even comparitive in cost to buying new gear at a retailer. Best of luck on your search!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Ideas on 02/01/2011 21:40:14 MST Print View

I wish I had a pack to offer but I don't. Here are a couple ideas. Look for size small or extra small adult gear. A lot of times the smaller stuff is the last to sell when its discountinued so you can find good deals on places like This could work for sleeping bags too. For sleeping pads get a cheap Wal Mart blue pad or a slightly nicer one at REI for a bit more.

Edited by Cameron on 02/01/2011 21:42:22 MST.

Allen Coleman
( - F
Couple suggestions on 02/01/2011 22:02:17 MST Print View

I have a 13 year-old daughter that is super thin (about 5'0" and 70 pounds soaking wet) and an 11 year-old daughter that is super thin ( about 4'9" and 6- pounds soaking wet). For backpacks, I bought the Osprey Jib 35 for the oldest (got it when she was smaller) and the Deuter Fox 30 for the youngest. I like the Osprey better, but the Deuter is fine.....both are VERY adjustable to make them fit just right. For sleeping bags, I found getting an adult sleeping bag works great. They'll grow into it, is my reasoning. Obviously, when they are only 70 pounds they don't carry much. A few years ago, my girls started carrying just the packs, sleeping bags, water and snacks. Now they will carry their packs, clothing, water, food and split the tent between them. I carry they kitchen, any additional cold weather gear for them, extra water (depending on the area)and any other additional things. My pack is a little heavier than 25 pounds, but it's such a short distance, it's not an issue for me. Total weight for the girls packs is about 14 to 18 pounds for each of them (depending on what clothing, ect we will use)...not bad. The 10-15 mile overnighters work out very well. This year we'll start the 2 night treks. The girls love it and ask when the next one is all the time. Good luck, she will really enjoy spending time with you.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
My kids dont need expensive gear on 02/01/2011 22:15:38 MST Print View

I approach this a little differently, here is what works for me.

I just did this with my three daughters, 6, 8 and 11 years old. For myself, I like good gear because I want to do alot of miles for alot of days carrying 20lbs or more, my kids wont do anything like that so I shop accordingly.

My daughters pack is a rucksack-type toploader from Walmart $35 with extra straps and handles cut off, foam pad cut to length, cheap $40 sleeping bag from walmart, cheap puffy jacket from the thrift store. This was all that was in her pack and it weighed less than 8lbs for sure. My pack contained everything else we needed including her clothes, food, bowl, etc. Her clothes were thriftstore stuff, fleece galore can be found there.

For 3-5 trips a year, this gear will work great and will last for several years. She carries very little weight, so durability is not an issue. If she gets more serious about backpacking later, then I'll invest.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re My kids don't need expensive gear on 02/01/2011 22:36:20 MST Print View

For a long time my little brothers used the following gear.
1. 2 pound 40 degree sleeping bag from Dick's Sporting Goods, on sale for $40.
2. A variety of backpacks moslty hand me downs (i.e. free)
3. Cheap plastic ponchos. We just didn't go if there was a really bad forecast (may not be smart out west, we were in Virginia).
4. Thrift store fleeces and down jackets and vest.
5. We mostly slept under a tarp.
None of this stuff cost much and it worked well for shorter overnighters. Once the youngest brother got into backpacking more I started outfitting him with nicer gear like a homemade pack and I turned his sleeping bag into a quilt and made him a bivy, I still wasn't spending much.

Its harder to go light with a bigger group of kids but for just one its fairly easy for the parent to carry a bit extra if the gear isn't the lightest in the world.

If you want nicer gear here are a few ideas
1. North Face Tigger 20 degree sleeping bag. Its just over 2 pounds and pretty good.
2. Dueter Fox kids pack.

Edited by Cameron on 02/01/2011 22:40:14 MST.

k web
(kbweb) - F

Locale: Tacoma, WA
gear for daughter... on 02/01/2011 22:54:15 MST Print View

I have nothing to offer gear wise but think it's awesome that you can share the outdoors with your daughter. A few years back, I was climbing Mt. Rainier and passed a 12yr old (if I remember correctly) and her grandfather heading up to high camp. It was one of the warmest moments I’ve seen on the mountain. Although very slow on the upper mountain (she was faster than him), they made it safely up and down. Can't tell the make of the pack, but she is defiantly carrying her share of the weight

Can't tell the make of the pack, but she is defiantly carrying her share of the weight.

Edited by kbweb on 02/01/2011 22:56:02 MST.

Jedd Cheshier
(JeddCheshier) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Outfitting daughter on 02/02/2011 08:38:34 MST Print View

At 4'10" you probably have some adult size options available. I'd get her torso measured for a pack. As for a sleeping bag, both my wife and daughter (6 years old) have Sierra Designs Flex 30 down bags. They are great quality, will last a long time, and can be had inexpensively ($100 or less sometimes). This will be much lighter than most synthetic options, warmer, and last longer. I use an inflatable pad and so does my daughter. On established campsites you can probably get away with just a foam pad though.

FWIW, my daughter is too short for adult size packs and the kids packs are too darn heavy. I bought her an adult day pack (used) with a small waist belt which I am in the process of modifying the shoulder strap attachment points.

Previously she has been just carrying a Camelbak mini mule(pink). It's not big enough to do much though.

I think there is an untouched market for functional, little girl packs in feminine colors. Hint, hint.


Locale: East Bay
Day pack on 02/02/2011 09:41:28 MST Print View

For a 10 year old weighing 70 pounds, you are talking a load of 7-10 pounds to be in the 10-15% of body weight range. Just take a light day pack (her school pack) and load a sleeping back (North Face Tigger weights 2 pounds), cut down foam pad and just her clothes and small water bottle. All done. Alternatively, my son can now use a Golite Jam size small. You get to mule the rest, but if she carries that you'll be fine.

This is what we have done with our 2 kids for the past 3 summers. They are now aged 10 and 6 and we did a week long trip to John Muir Wilderness this past summer with their just using day packs. Have fun!!!

Sherry Thoeny
(thoeny) - F

Locale: Arkansas
Re: thoughts on 02/02/2011 09:47:05 MST Print View

I do not have any gear to offer. I have been going through the same thing with my daughter, Sydney. She is 11 and it took a long time to find a pack that would work for her. I found a used external really cheap, but it just never fit. Then I found a day pack that I thought would work. It was just to long on the torso. I found a small pack at a thrift store. It was a Jansport I think. It looked good and seemed to fit her, but it was still not quite right. My mother bought her an Osprey. It is awesome. I felt guilty for not getting it for her sooner. She loves it and never complains about her pack hurting anymore. My mother also bought my niece, Taylor, a Dueter Fox. That too is a great bag. Taylor was 5 the first time she went with us. When we got to camp she was walking around in her pack. Mom and I had dropped ours, but the girls were still wearing theirs. We had to suggest they take it off. The Osprey and Dueter both have many points of adjustment, so you can get just the right fit. They also will grow with you child for a while. I did a brief overview of the packs here:

We ordered them from REI. They do have a great return policy, but happily we did not need it.

Like others have said thrift stores are a great place to find clothing. I have found several down jackets and vests there. As well as other light weight clothes.

I made a bag for Sydney from a down comforter I found at a thrift store. It worked very well.

I would also suggest a hammock. Just a cheap hammock provides loads of fun for Sydney. You can get one that is inexpensive and does not weigh much. Sydndy and Taylor really have fun with it. Plus it works as a camp chair.

Sorry I do not have any gear that will help you. I think it will be a long time before Sydney outgrows her pack.

Here are the girls with packs on:Sydney and Taylor

Cory Whitesell
(Coryw) - F

Locale: Midwest
kid gear on 02/02/2011 10:22:36 MST Print View

+1 on the Deuter fox backpack. I found it on clearance at REI outlet and it has been a good investment. I had been using a basic daypack for him, but my son found the deuter much easier to carry. Be careful though, as he turns 10 this year and it is almost too small.

+1 on the Field and Stream bag. It's fairly light and for $40, we've had it into the 30's without issues.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Gear for my Young Daughter on 02/02/2011 12:14:44 MST Print View

I've got a Osprey Daylite Daypack. You can see it here.

If you think it would work, your daughter is welcome to it. Just give me an address.

Nancy Twilley

Locale: STL
pack on 02/02/2011 12:46:40 MST Print View

You know this might be out of left field as a pack suggestion, but you could try a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone. The lowest torso adjustment on it is 14 inches, which is smaller than almost all other adult-sized packs out there and works for me as a 5' tall woman. It adjusts all the way up to 17 inches -- which means it grows with her, and she could have it all the way into adulthood. Waistbelts can be changed out and come in women specific sizes -- and small sizes too. Weight is 3 pounds before modifications, but mine currently weighs in at 2 pounds 8 ounces after trimming and fixing.

Jay Bonzani
(UltraBound) - F

Locale: NE Oregon
Thank You on 02/02/2011 12:59:17 MST Print View

Thank you for all the thoughts on this. I wasn't expecting such a big response. I really like the looks of the Deutur Fox, and the great feedback that everyone has for it. Going to keep an eye out for one, and hopefully find one at the REI garage sale. With it being garage sale season for REI if anyone sees one please snag it up for me and I will pay the cost and the shipping if it is under sixty dollars. Went and measured her torso to see what it came up as and she is in the 15 inch range so most day pack options seem to be too tall though I really appreciate the generous offers!! Still open if anyone has a short synthetic bag, though I am pretty stuck on having it go down to 20 degrees as I spend a lot of time up in the eagle cap and the blues where it can get pretty cold at night and nothing is worse then a cold little girl not sleeping well. I have found that she sleeps pretty cold as it is. As far as clothing she is pretty set with clothes. I have found a lot of nice things new and used for good prices that are good enough quality to see her through. Although if her feet continue to grow I may be in the market for a set of trail runners or light boots this summer. All of that said it is nice to hear that I am not the only one that is struggling through this and that other parents are having the same struggles. It is nice to hear what has worked for you so that my daughter can have the best experience possible. Thanks again!!!!

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Gear for my Young Daughter on 02/02/2011 13:30:23 MST Print View

Alas... all our smaller gear was passed on to others, the last being one of the small MLD packs which someone got at the BPL Pt Reyes trip last year. Good luck.

A group of us started taking our daughters backpacking when they were around 7. The first observation I will make is that having fun, and being with friends counts for a lot. Most young girls will enjoy pretty scenery for a few minutes, but they can get hours of enjoyment playing on a beach, swimming, petting horses, swinging on a rope, etc. So most important is to make the trip fun for them.

Over the last 7 years I have watched what our girls carry change. The first trip most of the girls were using parents technical daypacks or their own book bags, with dads taking some of the kids stuff because their packs didn't have enough volume. One thing to be careful about: a lot of adult daypacks don't work because the waist straps don't go small enough for young kids. The Dueter Fox 30 was the most common pack specifically purchased. A couple of the girls used youth oriented external frame packs which tend to support a wide range of torso lengths. I have a list on kid's packs that a bunch of our girls have used.

With sleeping bags, the most popular kids bag was TNF Tigger, but a number used adult bags with something done to try and cut down the volume. The Montbell superstretch seemed to work the best, with the elastic pulling in around the body, and the drawstring near the foot that lets the bag be shorted. I know it's not a cheap bag, but it's one that can be used for years and you don't have to worry about it being outgrown. I purchased one for my daughter around 4 years ago. She loves it. I expect it will carry her through college when she can buy her own gear.


Edited by verber on 02/02/2011 13:43:35 MST.