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Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking
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Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
he is at an awkward stage in life on 09/29/2011 14:38:24 MDT Print View

Someone said he as at the stage where boys try to flex there muscles... I have heard it described as male PMS! It sounds like the problem is he isn't having fun with that scout troop. Find out if any of his friends are involved in a different scout troop or find other parallel ways to get him outdoors. Bike trips would be a great idea. I wouldn't give up on him backpacking yet, you are just going to have to tread lightly the next couple years.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking on 09/29/2011 16:18:12 MDT Print View

I cannot explain how to make someone like something. If you're trying to "convert" someone, that might be part of the problem right there. Keep offering, don't be forceful, maybe they'll come around with time. Maybe not.

So far, I'm fortunate to have kids that genuinely enjoy backpacking and camping and actually ask me to take them. Obviously, it's partly because I take them. But beyond that, I can't say if it's to my credit, luck, or both. They are who they are.

They're only 8 and 10 years old now; quite easily impressed by dad still. I certainly hope it stays this way, but we still have a long road ahead of us. Boyfriends, girlfriends, teenage years, peers, etc...It's going to be a lot of competition for sure.

I suppose it's every parent's fear that they will not be like us. But I think it would be a parent's greatest folly to try and force them to.

As I watch mine grow, seeing different personality traits come forth, I have to be accepting of the fact that they might not like what I like...Hell, they could potentially grow up and vote Republican.

What can we do but share and expose them to what we love? If it doesn't take, we must meet them where they are and (gasp!) accept the possibility that we may have to try and find enjoyment in what THEY like to do if we're to maintain a relationship.

Edited by xnomanx on 09/29/2011 16:21:04 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking on 09/29/2011 16:41:56 MDT Print View

Good insight, Craig.

When my kids were little they both liked camping. The girl hated backpacking and the boy liked it. They are two years apart. So we camped a lot, and occasionally my son and I would take backpacking trips together.

When they got into high school, my daughter was interested in dance and my son distance running. We didn't camp as much, but I went to a LOT of dance performances, track meets, and cross country meets. In 4 years I went to more track and cross country meets than any other parent, which my son reminded me about after he graduated... it was important to him. The important thing was that their mother and I were involved.

Both kids went to college and graduated. My daughter is married and she goes car camping with her husband.

My son... well he is a backpacker now, although not UL yet :)

Joe BPing in snow

I guess we just have to let our kids "hike their own hike," but we need to guide, prepare, teach, and influence them. Our job is to build character, which often means we have to limit or postpone our personal hobbies.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
like on 09/30/2011 14:20:30 MDT Print View

dont make him "like" it .... if he does eventually like it hell come around to it on his own ... if you force it he will hate it

find something he does like ... whether it be swimming, basketball, climbing, etc ...

u have a choice as a parent to be more interested in yourself (hiking) or your kid (whatever he likes) ... i suggest the latter

he may come around when he gets older

hopefully hell like something that involves a highly paid professional sports career ;)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: like on 09/30/2011 14:25:02 MDT Print View

yeah, but what if you daughter wants to be a professional mud wrestler and your son a ballerina?


hope I didn't offend anyone.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: like on 09/30/2011 16:14:58 MDT Print View

lol ... then its up to them ... as long as theyre happy

someone has to do those jobs ... id be a male ballerina ... with all those cute female ones around me ;)

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
"Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking" on 09/30/2011 17:36:34 MDT Print View

It is true that you can't make them like it. You can try and find ways to make the experience more enjoyable for them, but they are who they are.
At 15 my daughter keeps turning down offers to join me. Now and then I am pushier and she reluctantly comes along, but once we are there she likes it ,for the most part. Once we get back, she has great things to say about our adventures.
I expect that she will probably choose not to backpack for a few years, partly because I am so into it. Then, down the line, she may come back to it, since she is someone that really sees and enjoys nature down to the small details. Maybe she'll just enjoy nature without having to sleep outdoors. Who knows? She will have some great memories though.

Edited by Kat_P on 09/30/2011 21:02:14 MDT.

Greg Bohm
(GregInMI) - F

Locale: SE Michigan
He just might not be ready yet on 09/30/2011 20:03:15 MDT Print View

My son was close in age to your son and didn't like backpacking much either. I almost put a trip to Philmont in joepardy because my son hadn't hit the "he man" stage of puberty yet. Its amazing how quick they go from mild mannered to macho when the hormones hit.

I'd give it some time and see if he starts to enjoy working out and getting sweaty.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Help. Son doesn't like backpacking on 09/30/2011 20:08:39 MDT Print View

Flat out Bribery works in the beginning. My son now hikes for free-He's hooked!

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Not yet a Dad on 10/05/2011 21:14:25 MDT Print View

I'm not yet a Dad, but if things go to plan in the next couple of years I might be.

This thread is great. I'm picking up lots of tips for the future. I can't wait!

I guess this doesn't help the OP, but before I buy baby clothes, nappies, a cot, I'm getting myself a really sweet baby-carrying rucksack (and also a good bike trailer, but I won't talk about that here lest the thread gets moved to chaff) as soon as my missus is a green light. All those formative years where they look up to me with wonder, my kids are going to be out and about with me I hope.

I can't wait!

Jackie Barker
maybe not all lost on 10/18/2011 18:56:33 MDT Print View

Well I havent pushed it. Older son wants me to take him and one of his buddies from Scouts back to Savage Gulf first weeken of Nov. Younger I think will go because big brother is going. Looking forward to a great trip. Hopefully will not be too awful cold yet. Welcome anyone who would like to go along.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: maybe not all lost on 10/18/2011 19:10:26 MDT Print View

Good for you!

Maybe let them do most of the planning, and you go along with what they come with if it makes sense. Greater "buy in" if they are putting things together and not you.

Have a good time.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
"Scouts" doesn't equal hiking/backpacking on 10/20/2011 10:17:41 MDT Print View

Chiming in late as my son has no interest in Scouts, which leads me to my point. IMO, "Scouts" and hiking/backpacking are pretty different things and just because he doesn't like Scouts doesn't mean he doesn't like hiking/backpacking.

My son's 13 and has never expressed any interest in Scouts. These days, kids' daily lives are so full of structured activities, between school, music lessons, sports teams, etc. I think my son would totally balk if backpacking turned into another class or group lesson/activity.

In fact, I think *for us* backpacking is the total antithesis of my impression of a typical scouts trip. For us, it's a quiet family activity, often just the two of us and sometimes our dog. We prefer remote areas, take on challenging routes, we travel light, practice LNT. I don't feel the need to keep my son busy or entertained and my son enjoys the independence.

We also go on family camping trips where we take a couple of his friends with us. I've noticed that the atmosphere on these trips are VERY different. There is definitely more testosterone in the air. My son really enjoys these trips as well but I think he would be the first one to tell you that it's "different" from backpacking.

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Mix it up... on 10/27/2011 11:38:20 MDT Print View

The last comment was a bit in line with what I was going to offer...maybe it's Scouts in general he doesn't like? The weekend with your older son and friend, and younger son, might be a good start.

One other thought that occurred to me is that some kids have a hard time seeing the point of backpacking. As my 16 year old daughter said to me "I don't get why you need to walk out somewhere, camp, and walk back". OK - I kinda get that. So what if you combined the trip with some other lure...canoe camping instead of backpacking? Fishing and backpacking? Peakbagging? Something other than a pure backpacking trip....for many folks that's enough, but for today's always on/entertain me now kids, maybe it isn't enough, and some other draw will help.

Good luck!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking on 10/27/2011 11:45:00 MDT Print View

Have you considered trading him in for a sport model? Just sayin'....

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking on 10/27/2011 13:06:47 MDT Print View

Only works with women, Doug. Just sayin..........

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Help. Son doesnt like packing or hiking" on 10/27/2011 13:38:05 MDT Print View

Ask his friends if they want to go. All of the sudden my son thinks it was great. He told me he went for his buddy then couldn't believe he could outhike me... that is right. While I averaged a respectable 3 miles a day on the last day, the were waiting for me for 15-20 minutes every hour. They are 15. Bribary was king on this trip. All you can eat Pizza afterword for them made their day! It was a blast!!! One of the best times with my son I ever had, and all I had to do was find one of his friends who wanted to try it.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
The way to a young man's heart on 10/28/2011 09:22:30 MDT Print View

Ha ha! Yes, the post-hike food festival, while still grungy and "adventurous" from the trail is crucial and can be a detail that cements in the fun of the whole thing. I can think back and remember burgers, pizza, sandwiches and other meals I gorged on with friends and family after coming off-trail, decades later.

This weekend, we're doing the Old Salty Rat canoe trip in San Diego, and have (eagerly) acquiesced to our SPL's suggestion that the troop go to In-n-Out burger after the paddle and before we make camp (which we're still doing, of course). The motivation effect on the guys was palpable at the Troop mtg this week. Perhaps, I shall sing the jingle as we paddle into the wind...

Jackie Barker
Collins Gulf on 11/26/2011 17:11:37 MST Print View

Finally gettin some pics up of our trip to South Cumberland Recreation Area. Collins Gulf & Stagecoah Historic Trail. Had a great time. Very rough trail though. Trail Head Pretty cool spot Ladder bridge Waterfalls On a Suspension Bridge Sawmill Camp Stagecoach Sleeping In
From trail head to Sawmill Camp. Sleepin in at Sawmill. Post from second day later. Not that good at setting photos up on here.

Edited by littlerunner on 11/26/2011 17:46:56 MST.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Looks like fun to me on 11/29/2011 08:39:59 MST Print View

That's pretty country. I hope the boys came back stoked for more!