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Father, Mother, 2 daughters, 5 frineds and 1 dog trip
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Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Father/ 2 daughters//mother/5 friends/1 dog adventure on 09/30/2011 21:24:09 MDT Print View


We finally managed to get our girls (almost 4 and 11 mo) out for their first backpack.
We roped a friend and her 3.5yr old and another couple with their 3 yr old, in to coming with us.friends

We hiked on the Superior Hiking trail, just north of Duluth. We did a grand total of 1 mile to the campsite on Saturday afternoon, then hiked back on Sunday morning.
The kids did great and had a wonderfull time, My daughter did not want to go back home and she wants to go again! Having friends along really helped these (young) kids hike, there was no whining and no-one needed to be carried(except for the baby). In fact, for much of the hike the kids were charging ahead.

We saw the remains of a deer eaten by wolves and the scat containing the hairs. The kids learned to recognize the stumps that beavers had chewed down and there were some very interesting mushrooms to see. We also tried some fishing and made smores.

We had a great forecast with no rain, so we brought no raingear for my wife and I. We still had a 45 lb total pack for me and a 15 lb child carrier for my wife, plus 25lb of baby, way heavier than we would like for such a short trip in mild weather. I estimate our base pack weights was about 40 lbs for the two packs together.packs

We did have a bit more food than we ate, and we carried 5l of water, but otherwise not much we could have left behind.

Since this is Minnesota and we were camping by a beaver pond, with a crawling baby we did want a double wall tent, for bug protection and to keep kids from the wet inner wall. We brought our Hex3 with it's nest.hex It is not the lightest of it's style, with fairly heavy silnylon tent and heavy PU coated floor. Total weight was about 2 kg( we didn't use a pole). plenty of surface space four a family of four, even if you had bigger kids.
We used 3 Neoairs and 1 ridge rest. For bags I used a 30F Sierra Designs and my wife shared a rectangular down bag with a bottom sheet with the girls.

Edited by Tjaard on 10/01/2011 07:22:07 MDT.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Father/ 2 daughters//mother/5 friends/1 dog adventure on 09/30/2011 22:12:39 MDT Print View

"Having friends along really helped these (young) kids hike, there was no whining and no-one needed to be carried(except for the baby). In fact, for much of the hike the kids were charging ahead."

You are right about that. Nothing like a kid's friend to distract them from the miles (or mile, in your case).

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: "Father, Mother, 2 daughters, 5 frineds and 1 dog trip" on 10/01/2011 01:25:04 MDT Print View

Really enjoyed reading this. Looks like a fun time was had by all. Thanks for sharing. :)

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Great trip on 10/01/2011 09:55:02 MDT Print View

Having kids and the dog with you on the trip is just so much fun...I have a 1 month old and plan to take him on trips later on...

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Maybe not that much later... on 10/03/2011 20:15:57 MDT Print View

You might not have to wait that long.

There was a feature article a few months ago about a couple that hiked a long trail in the Pyrenees with their approx. 6 month old.

It might actually be easier to take a breastfed carried baby instead of our 1 yr old, who drinks formula and eats baby food and crawls around on the ground and sticks everything in her mouth. :-)

Edited by Tjaard on 10/04/2011 07:57:46 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Now she wants to winter camp... on 02/20/2012 20:58:42 MST Print View

Now my four year old says she wants to winter camp....

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
great reading on 02/20/2012 21:22:44 MST Print View

"Really enjoyed reading this. Looks like a fun time was had by all. Thanks for sharing. :)

I agree. And the photos are just as much fun!

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Family Trip Report on 02/21/2012 18:50:24 MST Print View

Thanks for posting it - It's always inspiring to see other families out backpacking like this. I feel your pain with the 45 pound pack - I noticed your pack probably could have carried more weight but you maxed out on volume, didn't you?

I'm lucky enough to have twins - although they had two friends along when we did our first backpacking trip I always know that I can take the two of them and they'll have their best friend with them.

Kudos to you and your wife for taking the baby...It's got to be tough with one crawling. The twins went "car camping" the first time at 18 months, but they were walking (and falling) but still up off the ground.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
crawling is hard on 02/22/2012 19:45:41 MST Print View

The almost one year old was hard, as she crawled and so her clothes got very dirty, since they're all fleecy stuff. Also she liked to eat dirt and drank formula and ate baby food. Heavy to carry, hard to heat and messy to eat.

Now she's heading towards 1.5 it will be easier, she can walk around(not hike) and eats regular food with reasonable success.

I had that pack just absolutely crammed, I was jamming stuff in as hard as I could and still ran out of space. The weight was fine, at just under 50 lbs with about a gallon of water, the suspension was up to it(and it was a short hike). I bought this Mountainsmith pack used a few years ago, specifically for use one family hiking trips, but that was with one kid. It's not crazy heavy at about 1300g without the lid, and I would guess about 70l.
With two though, including a baby, it's a bit more stuff. The second trip I used my old Lowe Alpine Alpamayo 90 behemoth just so it would fit easier, which it did, in fact there was a fair bit of empty volume. That beast weighs about twice as much as the Mountainsmith though.

Both of these trips were with very minimal gear since it was just for one night in fairly dry weather. On slightly longer trips or in more inclement weather I would have to bring more, and the youngest is up to 25lbs buck naked, so the child carrier is going to be heavy just with her in it, not much weight left for gear.

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
RE: "Father, Mother, 2 daughters, 5 frineds and 1 dog trip" on 03/02/2012 11:14:27 MST Print View

Thanks for sharing your trip!! I love it when families are taking their wee little ones out!

About 1.5 years ago, we took our then 11 month old and 2.5 yr old out for a overnight hike where we hiked in about 1.5 miles (Rocky Mountain National Park). We put the 11 month (he was almost 30 lbs then - not a lightweight!) in an Ergo carrier on our front. I carried him in and my wife carried him out. I ended up carrying both kids and my pack for the last half mile as he was pretty wore out.

She used my Golite Pinnacle with all of the insulation items on her back. The Pinnacle was probably less than 20 lbs even though it was stuffed fairly full. It actually balanced quite well when she had the youngest on the front and the pack on the back.

I put all the heavy items in my ULA Ohm which was probably a bit much for that pack, but it worked out just fine. I ended up carrying the 2.5 year old most of the way out and he fell asleep. Nothing like carrying 30+ lbs of limp, unbalanced weight in your arms!! Feel the burn!

My brother, sister and I took 3 of our kids up on the SHT last memorial weekend. It makes a huge difference when the kids get old enough to move around more on their own and out of diapers. We had my oldest who was just over 3 and 2 of my brothers at 4 and 6. They had a blast!! We planned for a 2+ mile hike that ended up being 3+. We did have to carry the 2 youngest for a little of that as it was a bit much. They loved it an are ready for more.

I've considered taking my oldest out winter camping, but I don't think he is quite ready yet... He turns 4 in about 1 week. Maybe next year.