My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack
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Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/16/2012 16:21:21 MDT Print View

I've been wanting to take my daughter (two years old) on her first overnight backpacking trip, but I've been a little put off by the idea of carrying gear for two while carrying my daughter, who weighs 30lbs/13.5kg. Enter Backpacking Light. With the advantage of lightweight gear over "traditional" gear, I thought I could pull it off.

My "Big Three" list:
Sleep system
-WM Summerlite bag (unzipped, it makes a dandy quilt for two), 19oz/540g
-3/4 Length Thermarest NeoAir pad, 13oz/370g
-Inflatable pillow

Shelter
-SMD Gatewood Cape, 11oz/310g (used with a trekking pole)
-7 ti stakes, 2oz/56g
-3'x7' Tyvek sheet, 4oz/125g

Pack
-Golite Pinnacle, 32oz/905g

Total for "Big Three:" 5 lbs, 3oz/2.3kg

Getting the weight of my Big Three down to about 5 pounds total was HUGE. My old backpack alone (empty) was 5 pounds.

So, with that, my trip report:
We started out by taking the Pacific Crest Trail (and a little short cut) from Angeles Crest Highway. The PCT parallels Angeles Crest Highway here.


We went up after work, and it was an hour's drive, so it got dark quickly. First order of business was site selection, but a not too distant second was getting dinner ready.


Very quickly thereafter, a very sleepy little hiker retired for the night.


Note the use of an ultralight, floorless shelter. Careful gear selection let me keep the weight down to about 30 lbs for two people including food, fuel, and water.

Sleepy or not, my daughter doesn't sleep late, so we were up pretty early in the morning.


Time to get breakfast started. I'm currently field testing a new Primus OmnilLite Ti which is the newest offering from Primus. On the OmniLite is a "silent" cap (like a muffler for your car but for a stove) from QuietStove.com which I'm also field testing.


In no time at all we've got a nice sausage and cheese omelette.


And after breakfast, we see we've got a happy camper. :)


For those who haven't been, Little Jimmy Trail Camp is a nice spot to camp.


One of the great things about Little Jimmy Trail Camp is the presence of nearby Little Jimmy Spring which is a highly reliable source of clear, cold water.


Well, enough time spent in camp! Let's hit the trail.


Looking to the west over our intended destination, Mt. Islip, the weather is looking good.


But a quick look to the east, changes my opinion. Looks like we might get a little wet today.


Still, the storm is a ways off, so we "stop to smell the roses."


Nearing the summit, we can see that the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders have been hard at work. Fresh trail maintenance.

Thank you, Trailbuilders!

At last, we near the summit ridge for the final push, and the weather continues to hold.


From our position high on the south flank of Mt. Islip, we get a good look at Mt. Hawkins and Hawkins Ridge.


Moving higher, we approach the very summit and encounter the remains of this old cabin. This was the fire lookout's quarters back when a fire lookout was stationed atop Mt. Islip.


Finally, we reach the summit itself. Note the foundation of the old fire lookout tower.


One look at the view and it's clear why the Forest Service chose this spot for a lookout.


Whoa! That storm is hot on our heels. Better get on down the mountain.


For our route down, we chose this, the forested north ridge of Mt. Islip.


There's no formal trail, but there are bits and pieces of a peak-bagger's trail.


From our vantage point, we look WSW at Twin Peaks and its great SSE ridge.


Note in particular Triplet Rocks. This is perhaps the single most difficult summit to attain in all of the San Gabriel Mountains.


Descending further, we enter the more flat areas proximate to Little Jimmy.


From here, we retraced our steps back to our car and made our journey home.

My thanks to BPL for making this trip possible!

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/16/2012 16:53:23 MDT Print View

What fun! Thanks for sharing Jim!

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re:Daughter's first trip on 08/16/2012 19:26:45 MDT Print View

Nice report, Jim. The smile on her face says it all.
The trips I've taken with my girls are amongst the most rewarding parenting experiences I've had.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: re:Daughter's first trip on 08/16/2012 20:16:22 MDT Print View

Thanks, guys.

She's a great kid, and this has been something I've been Jonesing to do for some time. I just had to get over the "weight intimidation" of carrying gear for two and her. Fortunately, I'm a six footer (182 cm), so carrying 60+ lbs (27+ kg) is a possibility. Wouldn't want to do it every day though!!

My dad gave me a gift when I was a kid: The backcountry. I still remember streams so clear that it looked like the trout were suspended in mid air. I really wanted to pass that down to my daughter -- as well as spend some quality "daddy-daughter" time with her.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Jon Fong
(jonfong57)

Locale: www.flatcatgear.com
Camping with kids on 08/16/2012 20:39:52 MDT Print View

Jim,

Good to see you out and about. Our girls were 7, 7 and 9 (twins) when we started taking them backpacking. I used to have a Dana Design LoadMaster Longbed to haul all of there stuff. Great photos, great story. Jon

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/17/2012 11:48:25 MDT Print View

Wow. Backpacking with three kids? I'm a lightweight. :)

I'm hoping to take her out more now that I've broken the psychological barrier of having to carry both her and a pack.

Having a BPL assisted lightening of my gear means that I can "opt in" on a few luxury items like having real food -- food that my picky eater daughter will actually eat.

She loves the muffins from this ESBIT muffin baking set up. The mix:


The results (baked in an Evernew 1300ml Ti pot):


Tender, moist, and-oh-so delicious:


I need to get this up on my blog.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 08/17/2012 11:50:28 MDT.

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Locale: http://theshadedtrail.blogspot.com
Re: Re: Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/17/2012 12:48:38 MDT Print View

Great TR Jim, 30lbs for two is a good weight. When I took my kids a few weekends ago, I was closer to 40lbs. I need to get my daughter used to the idea of a floorless shelter.

Jon Fong
(jonfong57)

Locale: www.flatcatgear.com
Backpacking on 08/17/2012 15:31:54 MDT Print View

Jim,
you ought to try her walking on her own. Topanga State park has a backpacking site that is 1 mile in, so she might be able to hike that on her own. You can take longer trails if you wish. The site has running water and a plumbed bathroom. We took our kids there on day hikes. Best regards - Jon

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/19/2012 19:20:04 MDT Print View

Good on you Jim. I've seen plenty of dads that wouldn't dream of taking a two year old car camping by themselves, let alone strapping one to their chest and backpacking!

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/21/2012 12:46:26 MDT Print View

> Great TR Jim, 30lbs for two is a good weight. When I took my kids a few weekends ago, I was closer to 40lbs. I need to get my daughter used to the idea of a floorless shelter.
Thanks, Angus.

My daughter's young enough that she doesn't really know the difference between shelter types. I started taking her on hikes before she was one year old. I figure that if she grows up with it, it won't feel strange to her. My wife didn't grow up with this stuff, and she just can't get past the idea of certain things (like not having a flush toilet!).

One draw back to a floorless shelter is that the creepy crawlies can come in and out at will. Something bit me in two places on my forehead on that trip. That really sucked, but at least they didn't bite my daughter.


HJ
Adventures in Stoving

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
. on 08/21/2012 22:43:11 MDT Print View

Ouch, looks like a centipede bite maybe.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/22/2012 08:21:23 MDT Print View

Ah. A centipede bite. I hadn't thought of that. I figured it must be a spider or something.

It's a week and a half later now, and it still hurts like heck, but the swelling around my left eye is thankfully 95% gone.

And so as to not end on a down note, a picture of my (unbitten) daughter playing at our lunch stop this past weekend.


HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 08/22/2012 08:21:55 MDT.

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

Locale: http://theshadedtrail.blogspot.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/22/2012 10:55:24 MDT Print View

Ouch! Yeah, that's exactly what the wife is afraid of as well when it comes to a floorless shelter. I hope that heals soon.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/22/2012 11:59:19 MDT Print View

that's exactly what the wife is afraid of as well when it comes to a floorless shelter
Yeah, well, don't show her that photo!

Pretty weird. Been sleeping in the wild for 50 years. Never had anything like that happen before.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: My Daughter's First Overnight Backpack on 08/22/2012 12:46:37 MDT Print View

> you ought to try her walking on her own. Topanga State park has a backpacking site that is 1 mile in, so she might be able to hike that on her own. You can take longer trails if you wish. The site has running water and a plumbed bathroom. We took our kids there on day hikes. Best regards
Jon,

Do you know the name of that camp site and that trail? I looked on the Topanga State Park website, but there's very little information.

My daughter is actually a good little walker.

But when she's done, she's done, so I have to be prepared to carry her.

On a Friday after work, when I hike into a site, I usually carry her 100% just for speed. I'm racing against the clock in hopes of being able to set up before nightfall, which I strongly prefer.

The following day, I let her walk more, but walking with my daughter means that we stop to investigate a lot of important sticks and leaves and such. :)


HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Insect bite and floorless shelter on 08/22/2012 13:48:00 MDT Print View

Jim,
Thanks for sharing your trip report.
Has the severity of the insect bite influenced your choices for future changes in shelter/gear or bed time preparation rituals? Glad your daughter was safe from the insect bite.

One trip I was anticipating swarms of mosquitoes, I doused my UL tent with OFF! spray, with knowledge that the chemicals would disintegrate the material. I did stink of chem, regardless of that added "woods Scent." When I returned home a week later, I water wiped the rain fly to clean it. 7 years later it actually started to part at the seams.


(separate topic: last weekend I hit Caramba for the first time, and your photo album on that area was a big part of my research. Much thanks)

Edited by RogerDodger on 08/22/2012 14:23:56 MDT.

Jon Fong
(jonfong57)

Locale: www.flatcatgear.com
Topanga State Park Musch Camp on 08/22/2012 14:38:25 MDT Print View

Jim,

Follow this link to the camp description:

http://petewarden.typepad.com/searchbrowser/2007/12/camping-in-the.html

It is 1 mile in from Trippet Ranch (right at the entrance).

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Insect bite and floorless shelter on 08/22/2012 19:47:45 MDT Print View

> Has the severity of the insect bite influenced your choices for future changes in shelter/gear or bed time preparation rituals? Glad your daughter was safe from the insect bite.
I'm most thankful that my daughter wasn't bitten; thank God. I don't plan any changes, yet. I've been sleeping on the ground since the 1960's, and this is the first time anything like this has happened. Boy, though, if a pattern starts up, I'm for sure getting a bug net or something. THIS SUCKS. Mostly just annoying and distracting, but it was really painful for a few days, and I couldn't open my left eye fully.


> separate topic: last weekend I hit Caramba for the first time, and your photo album on that area was a big part of my research. Much thanks
Oh, excellent. Glad it was useful. Caramba is the best kept secret of the San Jacinto Mountains and a definite favorite of mine.

HJ

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Topanga State Park Musch Camp on 08/22/2012 20:19:28 MDT Print View

> Follow this link to the camp description:

http://petewarden.typepad.com/searchbrowser/2007/12/camping-in-the.html

It is 1 mile in from Trippet Ranch (right at the entrance).
Excellent! Good link. Thanks, Jon.

HJ

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Topanga State Park -- Mountain Lion Video on 08/27/2012 11:13:23 MDT Print View

A bit of a down side is that Topanga State Park has resident mountain lions. Video: http://www.youtube.com/v/afYBj2xJsMQ

HJ
Adventures in Stoving