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WTB christmas gifts for my 5yo
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Ryan Litwiller

Locale: Michigan
WTB christmas gifts for my 5yo on 12/08/2013 16:44:31 MST Print View

My little guy gets just as excited as me to go backpacking. All he would tell my family he wanted for xmas was trekking poles :) Well I picked up a pair suitable for him off the net, but am looking for any gear that would be suitable for 5yo. He is in 5T or 6T and size 12 shoe.

I'm open to about any gear just looking for more inexpensive items that would make good stocking stuffers etc. He gets so excited for anything that has to do with backpacking, and I would rather get him gear than junk toys.


Oh you can email me directly at litwi1rm at gmail

Edited by ryanlitwiller on 12/08/2013 16:45:07 MST.

(JRinGeorgia) - F
ideas on 12/08/2013 17:56:16 MST Print View

head net
his own spoon
hydration bladder and tube
Monkey pillow case
make his own supply of toothpaste dots
little notebook and pencil (JMT-approved of course)
signal mirror

Have fun!

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Backpacking Holiday Gifts for Children on 12/08/2013 18:00:30 MST Print View

I have 7 year-old twin girls who are very similar. This year they both received adjustable CF trekking poles from Costco. Other thoughts:

  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping pad (Ridgerest Sol)
  • Hammock (Grand Trunk Nano-7 or Ultralight)
  • Ti mug
  • Set of dice for playing in camp

Travis Higdon
(life-goes-on) - M

Locale: PNW
Headlamp on 12/08/2013 18:11:32 MST Print View

Headlamps are about the coolest things ever when you're 5 years old. All three of my kids got headlamps around that age or before. The best part is that they have a lot of fun uses around the house even when you're not backpacking. And you can never have too many headlamps. My only advice is to try to find something that can be recharged. They tend to get left in the "on" position at bedtime.

Ryan W
(mammoth80) - F

Locale: SoCal
5 y/o backpacking gear suggestions on 12/09/2013 16:20:23 MST Print View

I'm in similar boat with 5 year old and a 4 year old raring to go next summer. From your avatar pic it looks like you found a good backpack that fit him. What kind is it?

I'd also be interested in suggestions for kid bacpackable sleeping bags. <30 degree, up to 5', and it shouldn't weigh more than mine (~2.5 lbs). It seems that REI (zigzag) and TNF (Tigger) used to have good bags but they're discontinued. Everything now seems to be >3 lbs. Anyone have any suggestions?

Ryan Litwiller

Locale: Michigan
Re: 5 y/o backpacking gear suggestions on 12/09/2013 18:02:29 MST Print View

I got the backpack from Meijer, it is Lake & Trail and was only around $20! It works great for him.

As far as a sleeping bag I found a 32 degree down sleeping bag that weighs only 1.5lbs from walmart, It is full size and I'm sure its not the best down but it packs down is the link

Thanks everybody else for all the ideas!

Dave Triano
(Dtriano) - MLife

Locale: Desolation Wilderness
LuminAid solar lamp on 12/09/2013 18:34:42 MST Print View

My boys love these:


Light, pretty cheap, and a neat design-


Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: 5 y/o backpacking gear suggestions on 12/09/2013 18:47:04 MST Print View


Your avatar is the best ever! Before you know it you will be on a trip and your son will say to you, "What do you mean you don't want to do 20 miles today Dad?"

I would suggest a blaze orange beanie or hat so you can keep an eye on the little man during your adventures.

Happy Trails

Travis W
(lobopac) - F

Locale: Central Valley, CA
Re: WTB christmas gifts for my 5yo on 12/09/2013 18:59:09 MST Print View

I second the Monkey Pillow case. My 5 and 7 year old boys love them and they really work well with a puffy or fleece stuffed inside. There's some lead time on them...not sure if they can get to you before Christmas, but it's worth a shot. I don't readily see the pics of the monkey patterned fleece, but that's the way to go with the kids.

John Z
(Feather) - MLife
Headlamp - sale ends December 9 on 12/09/2013 19:21:10 MST Print View

REI 25% off Black Diamond headlamps ends today

Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp - Kids'
$14.19, normally $18.95
Item # 799820

Wiz headlamp has break away strap and auto-off after 4 hours.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: christmas gifts for my 5yo on 12/09/2013 21:02:36 MST Print View

What about a bunch of National Geographic National Park topo maps?

This could lead to a lot of discussions about what all the symbols mean, where these parks are in the United States, how they are different, etc. I always did (and still do) like looking at maps and it could start a nice collection for him.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Christmas Gifts on 12/09/2013 21:26:59 MST Print View

My favorite idea is the map. With everything being digitalized its possible to customize a map. What if you customized a map of a place you planned on hiking with kid friendly symbols. Maybe symbols for campsites and bridges and a few imbedded pictures printed on the actual map.

It might take some work and I'm not sure which program too use but I think the result would be cool. Your little guy could look at his map and know where he was and where he was going. When you cross a bridge or a creek he could find it on the map.

Other Ideas

-Maybe a cheap digital camera? Don't know if that is too complicated or not.

-Animal track identification cards. Don't just tell him 'Those are deer tracks, have him find it on the cards for himself. One thought, make sure the card or sheet has pictures since 5 year olds don't read much. You could actually make this yourself. Take pictures off the net put them on a sheet and have it printed and laminated.

-A bright whistle might be cool, teach him to blow it if he gets lost.

-A cheap hammock, chances are he won't sleep in it but it might be a fun novelty, that is why I'd emphasize cheap.

-A survival book with lots of colorful pictures (make sure there is nothing disturbing in it though). He can look at pictures of lean-to shelters or wooden fish hooks and have fun making his own version in the back yard.

-Boys love fire. If you think he's old enough you might give him an outdoor lighter and let him start lighting fires (with supervision of course). I'd suggest one of the bigger fancier ones that will put out more heat so he'd be more successful.

Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: christmas gifts for my 5yo on 12/09/2013 21:46:46 MST Print View

Of course a compass then to go with the map.

Ryan Litwiller

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: 5 y/o backpacking gear suggestions on 12/09/2013 23:25:59 MST Print View

Thank you Gerald for the avatar comment. It really brings nothing but pure joy and gratitude to see him so excited

I now have a new headlamp, whistle, and compass coming.

I was considering buying a nat geo map of Everest. After we read his books at night I read one of my adventure novels for about a half hour and we are on our third book about Himalayan expeditions.

I think I will also get him some topo maps of nearby trails and begin working on a kid friendly map just for him :)

Luke great ideas! I will be using most off your list!!
I love the animal track card idea, I only know a few so that is something we can learn together...even better he will have an opportunity to teach me which is my favorite

Edited by ryanlitwiller on 12/09/2013 23:35:44 MST.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: 5 y/o backpacking gear suggestions on 12/10/2013 07:40:26 MST Print View

I think most of my ideas have been covered. Funny but when we bought our monkey pillow cases, my kids wanted the black one and I wanted the monkey one.

Another idea is to find a cheap/used GPS off of ebay or gear swap. You'd be surprised where you can find geocaching opportunities while backpacking. My kids and nephews love it as it adds some extra treasure hunting and adventure to whatever we're doing.

Maybe a small pair of binoculars too? Flint and steel is always fun and exciting under adult supervision.

I’ll go through our gear boxes later and see if there’s anything I can send your way that he might appreciate.