Boo’s 5th birthday is coming up, and we were discussing what she would like. After going through several categories, I asked if she wanted anything for backpacking. “No. I just want to carry more of my stuff.”
So when we went on an overnight, she carried most of her stuff.
- ~3/4 L of water
- 2 hankies
- Complete change of clothes – both for sleeping or in case of complete destruction of what she’s wearing. In a stuff sack that is used as a pillow.
- Z-bar and a bag of trail mix
- Chap stick
- Wildlife ID pamphlet
- Park map
- Cord (to practice knots)
- First Aid kit (a few bandages, sometimes alcohol wipes)
- Squishy bowl and cup, collapsible spork
- Cut-down blue foam sleeping pad (not pictured)
With the sleeping pad strapped to the pack, she looked so overloaded. We didn’t weigh it, but it felt heavier than I expected her to be comfortable with. I expected to have to lighten her load pretty early down the trail.
I think we checked in with her 4 times in the first 50 yards. “How is your pack? Is it too heavy? Do you want us to carry anything for you?”
She kept insisting, “It’s fine, it’s light!”
And she carried it. It was only maybe 1.5 miles on a slight downhill. But she carried it.
Packing up in the morning, she added her paperback chapter book, and tried to put the tent stakes in her pack. She carried everything the ~mile back to the car. Then we hit a different trail in the park, and she suggested that we should all carry our packs on that trail, too, to build up our muscles.
- The cord that comes on the backpack is not long enough to regularly hold the sleeping pad.
What do your kids carry at what age?