Good afternoon!! I am going to start recording our newer hiking and camping experiences as we venture and branch out with trying more intense camping with the girls.
Today is shaping up to be a cloudy, humid day that awaits for bursts of rain to drain from the clouds. Since we are stuck inside we are preparing for a future outdoor adventure – Hiking and camping! Nothing new to us around here, but it is nice to have more options of days available with the girls out for summer! We are doing a trial run hike with gear to test weight limits on the kids before we venture out for an overnight camp with only what we pack in. This should be interesting with the girls being younger than I thought they would be before we tried this!
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the star.
Our kids are small and after doing some extensive research we learned that pediatricians all over the world suggest that kids should only carry 10 percent of their body weight if they are walking more than 15 mins with a backpack, and 20 percent maximum for anything under 15 mins. They are still growing and developing so the stress on their body is more crucial than an adults. Using this calculation with an 8 mile round trip hike planned for our overnight would mean that the twins could not carry more than 4lbs and the youngest at 3lbs. Those of you who backpack often know how quick that is to reach! This will make the grown up responsible for some of their required needs making us tighten our belts on our own packs.
Here is what I have the girls responsible for in their packs:
- A light weight fleece pullover, pants, an extra pair of socks and pair of underwear. Nights are in the 50’s with days in the 80’s so having a set of warmer clothing is essential.
- A flashlight. Duh.
- A map of our trail and a compass/whistle. We are currently working on teaching the use of a compass and the whistle is always nice in case we get a little too far away from each other.
- A water system plus water bottle.
- A Light My Fire camping utensil for eating.
- Not in their packs, but they do have homemade walking sticks.
Their traditional backpacks that we use for the majority of our camping include different items, but this is their first time packing in what they are camping with and they do not have the luxury of an additional bag in a car close to the camp site. We are leaving behind a lot of the normal items because of this and because most of those other items are more so for a Bug Out Bag scenario. Hence the test run with a smaller hike to see if it is feasible to add more weight to their bags. Don’t forget we are talking about 7 year olds and a 4 year old, not some older kid who should be responsible for a lot more. The more we practice this and the older they get the more weight they will be able to physically carry.
I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees. – Henry David Thoreau
That being said carrying stuff for 3 girls is a lot of extra weight to be calculated. We have decided to eliminate a lot of weight by eliminating the tent, sleeping pads, and decreasing the sleeping bags down to 1 for the twins, one for me and Thing, and one for dad. The idea is simple – we are going to go hammock camping. We have been keeping our eyes out for good deals on hammocks after buying a double hammock a few weeks ago and managed to find two more. The twins will share one and we will unzip the bottom of the sleeping bag open so that they can each have their head out a different end with legs inside. The same will go for me and Thing. This seems like the best option to eliminate a ton of weight and free up a lot of space. Packing 5 pads, 5 bags, and a tent big enough for 5 limits between two people seemed next to impossible with the other essentials required.
So currently my bag looks like this:
- Two sleeping bags.
- 1 Double hammock and extra straps.
- 1 Tarp.
- My clothing layers plus poncho.
- Bug spray, sunscreen, wet wipes, chap stick, medications, first aid kit and all the other little essentials along those lines.
- 3-4 empty gallon sized double lock zip lock bags for trash out.
- Water and snacks.
My husbands bag will pick up the slack. He will carry all of his essentials (sleeping bag, clothing, water, knife, etc), plus the extra hammock and tarp for the girls. He will also pack in all the cooking supply needs and meals. This all may vary and change with items shifting between us or being added, but we will learn this after we do our trial hike. This is our first time trying this kind of camping, with out a car, with the girls so it really has made us rethink every item we are considering packing! I will let you know how it goes!