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Ashman
07-02-2010, 21:50
Anyone here done it or know of someone who has? I would love to hear your stories and advice you would pass on to someone considering the same.

fiddlehead
07-02-2010, 22:01
Buy Cindy Ross' book "Scraping Heaven" about her CDT hike.
Their family did it with their kids when they were 2-5 (took them 4 years i believe)

innermountain
07-03-2010, 09:19
I don't have any info on it, but I'm interested in the responses people have. I'm going to check out that book "Scraping Heaven" for sure. I have a 9 month old daughter, so it might be a little awhile, but I'd love to get her on a long thru-hike before too long

soulrebel
07-03-2010, 10:10
Anyone that's done it? Nope.
Any advice about doing it? Don't.

IMO, A thru-hike is too much for both the kids and parents (mostly mom).*

Try an overnight and see how your wife reacts, or if the kid is on a bottle or weened Dad can take the kid(s) and leave mom at home.

She'd probably prefer this and you should buy her a nice dinner for having some sense.

*We have taken our kids on multi-day hikes since they were only 2 weeks old Several hundred miles of hiking w/ tots. It's hard, I prefer car-camping with them instead and would rather spend multi-day hikes solo.

If you really want to know more details about gear, shuttles, food, diapers, wife management, send me a PM and buy me a beer. Keep livin the dream of "THRU" hiking with your kids-one day. Until then use these three rules when hiking/camping with your family.

Throw out PLAN A, Throw out PLAN B, Relax.

Ashman
07-03-2010, 11:53
Perhaps more info is needed. My kids are currently 8 and 10 and have several trips under their belt already, mom has been on the trips as well, the thru came up as an idea FROM HER. If we do this, it would be a few years when they are 11 and 13.

So back to the original question, has anyone hiked a thru with kids, if so, please share YOUR experiences.

SonrisaJo
07-03-2010, 12:24
Sorry for butting in when I have no kids, but I highly recommend the book Zero Days. It's about the PCT, but it's a detailed account of hiking with a family successfully. Might give some insight.

Go for it! Your kids will learn more from the experience than they ever could in school for 6 months.

Lostone
07-03-2010, 12:43
it is doable with an 11 and 13 year old. I would love to do it with mine. I am unable to get beyond my societal and mental obligations.

I have spent 4 nights out with mine which are 8-10, no problems other than boredom of the daily grind after day 5. Lets face it it isn't all scenic vistas and ponies.

My problem is with my daughters current weight of 60 pounds, she can carry her sleeping bag, her personal water, change of undies and sleeping pad that is about it.

The son at 80 pounds can carry his gear, some of his food, and water.

I am stuck with the tent, stove, most of the food, water filter and the camp water, makes for a heavy backpack and sore knees.

would hope at 11 and 13 both of mine would be carrying all their own personal gear, food and help with the tent and cooking gear.

Son at 13 should be 110 pounds, so a 20 pound pack shouldn't be a problem.

The daughter should be 80 so a 15 pound pack shouldn't be a problem.

Ashman
07-03-2010, 15:06
SonrisaJo- thanks for the book recommendation

Lostone- Thanks for the encouragement.

The school the kids go to has a very good headmaster. I think he would be very supportive of a hike like this. A thru hike would have multiple teaching moments in math, history, writing, science (esp biology and physics) in a very interconnected way. Plus the number of contact hours would be through the roof!

sbhikes
07-03-2010, 16:15
Definitely read Zero Days. The girl who completed the hike was 10 and weighed only 60lbs. She carried the fire of any other thru-hiker.

I doubt there'd be much teaching of book-learning stuff. But the other skills learned are just as valuable. One thing that I often remember from Zero Days was the moment when the parents realized they needed to listen to Scrambler, the girl, that she had become an equal in her abilities to navigate the trail.

Lemni Skate
07-03-2010, 17:48
You can't force it on your kids. They're just like grown-ups...it's not for everybody. My kids like to hike and are in great shape (my daughter is in middle school and one of the top middle school cross country runners in the state), but four hours of hiking in a day and one night of back country camping is about all they're up for. I would think a thru-hike with them would not be pleasant for me (though I would love it if one of them said, "Let's do it.") Believe it or not, I think the biggest issue for my kids is food. Most of my trail concoctions just aren't good enough for them.

We take a couple of weeks each year and do about a 100 mile section(but we day hike and have a shuttle)...maybe one day we'll knock out the rest, but only if I'm sure we all have fun.

Lemni Skate
07-03-2010, 17:53
You can't force it on your kids. They're just like grown-ups...it's not for everybody. My kids like to hike and are in great shape (my daughter is in middle school and one of the top middle school cross country runners in the state), but four hours of hiking in a day and one night of back country camping is about all they're up for. I would think a thru-hike with them would not be pleasant for me (though I would love it if one of them said, "Let's do it.") Believe it or not, I think the biggest issue for my kids is food. Most of my trail concoctions just aren't good enough for them.

We take a couple of weeks each year and do about a 100 mile section(but we day hike and have a shuttle)...maybe one day we'll knock out the rest, but only if I'm sure we all have fun.

As for what you asked: here's an article about a family who pulled it off:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-19996208.htmlhttp://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-19996208.html

Lemni Skate
07-03-2010, 17:56
Better link...without worrying about signing up. Sorry about last one:

http://www.roanoke.com/community/virginia/column/wb/197588

Ashman
07-03-2010, 18:07
Great article Thanks!

TexasEd
07-04-2010, 16:24
I think its a great idea if your kids are in their 20s

JaxAJ
07-09-2010, 11:43
I intend to try it, if my kids are willing, when they're 9, 10, and 13. I think a lot depends on your child's temperment, as well as how responsible they are. Mine are all little at the moment (2 still in diapers) so we've only done single nights out so far. If they lose interest, so be it.

That said, I want to take my kids because my dad took my on long trips as a kid. Some of my best memories are of hiking. I remember the incredible feeling of confidence I git when my dad let me plan a route for a 10 day trip into the Bob Marshall wilderness when I was 11. That confidence really helped put things like middle school social issues and trouble with long division in perspective.

I also read an artical by a teenager whose family does sections of the PCT each summer. Her family started thru hiking large sections when she was 7 and she reported always enjoying it--although she admitted that her main motivation as a teen was getting fit and toned before going back to school.

My big concerns are bringing food they'll eat (still working on this one), hydration (since my 4 year old already refuses to drink water unless it's flavored or in her very own camelbak), and access to emergency medical care. And gear weight. My kids need a tent, even in beautiful weather. A tarp just doesn't give them the security they need to settle. Also, they sleep better with inflatable sleeping pads than foam ones.

Whatever you do, have fun!

Hooch
07-09-2010, 11:59
In '05, Troll and Anchor (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3002) thru hiked the AT NOBO with their son, Oblivious who turned 11 during their hike, if I remember correctly.

Marta
07-09-2010, 21:18
The Barefoot Sisters hiked a good ways with the Family From the North. Their interactions are described in the Southbound book.

Lauriep
07-10-2010, 17:59
Right now a father and his young son (under age 10) are doing a three-part thru-hike. HF-Vermont, GA to HF, Vermont to Maine. They've been on the Trail since the beginning of March, and are now in Virginia. They have a remarkable page on Facebook, with terrific photos. They are hiking as "The Barbarian Utopia"--a Benton MacKaye reference. They are set up as an "organization," so you don't have to be friends to follow along.

If you're not on Facebook, you can see some of the photos on ATC's Flickr page (go to www.appalachiantrail.org and click on the Flickr button at the bottom of the page).

Ashman--If you email info@appalachiantrail.org, we can send you contact info for families that have thru-hiked together.

Laurie P.
ATC

STICK
07-10-2010, 19:00
I thought that I had read that there was a 6 year old or so that completed an AT thru-hike a few years back with his parent (s)? I could be wrong...

So, how old is the youngest hiker that has completed an AT thru hike?

Lauriep
07-11-2010, 09:42
There are two different six-year-old boys who have thru-hiked with their parents. One family unit (The Idaho 4) with a six-year-old boy also included an 8-year-old girl. That was in 2002, off the top of my head. The first six-year-old to thru-hike (in 1980) attempted thru-hike again as an adult a few years ago. He hiked a lot of the A.T., but eventually decided he didn't need to do a white-blaze thru-hike again.

By the way check out this short (1:30) video of the Barbarian Utopia's thru-hike at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEHhQFqDFcU.

Laurie