PDA

View Full Version : gear for kids



charliethruhike
07-25-2016, 11:49
I have a 4 year old that has developed excitement around camping, and when backpacking was described his first question was "Can I go with you?"

Has anyone here run into backpacks and other gear for young kids? Don't need a lot of room as most of his job will be getting from point A to B, but I am curious on what is available. Currently he has a mini mule from camelbak for a backpack, and his sleeping back is decidedly not for backpacking.

CalebJ
07-25-2016, 12:01
To keep things simple, you can make a lot of his initial gear for warmer weather trips. A closed cell pad is dirt cheap and can be cut to size. Take an old poncho liner for less than $20 and cut/sew it into a size appropriate quilt. A bookbag might work well for a first backpack given the minimal volume of gear you're likely to give him at first.

Nodust
07-25-2016, 12:09
If you could find the Walmard Ozark 32F bags on sale those are great for kids. I paid $25 for them a few years ago. Good for people up to about 5'9" and I wouldn't take it to 32F but they kept my kids warm at 40F. Now that they have proven they take care of good gear they got Wilderness Logics 15F quilts.

My younger son has been using a ULA CDT for the past three years. He is very small for his age and it carries well for him. Just keep the load under 20#.

At 4 I would just put a stuffed animal, water bottle, and a snack for them to carry. They will love it.

Slo-go'en
07-25-2016, 12:10
A 4 year old isn't going to be able to carry much, and shouldn't. He'll also out grow anything pretty quickly. So, as Caleb suggested, use a cheap book bag which he can carry a few piece of clothes and snacks in just to make him feel like he's part of the effort.

-Rush-
07-25-2016, 18:22
I have an Osprey Youth Ace 38 which is fully adjustable and can handle anything a kid would need on the trail. It's like a small version of the Osprey Atmos pack. My son is 5 and the lowest setting fits him well. You can find it much cheaper. I think I paid $100 for it.

https://www.amazon.com/Osprey-038238-Ace-38-Kids/dp/B00U3B9VEC

charliethruhike
07-25-2016, 20:34
I have an Osprey Youth Ace 38 which is fully adjustable and can handle anything a kid would need on the trail. It's like a small version of the Osprey Atmos pack. My son is 5 and the lowest setting fits him well. You can find it much cheaper. I think I paid $100 for it.

https://www.amazon.com/Osprey-038238-Ace-38-Kids/dp/B00U3B9VEC
How small is your son? My son is 43 inch tall, and pretty wiry.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Feral Bill
07-25-2016, 21:15
I have a 4 year old that has developed excitement around camping, and when backpacking was described his first question was "Can I go with you?"

As you will soon learn, he does not go with you, you go with him. That said, seeing the world through a child's eyes can be refreshing, even enlightening. Search out one or more "backpacking with kids" books to prepare. Even if they are outdated in details, the principles remain. Have fun!

misprof
07-26-2016, 04:27
To keep things simple, you can make a lot of his initial gear for warmer weather trips. A closed cell pad is dirt cheap and can be cut to size. Take an old poncho liner for less than $20 and cut/sew it into a size appropriate quilt. A bookbag might work well for a first backpack given the minimal volume of gear you're likely to give him at first.
What kind of poncho has a liner? I am interested in this idea.

-Rush-
07-26-2016, 05:03
How small is your son? My son is 43 inch tall, and pretty wiry.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

He's about 45" tall and fit.

CalebJ
07-26-2016, 08:20
What kind of poncho has a liner? I am interested in this idea.
The US military (and possible others - no idea) has for many years issued a lightweight synthetic blanket designed to tie into the issued poncho. By itself, it's a very useful piece of gear that people often hang on to after the end of their service. Here's a bit more info:
http://taskandpurpose.com/why-the-woobie-is-the-greatest-military-invention-ever-fielded/

While there are lighter/warmer options on the market, this one is very serviceable for a summer weight option and can be easily acquired used online for about $20.

DuneElliot
07-26-2016, 09:27
What kind of poncho has a liner? I am interested in this idea.

I have one. It's called a woobie. I have it for emergencies in my truck.

Poncho (https://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Hooded-Ripstop-Festival-Flecktarn/dp/B003WLXH7C/ref=sr_1_12?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1469539591&sr=1-12&keywords=camo+poncho)

Woobie (https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Military-Weather-Poncho-Blanket/dp/B001L0VX2W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469539520&sr=8-1&keywords=camo+poncho+liner)

swisscross
07-26-2016, 09:55
My 9 yo daughter, 52", 55 lbs, a rail, tried on several adjustable kids packs.
They all swallowed her whole. None had a small enough waist belt.
Took a chance on the Dueter Climber. Not adjustable but it fits.
It is only 22 liters but I really wanted to the pack weight low thus a non issue.
I can fit a sleeping bag, sleep clothes, sleeping pad and a stuffed animal in it as well as some small things on the brain.

Farr Away
07-26-2016, 12:18
When my son started backpacking, his pack (old bookbag) had a snack, water, fleece & a stuffed animal. He also wore a whistle around his neck. As he's gotten older, his pack has included more of his gear. At 13, he carries most of his gear; the only stuff he doesn't carry is joint use - like the cook set.

Keep in mind that at 4, you will most likely end up carrying him & his pack at times.

-FA

Just Bill
07-26-2016, 12:35
My guy is 6 in November- but smallish (45" tall and 35lbs or so).
We are working on getting him a pack to carry- but as Caleb mentioned- just a simple Spidey man kids pack was plenty. If you wanted to push- I'd stick with 20% of bodyweight total.
But as you mentioned- it might be worth a trip to REI to try on a few of the smaller womens packs/running/hydration models and see what happens.

We are working on keeping things compact and SUL for the kids in general- since parents will carry it anyway- that seems to be the best option.
That said-
35568
Here are two kiddo bags I made for my son and daughter. Basic bag made with a bit heavier shell (HyperD 1.0) for abuse, and Primaloft Gold insulation.
They both weigh 12 ounces finished and pack to a cantaloupe size.
His is a quilt style that is 56 tall by 42 wide, with a simple sewn footbox (18").
Hers is the same quilt but folded up into a sleeping bag with a half zip. Roughly 42" tall by 56" circumference and a 24" zipper on one side. (she's 2 and a squirmer so we wanted her "trapped".)

If you're on the ground- that is a Exped Hyperlight Duomat they are on- which is tight for two adults but just right for a kiddo and a parent to share, and at 27 ounces is about the same as going with a large neo-air for me and a small neo-air for my son. This combo works a bit better and unlike the Neo-air- my son can blow up the Exped himself with the schnozzle bag that comes with it.

If you made these with a SUL shell (Membrane 10) they would drop to the 9 ounce range and pack smaller- but figured might as well make them with a heavier beat up shell as the bags have become a fun toy around the house too.

At my son's age- he's just getting big enough to get in and out of a hammock safely. So I made him a parallelogram hammock that came in about 4 ounces and packs quite small.
Gotta play with the suspension a bit- but I could probably get him a dynaglide rig and keep the tree to tree total at well under 8 ounces. Likely an 8 ounce tarp to match it.
3556935570

So that would put him at:
12 ounce bag
8 ounce hammock
8 ounce tarp
12 ounce backpack (probably a home-made job with an easy way to attach it to my pack when he inevitably gets sick of carrying it.)
Then he could rig his own shelter and carry it at roughly 40 oz of baseweight.
A jacket, small water bottle, whistle, flashlight, and some toys should put him in the 5-8lb range at which point I'd cut off anything else.

He's really excited at the prospect- and even learning to sew himself- so why not?
35571


As fer the two year old....
She will sleep with me just fine in a hammock- but still prefers Momma.
Momma prefers a tent.
Fer that- a Big agnes 2 man mountain spur- the aforementioned exped pad, and riding along in an osprey pack seems to be the best solution from 2-6. (My son and I did a trip with this rig at 5 and it worked out well).
35572

charliethruhike
07-26-2016, 12:46
My guy is 6 in November- but smallish (45" tall and 35lbs or so).
We are working on getting him a pack to carry- but as Caleb mentioned- just a simple Spidey man kids pack was plenty. If you wanted to push- I'd stick with 20% of bodyweight total.
But as you mentioned- it might be worth a trip to REI to try on a few of the smaller womens packs/running/hydration models and see what happens.

We are working on keeping things compact and SUL for the kids in general- since parents will carry it anyway- that seems to be the best option.
That said-
35568
Here are two kiddo bags I made for my son and daughter. Basic bag made with a bit heavier shell (HyperD 1.0) for abuse, and Primaloft Gold insulation.
They both weigh 12 ounces finished and pack to a cantaloupe size.
His is a quilt style that is 56 tall by 42 wide, with a simple sewn footbox (18").
Hers is the same quilt but folded up into a sleeping bag with a half zip. Roughly 42" tall by 56" circumference and a 24" zipper on one side. (she's 2 and a squirmer so we wanted her "trapped".)

If you're on the ground- that is a Exped Hyperlight Duomat they are on- which is tight for two adults but just right for a kiddo and a parent to share, and at 27 ounces is about the same as going with a large neo-air for me and a small neo-air for my son. This combo works a bit better and unlike the Neo-air- my son can blow up the Exped himself with the schnozzle bag that comes with it.

If you made these with a SUL shell (Membrane 10) they would drop to the 9 ounce range and pack smaller- but figured might as well make them with a heavier beat up shell as the bags have become a fun toy around the house too.

At my son's age- he's just getting big enough to get in and out of a hammock safely. So I made him a parallelogram hammock that came in about 4 ounces and packs quite small.
Gotta play with the suspension a bit- but I could probably get him a dynaglide rig and keep the tree to tree total at well under 8 ounces. Likely an 8 ounce tarp to match it.
3556935570

So that would put him at:
12 ounce bag
8 ounce hammock
8 ounce tarp
12 ounce backpack (probably a home-made job with an easy way to attach it to my pack when he inevitably gets sick of carrying it.)
Then he could rig his own shelter and carry it at roughly 40 oz of baseweight.
A jacket, small water bottle, whistle, flashlight, and some toys should put him in the 5-8lb range at which point I'd cut off anything else.

He's really excited at the prospect- and even learning to sew himself- so why not?
35571


As fer the two year old....
She will sleep with me just fine in a hammock- but still prefers Momma.
Momma prefers a tent.
Fer that- a Big agnes 2 man mountain spur- the aforementioned exped pad, and riding along in an osprey pack seems to be the best solution from 2-6. (My son and I did a trip with this rig at 5 and it worked out well).
35572
So if you've got the younger one in the pack, does there mother carry all your gear?

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Just Bill
07-26-2016, 13:10
So if you've got the younger one in the pack, does there mother carry all your gear?

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Not really... we're working on switching things up as we are growing.
But mommy's been pretty well out of the backpacking game for the past 3 years with pregnancy and our little one.

Basically my son and I went together from 18 months old or so to now with the Osprey carrier rig. (just the two of us)

I was able to get everything in there for the two of us, and still carry him when needed. Honestly I think that was a better plan overall as with no pack- he could walk most of the day himself.
I can give more details on the gear list if you like- but basically UL tent, pads for each of us, and separate bags and some careful thought on the packing and it all fit...(mostly)

I did have a stuff sack of consumables that I put in the carrier itself when he was walking, and then either hand carried or slung across my front to balance better. So that carried pretty well overall- and much better than trying to carry a pack, then him and his own pack when needed.

So me and the boy- all loaded up meant my load was between 35-70 lbs for a 3 night trip (wouldn't do more than that to start really).

What we are working on, is step 2 (with kiddo 2).
Basically my daughter will slide into the system I developed with my son...

My wife and son then will pair up- he can carry his own sleep system and a few things... my wife can carry her own stuff and a few group items (bigger pot that don't fit in the osprey).

Although we are working on some 1.5 person bridge hammocks based upon the duomat size... I like that best, but my wife is still not great at sleeping in one on her own, let alone with a kiddo.
So likely the boy and I will hang, the wife and daughter will share the Copper Spur for the next season or two.

So more or less what I am finding. 1 kiddo to one parent.

2-5 ish- carry them and their stuff (preferably Dad as with a seven pound pack, a bit of food and water, and a kiddo you're going to hit 70lbs from time to time no matter how careful or SUL you are).

5+ You can start giving them a sleep system (bulky but light) and teaching them to set it up. And either dad's load gets lighter, or in our case, Mom can start coming along and only end up with a few extra pounds of shared gear.

And my son will then share gear with my wife.

charliethruhike
07-26-2016, 13:17
When my son started backpacking, his pack (old bookbag) had a snack, water, fleece & a stuffed animal. He also wore a whistle around his neck. As he's gotten older, his pack has included more of his gear. At 13, he carries most of his gear; the only stuff he doesn't carry is joint use - like the cook set.

Keep in mind that at 4, you will most likely end up carrying him & his pack at times.

-FA
Generally we end up taking breaks for tree id, and will start lessons in tracking animals on our next trip on our breaks.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

-Rush-
07-26-2016, 14:15
Keep in mind that at 4, you will most likely end up carrying him & his pack at times.

-FA

It really depends on the individual. My son did his first 7 mile day at 4 years old without being carried up, down, and around a mountain with 1079ft of elevation gain in 1.9 miles. At the time he had a Camelbak kid's hydration backpack with a liter of water, a sawyer mini, and his own set of supplies. Around 6 miles he asked me if I'd carry him, but I said no and allowed him to stop and rest whenever he needed. He made it just fine and got to bed early.

FWIW his pack weighed about 4lbs and he weighed about 38lbs.

OCDave
07-26-2016, 15:31
... most of his job will be getting from point A to B,....

This job can be too much for the vast majority of 4 year olds. I have 2 boys, 12 and 18. When they were little, we visited dozens of state parks, many of them along the Superior Hiking Trail. We car camped or chose cart-in sites but, we hiked plenty. With an established base, we didn't need to concern ourselves with miles, or weight. If the day was spent throwing rocks into Lake Superior or splashing in water falls rather than covering even a modest number of miles, it didn't much matter. As they got older and demonstrated a capacity to get "from point A to B", we escalated the scope of our adventures. Both are avid backcountry campers and backpackers today.

"Can I go with you?" means he wants to spend time with you and share your enjoyment of the outdoors. Don't expect too much. Nurture his interest but, let him go at his own pace.

Good Luck

Sarcasm the elf
07-26-2016, 20:27
To keep things simple, you can make a lot of his initial gear for warmer weather trips. A closed cell pad is dirt cheap and can be cut to size. Take an old poncho liner for less than $20 and cut/sew it into a size appropriate quilt. A bookbag might work well for a first backpack given the minimal volume of gear you're likely to give him at first.

I like this idea. I've got an old mil-surplus liner and love it for car camping and the like. My buddy that was in the service says the newer liners are more or less good to use as a 45degree quilt by themselves.

MuddyWaters
07-26-2016, 20:55
I have a 4 year old that has developed excitement around camping, and when backpacking was described his first question was "Can I go with you?"

Has anyone here run into backpacks and other gear for young kids? Don't need a lot of room as most of his job will be getting from point A to B, but I am curious on what is available. Currently he has a mini mule from camelbak for a backpack, and his sleeping back is decidedly not for backpacking.

4 yr old?

Your looking a spongebob or spiderman model most likely. Sesame street used to be popular but I think its out of production now.

He will carry toys, maybe a favorite stuffed animal, and a snack.

You, will carry everything else. Possibly even him.

Make it all about him, he will have a great time.

Just Bill
07-27-2016, 11:04
I like this idea. I've got an old mil-surplus liner and love it for car camping and the like. My buddy that was in the service says the newer liners are more or less good to use as a 45degree quilt by themselves.

The Liners use a version of Primaloft, though it's hard to find out exactly which flavor (Silver, Gold, ONE) But I'm fairly sure it is version of 60gsm Gold/ONE based upon performance and listed weights.
The extensive quilting used indicates this as well.

This is the same insulation as you would find in a Patagonia Nano-Puff- with the brick style quilting.
60 gsm -(2 oz per SQYD) requires quilting 3" O.C.
100 GSM- (3 oz per SQYD) requires quilting 6" O.C.

These are full sewn through quilted pieces.
The minimum I use in my stuff is the 100gsm material. With a non-sewn through construction technique- the rating is 45*. Sewn through is about 50*.

By the numbers- the military poncho liner would be a 55* rating on it's own. Using it with the poncho likely gets you to 50*.
A service member (fit, youthful (mid 20's), healthy, and male) fits the "expert" model in the EN ratings... meaning they can typically sleep about 10* cooler than the average user.

So EN rating style-
Expert- 45*
Comfort rating- 55*
Women's rating- 60* (kiddos would fall into this)
Cold sleeper- 65*

Double it up and you would basically have pretty decent 40* bag for the average sleeper (comfort rating).

at roughly 60x80...
You could cut one in half and make either of the two bags I showed my kiddos in above...
Cut in half- to 60"x40"

FOR A QUILT- Add a channel to the "foot end" fold it in half (to 60x20) and sew up the foot end side closed for about 18" and you will have a nice quilt (like the one my son is in)

For a rectangle style sleeping bag- Fold it in half the other way 40" x 30"- Add a 24" zipper to the side, then sew closed the rest of the side and the bottom closed. (or use a full zip if you want to open it up).

That would give you two (fairly high quality) 60* kids bag for about $20 bucks each.
If you got one kiddo- make two quilts and you can then use one in summer and add the extra one for shoulder seasons.

-Rush-
07-27-2016, 14:15
Also keep in mind.. if you have smaller children that will be getting hand-me-downs, Osprey customer service will support their backpacks forever. If there's ever an issue, even years down the line, they will likely replace it for free. That's a sound investment.

saltysack
07-27-2016, 22:19
My kid started a few years back...i think he was 7 or 8.....
Three pieces of gear that he still uses at 10 are the North Face Tigger 20* sleeping bag I bought if eBay, cut down zlite pad and the Deuter fox 30 pack. Another awesome WB member (Justdad) actually passed the pack on as his kid had outgrown it. Very happy with all 3 pieces...he only carries his water, cloths, sleeping bag and few odds and ends...weighing well under 10lbs to his 55lbs of body weight. A few action pics from a few years back.....have fun....time flys!!!
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160728/c2dc0718ae8dc779140582bb4f102249.jpghttp://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160728/1f2a7782f98b810d4dff11956b9605d4.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

GreenBlaze
07-28-2016, 01:47
That's awesome Salty! Good lookin' kid!

Engine
07-28-2016, 05:37
If you're going out with a 4-year-old, whatever you do keep it fun. If it turns into a misery for him, it will take an act of congress to get him on the trail next time. Low mileage, frequent breaks, fun games in camp, tasty food, etc...

And has been stated, be prepared to carry his pack as well as your own half way through the day. At age 6 my son would be dragging bottom after 4 miles or so and he would look absolutely spent at the end of 7 miles. But, 10 minutes after we stopped hiking and started setting up camp we would look around and he was off in the woods playing and having the time of his life. Their energy levels are directly related to the "Fun quotient".

Take lots of photos, you'll miss these times terribly in 25 years!

jeffmeh
07-28-2016, 12:14
Make sure that he takes in food and water regularly, and that he is wearing appropriate layers for the conditions. Having led many hikes with young children, including my own, it is clear that most do not have the awareness to keep fueled and hydrated. Much easier to keep them positive when they are, regardless of the leader's level of enthusiasm.

charliethruhike
07-28-2016, 22:30
If you're going out with a 4-year-old, whatever you do keep it fun. If it turns into a misery for him, it will take an act of congress to get him on the trail next time. Low mileage, frequent breaks, fun games in camp, tasty food, etc...

And has been stated, be prepared to carry his pack as well as your own half way through the day. At age 6 my son would be dragging bottom after 4 miles or so and he would look absolutely spent at the end of 7 miles. But, 10 minutes after we stopped hiking and started setting up camp we would look around and he was off in the woods playing and having the time of his life. Their energy levels are directly related to the "Fun quotient".

Take lots of photos, you'll miss these times terribly in 25 years!
Oh I know the keep it fun mantra. I didn't think of they once and he acts like he's gagging everytime mint comes around. ....

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Bronk
07-29-2016, 11:31
All a 4 year old needs is a batman backpack to carry a couple of snacks and drinks in. The purpose isn't for him to actually carry anything, its so he thinks he's backpacking.

greentick
07-30-2016, 23:49
I took my then 10 and 9yr olds on a ~6mpd x 3 day loop in GSMNP 2yrs ago. They are on the shorter side. Modified REI flash 22? packs by sewing the shoulder straps down to raise the bottom of the pack up so it wasn't hitting them in the rear. They used the Marmot kids sleeping bags and 3/4 z-rests.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/6/8/4/8/108.jpg

saltysack
07-31-2016, 12:34
I took my then 10 and 9yr olds on a ~6mpd x 3 day loop in GSMNP 2yrs ago. They are on the shorter side. Modified REI flash 22? packs by sewing the shoulder straps down to raise the bottom of the pack up so it wasn't hitting them in the rear. They used the Marmot kids sleeping bags and 3/4 z-rests.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/6/8/4/8/108.jpg

Too cute...kids love trekking poles....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Agnaktor
09-11-2016, 22:43
Have the necessary supplies and gear

Extra clothing and shoes - your son or daughterreceives wet and extremely dirty

Warm clothing - it could possibly get chilly especially at night/dress yourself in layers

Insect repellent - consider time-release formulas

Sunscreen - theyll be outside all round the dayFirst, aid kit - for those little accidents

Rain gear - place themdry and warm

, activities - you ought toplace them busygames and ToysFind out more aboutWant to Play a game title?

Familiar bedtime items -blankets and pillows, stuffed animals, dolls etc

Flashlight/glow sticks - for helping relieve nighttime fears

Snacks - all of this activity is going to make them hungry

Drinks - avoid dehydration because ofactivity and heat level

Wise Old Owl
09-12-2016, 00:06
4 years old? I am with OCDave Salty Sack and Ferel Bill on this one... I might invite a dad and close kid friend from the neighborhood or two on a small overnighter... Stuff the kids in the tent and pitch mine 50 feet away...Snoring isn't funny... not even to kids. I have seen dads try to tuff it out with the kids... and you can never be sure how it will work out. They really do not need much gear. just a three season bag throw away and you are carrying everything except the water. Don't spend a lot.