View Full Version : Gear for the nieces

The Wisconsinite
08-06-2007, 09:48
ok, so my nieces are finally of the age where I think I can take them on a camping trip without going crazy and/or losing one. Being the horrible uncle that I am, I've forgotten a birthday or two, so I'm going to catch up with some backpacking gear so we'll have everything we need when we go. (probably fall or next spring, since we don't live in the same state)

So, does anyone else have kids? (I know, stupid question, but hey). Where do you get their gear? My nieces are 10 and 8 right now, but I'm unsure how tall they are. Do I get them adult sized gear? A big packpack, or something small?

I'll be getting most of the stuff on REI outlet, because I can't afford expensive gear for both of them, but do I get extra cheap stuff knowing they'll tear it apart quickly, or regular stuff that will last into their teens? I'm thinking I'll go with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and backpack right now to start. Do they make kid sized backpacking packs, or should I just get a lightweight one. Also, short or regular sleeping bag? A little help here for a lost uncle :)

Pennsylvania Rose
08-06-2007, 10:27
Tough Traveller and REI both make great packs for kids. TT is kind of expensive, but my very petite 14 year old will probably be able to use her internal frame pack for the rest of her life. REI's external is cheaper, and well made. Two of my teens have used and abused theirs, and they've just passed them on to their younger sibs.

Sleeping bags have always been a problem for us. The kids ones that fit up to 5 feet are pretty inexpensive, but relatively heavy. You might want to look into getting lighter (although more expensive) women's short sized bags. Or try quilts.

Wish I had had an uncle like you!!!

08-06-2007, 11:19
When My son joined Boy Scouts, I made him a ray-way pack and quilt.
http://www.ray-way.com (http://www.ray-way.com/)

This was a good decision, because:
1. Kids need light gear. If they are packing too much gear, they will not have a good experience. Their first bad hike will probbably be their last.
2. Its adult gear. I am not going to have to go out next year and buy all new stuff, just because he out grew the old stuff.

If sewing is totaly out of the question you may want to consider
http://fanaticfringe.com/page5.html Their packs without the hip belt seem to be comprable to the ray-way pack. Although I have never seen one.

Ed Speer makes a quilt. http://www.speerhammocks.com/Products/PRODUCTLINK2.htm
He says they are for use in hammocks,but give him a call, those quilts will probbably work for your nieces. There may be some other commercially avalable lite quilts I just can't think of any.

anyway have fun

The Wisconsinite
08-06-2007, 14:22
I'm not the sewing type. Basically I'm wondering whether to go for the $40 coleman sleeping bags, or get something nicer. We'll only be camping in Wisconsin during summer, so it won't really get very cold. So a coleman would suffice. On the other hand, something nicer would last longer, and it leaves open the possibility of going some place far away with a mountain or two where we might encounter bad weather. I'm on the fence here, because its very tough to predict kids in my opinion. I could get a nice bag and they rip it on the car door taking it out on the first trip.

I think I will spring for nicer backpacks though, because it definitely makes hiking uncomfortable having a bad pack.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-06-2007, 14:27
There are many, many good ideas on Just Jeff's Hiking with Kids page (http://www.tothewoods.net/HikingWithKids.html)

The Wisconsinite
08-07-2007, 14:01
Thanks for all your input and the links. I'm going to be checking around the web for deals the next few weeks and I'll see what I can get :)