View Full Version : Any last minute advice?

Hoop Time
07-18-2009, 08:17
Finally taking the Cookie Monster on her first overnighter. We're heading to the Mid State Trail for a pretty easy 4 miles or so from Weikert to Poe Paddy State Park, most of which is a rail trail with a very slight grade on the way in. It's almost like a cinder running track through the woods along Penns Creek, smooth, easy walking. With a trip through an old rail tunnel and over the creek on an old trestle converted to a footbridge. At Poe Paddy we will either tent, or stay in a small shelter we have reserved (her call).

She has really enjoyed day hikes and is enthusiastic about this trip. She has done some car camping at Poe Paddy, so she has some idea of what to expect.

I would like to think that I have covered all the bases to make this a good experience for her, hoping to nurture her enjoyment of hiking and the outdoors. We're taking the requisite stuff to make smores and I bought her a new sleeping bag that will lighten her pack considerably over the thing she has used for Girl Scout camping. Her pack will be fairly light -- her bag, her snacks, flashlight, water and a pair of flannel pants and a fleece for the evening.

Anything I might be overlooking? I'm open to any and all suggestions that might help make this trip both fun for her and also a good introduction into backpacking and perhaps a bit of training for a little longer hike on the AT later this summer.

Tin Man
07-18-2009, 08:45
You might want to bring some cards or have a game in mind that you can play around the campfire or plan to go exploring around the campsite. Kids have boundless energy and she will probably want to do more than sit.

You should have a great time. I love taking my boys on overnight hiking trips.

07-18-2009, 10:01
"Any last minute advice?" - Yes, have fun! :)

07-18-2009, 10:32
Have a great time and go with the flow...:)

07-18-2009, 11:22
When I lived in the Bahamas my son and I spent hours on the beach shelling and snorkeling, to make it more interesting for him I learned the names of the shells and fish or took a book to identify them and he and I spent alot of time figuring out what we saw. Then when I moved back to the states I did the same with birds and plants, he really got alot more out of it when he knew what we were watching and could put a name on it. I suggest you take a bird and/or flora/fauna book with you and let her identify what she sees.

07-18-2009, 11:53
Any water features or swimming holes on your route. You don't necessarily have to let her swim but to be able to wade around in some swim shoes would be heaven to my lil' girls.

07-18-2009, 12:04
Have fun! We (me and my son) leave for VA next sunday for our hike. It will be his first BPing trip. 5 days/31 miles. He has done plenty of overnight camping to make me feel comfortable taking him on a multinight trip. He and I are pumped. I am not doing that much planning cause I want to go with the flow and make things slow and enjoyable. He has done plenty of 10mile day trips.

Hoop Time
07-18-2009, 12:17
Thanks for the suggestions thus far . . .

She tried to talk me into buying a small checkers set, but I figured it would only occupy her for about 20 minutes ... cards are in the pack already.

Water is in the forecast. We plan to wade in Penns Creek in our Crocs to sit on a big rock and soak our feet. I suggested a swim but she said she doesn't want to have to carry the extra weight of a wet swimsuit the next day (she is learning fast!)

Will check back for additional tips. Much appreciated to all thus far.

07-18-2009, 12:33
Some little doodad like a keychain thermometer. Button compass.

Stash until the proper distraction moment.

07-20-2009, 08:43
My kids were so funny - I would appoint them as time keeper or cloud watchers. They took it so seriously. Cloud watchers were to watch the sky for storm clouds - usually any passing cloud was called into question. Or as timekeeper - they wore the only watch and would occasionally yell out, " what time do we need to be there? It's two thirty one (pause) and thirty seven seconds." Then the story to grandma would be how well they did their job - and/or how they saved the day...the older they got the better it was - we went from timekeeper to tent organizer, and so on....never made it camp cook though, but that would have been nice. Dad lays in the hammock while all the camp chores are done. LOL

Nasty Dog Virus
07-20-2009, 10:32
Have fun! I'm sure you plan on being near her the whole time but if not, I'd suggest a whistle (for your own piece of mind, maybe). I make my 9yo son carry one at all times when we're hiking. He likes to wonder off...must have gotten that from me...

Hoop Time
07-20-2009, 23:21
Thanks again for all the suggestions.

We had a great hike. She did very well. Never complained, kept a good pace while hiking, and mixed up some mean instant mashed potatoes.

Have fun! I'm sure you plan on being near her the whole time but if not, I'd suggest a whistle (for your own piece of mind, maybe). I make my 9yo son carry one at all times when we're hiking. He likes to wonder off...must have gotten that from me...

Yeah, she had one in an easy to get to top compartment on her pack and when we were in camp it was around her neck. Not just in case she wandered off. Also just for peace of mind when she went to the privy, etc. since we were camping in a state park and there were others around.

She also liked having it as a way to make noise if we happened to see a bear. Made her feel more secure.

We didn't see any, but did entertain ourselves watching a mink fishing for his dinner while we soaked our feet in Penns Creek.

07-20-2009, 23:25
forgive me....how old is the cookie monster?

Hoop Time
07-21-2009, 10:31
forgive me....how old is the cookie monster?

She is 13.

07-21-2009, 12:29
Let her tell you when it's break time. Have fun and don't push it.

Hoop Time
07-21-2009, 15:13
Let her tell you when it's break time. Have fun and don't push it.

That is good advice with all young athletes. Coaching AAU basketball with the same age group, I learned quick that kids feel a need for water much sooner than I remember feeling it when I was their age.

But another lesson, reinforced on this hike, is that you also have to be ready to tell them when it is break time. On the way out Monday, at one point she was lagging a a little, and had grown quieter. I asked her if she wanted a break and she said no. About a quarter mile later we came to a nice spot to stop with some big flat rocks along the trail to sit on, so I told her I needed a break and she readily accommodated me. It was obvious she didn't want to say she needed a break for fear of seeming too weak, or of disappointing me.

A few handfuls of gorp and a little water and she was back out front setting a pace I struggled to keep up with.

07-21-2009, 15:59
Shake her down before going.......

Needless items in the pack will weigh her down and make you and her miserable.