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  1. #1
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    Default Late night evacuation with kid.

    I've been planning a father's day trip with my son who is 5, and my dad who is 65 for the last month. We left yesterday afternoon and hiked 3 miles in to a gorge on the Cumberland Trail. After making camp and dinner my boy started complaining that he was was freezing cold. It was 70 so I put his jacket on. He was still cold and I thought he was tired so I had him get in his bag and lay down. I checked on him 10 minutes later and he said he was still cold, but he was burning up with a fever. We made the decision to break camp and hike out. I carried him on my shoulders sitting on my pack for the whole way mostly uphill, in the dark. Got back to the car at 10:30 and home at 11:00. He had a fever of 102.5 when we got there. It was a long night.

    Lessons learned:
    Put some fever reducer in my first aid kit. All I had was Aleve and Advil.
    I need a better headlamp and a handheld. My petzl elite doesn't cut it for hiking out in the dark and fog.

    Any others tips from those who hike with little ones?

  2. #2
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    Good info as I planned to take my 8 yr old out soon....check out the zebra light head light..I love mine w 1 aa battery BRITE!! I night hike frequently and the medium setting puts off plenty of light w good battery life. I've been up and down the rocks on winter night hikes at Albert mtn w no problems...I've had numerous other pretzel etc but this is far superior...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    For only 3 miles I would have seriously considered temporarily abandoning the equipment and just carrying the kid out and coming back to get your stuff the next morning.

  4. #4

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    Perhaps a shower cap for you in case he has to spew or dry cleaner bag made into a poncho, and some wet ones for clean up. How the little one feelin today?

  5. #5
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    I think you touched on the biggie - adjusting your first aid kit to account for a little one.

  6. #6
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    Bummer on the trip but kudos on the call to bail and deal with the situation safely. Hope he recovers quickly and you guys can get back out there.

  7. #7
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    We debating leaving our gear, but I was glad to relax this morning and not have to repeat the 6 miles to retrieve our stuff. I'm definitely going to beef up my FAK and bring more lights. He's still sick, but resting safely at home.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynate View Post
    We debating leaving our gear, but I was glad to relax this morning and not have to repeat the 6 miles to retrieve our stuff. I'm definitely going to beef up my FAK and bring more lights. He's still sick, but resting safely at home.
    Good deal, glad to hear it was not something more serious, and I think Rocket Jones is right, just adjusting your kit is a testament your on the right track.

  9. #9

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    The mental image of you carrying out the ailing little guy warms the heart. Yeah, with some Tylenol he could have probably made it out under his own steam or waited until morning, but then this little moment of Superdad would be missing in your memory. Good job & I bet your own Dad was hugely proud.

    Hope your little hiker is on his feet again soon.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  10. #10
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Good job getting the kid out! Hope he's ok! (And if you got out and everyone's ok, you did the right thing. Any comments after the fact by someone who wasn't there are comments from someone who wasn't there.)

    That said, maybe a couple of things to think about and take with a grain of salt:

    If I didn't have pediatric-strength meds along, I'd probably have tried to scale the Advil to body weight. If a 150-pound adult takes 400-600 mg, what does a (insert weight here) kid take? Split tablets with a pocketknife if necessary, unless there's a warning not to split or use broken ones. If the kid can't swallow pills, crush it in your spork and put the bits in a spoonful of whatever you take along that's soft and kid-friendly: cereal, a little bit of drink mix, raisins, peanut butter, whatever the kid can swallow.

    I'm fortunate that the first time my daughter was taken ill on the trail, she was in her early teens and could just take adult doses of stuff.

    I actually like having a headlamp from the hardware store, rather than an ultralight one from the outfitter. My headlamp from Home Depot holds up a long time on 3 AA lithium batteries (which I can replace at the drug store, big box, or even a gas-station convenience store) and gives a really nice light. I carry a tiny penlight as well, mostly to give light to change batteries with. In a pinch I can use my cell phone's camera light as a flashlight, but I hate running down the phone battery.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  11. #11
    Registered User pelenaka's Avatar
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    Besides a tylenol product benadryl which besides being used for allergies can help relieve inner ear pressure. At that age 3 out 4 of my children had freaguent ear infections which caused a high temps. Ask his pediatrician what he would recommend OTC for diarrhea.
    Personally I'd choose the liquid form for meds as sometimes you only have one shot to get it down them.
    When I worked @ my children's pediatrician's office we use to get neat one dose samples of OTC meds such as Tylenol. Ask I'm sure you could score some.

    As a side note because my children had such frequent ear infections I bought one of those simple pen light ear scopes so I could check to see. Often meant the difference between a midnight run to the ER or being able to wait til the doctor office was open.

  12. #12

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    My sons first trip, he hiked 13 miles the second day with a fever, doped up on ibuprofen

  13. #13
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    Because I hike with kids, my 1st Aid kit has children's medications (such as children's Tylenol). I keep a chart so that I'll know what the adult dosage is for the kids medications.

    My oldest gave me a bit of a scare. I had taken my 7 & 11 yo sons on a trip to the Grand Canyon. Everything was great the 1st day hiking South Kiabab to Bright Angel Campground. The next morning, the oldest complained his tummy didn't feel good and I gave him some pepto-bysmol. As we start hiking up Bright Angel Trail... he throws up... on his brother. So there we are at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a child that appears to have a stomach bug... and there's NO WAY I'm carrying an 11yo from river to rim at GCNP. Fortunately, I like to pack Koolaid single use packets to add some flavor to the water, but I use the kind that have sugar (not the no calorie kind). So I filled his water bottle with Koolaid and we made very frequent stops to drink and eat a little something salty (pretzels). By the time we reached Indian Garden, he was feeling better. We had planned to stay at Indian Garden and hike out to Plateau Point, but he felt like just continuing and getting out of the Canyon that day. So in the end, everything turned out ok, but he gave me quite a scare for a while.

  14. #14
    Registered User Glacier's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting your experience. My little guy isn't old enough to hike yet, but it really made me rethink my fak for when he goes out with me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynate View Post
    Lessons learned:
    Put some fever reducer in my first aid kit. All I had was Aleve and Advil.
    I need a better headlamp and a handheld. My petzl elite doesn't cut it for hiking out in the dark and fog.

    Any others tips from those who hike with little ones?
    Hello OP,

    Advil (ibuprofen) is a fever reducer.

  16. #16
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    Sorry for double post but I can't edit my previous post.

    No children here so I can't speak from experience, but maybe put some electrolyte powder packets or tablets in your first aid kit.

  17. #17

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    These days many medications are designed to be time released or have special coatings on them to combat upset stomach. So I'd suggest not crushing pills or cutting them unless you really know what you are dealing with or are advised to do so by a doctor or a pharmacist. Take a time released medication and reduce it to powder and your body could absorb it all at once instead of over a long period of time like it was intended. Now you've taken a sick kid and made the situation much worse.

  18. #18
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Bronk - Good point. I was specifically talking about adult Advil/Motrin/generic ibuprofen, which is generally not enteric-coated nor a time-release formulation. You're right that a lot of meds are formulated that way, so ask if you're not sure. For what it's worth, none of the drugs I carry in my first-aid kit is in a time-release or coated formulation. (Ibuprofen, diphenhydramine, famotidine, bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide, all generic.)
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  19. #19

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    You carry alphabet soup in your FAK, Kevin? I've heard of the benefits of chicken soup of course......
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  20. #20
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynate View Post
    I've been planning a father's day trip with my son who is 5, and my dad who is 65 for the last month. We left yesterday afternoon and hiked 3 miles in to a gorge on the Cumberland Trail. After making camp and dinner my boy started complaining that he was was freezing cold. It was 70 so I put his jacket on. He was still cold and I thought he was tired so I had him get in his bag and lay down. I checked on him 10 minutes later and he said he was still cold, but he was burning up with a fever. We made the decision to break camp and hike out. I carried him on my shoulders sitting on my pack for the whole way mostly uphill, in the dark. Got back to the car at 10:30 and home at 11:00. He had a fever of 102.5 when we got there. It was a long night.

    Lessons learned:
    Put some fever reducer in my first aid kit. All I had was Aleve and Advil.
    I need a better headlamp and a handheld. My petzl elite doesn't cut it for hiking out in the dark and fog.

    Any others tips from those who hike with little ones?
    The FAK side- well covered- A little meds might have meant you could at least have toughed out the night and made the call in the morning. That said- my son had a 103 fever last week- I'm not much for rushing to the doctor, but even sitting at home I was ready to go to the ER after a few hours. Not worth second guessing with our little ones. Good job keeping a cool head- better to regret a little over-caution than the opposite.

    On a more pleasant note- I picked up a Black Diamond Wiz- $13 at REI outlet for my son- more for his entertainment/safety. Not a great light- but fits his 30lb 3 1/2 year old body well and has an autoshut off after 2 hours. But, more importantly, equipping your kid with a "real" light- means that you can take it back from them to assist you when hiking.

    When night hiking- attaching a light at your waist and/or chest- or using a chest/hand held is a better way to hike in the dark.
    Wearing a headlamp means the beam crosses your field of vision and diminishes your night vision. In addition, the light itself creates a small "halo", especially if the air is moist, that is hard to see through and strains your eyes very quickly.

    By keeping the light below your field of vision, your night vision is better and you won't strain to punch through the halo. And your light source is closer to your feet- getting the most bang for your Lumen powered buck in addition to reducing shadows that skew the actual trail landscape. Practice a few setups in the neighborhood to find what works best for you. If nothing else- most Ultrarunners go with some version of this setup- as far night hikers go- I'd follow their lead.

    Also-
    I did teach him how to use the blinker, and as a fun teaching game we play "lost and seek". We take turns hiding in the dark- when the hider is hidden- they shout out- "I'm lost come find me." Then turn on the blinker. Seems like a fun way to teach safety, especially to a boy like mine who has discovered hiding at random times is a fun way to give daddy a heart attack.

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