Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 39
  1. #1

    Default Kids...with or without? Planning a NOBO '14 Thru Hike

    I'm planning to thru hike in the spring and torn with what to do with the kiddo. I've talked to A LOT of like-minded friends, family, and random folks on the subject and have had so many different responses. He will be about 5 and a half years old at the time we begin the hike. As far as his schooling goes, he would begin Kindergarten in August 2014 - I have plans to homeschool so that is not much of an issue. Here are the two options:
    A.) he stays here, with a very close and trustworthy family friend. We would see to it that she is left with a power of attorney to be used in case of any medical or other issues should arise. And provide food money and such. In the case that he does not go on the hike, we expect to spend about four months, no longer than five months on the trail as we both have always been fast hikers and we are not planning to spend a lot of time in the towns. B.) he comes along with us. I have no objections to him coming along, but then it becomes HIS hike, not MY hike. I know that sounds very selfish, but I do not mean it in to sound that way (ok maybe a little). Also, we know that if he comes along it will drastically increase our time on the trail and our expenses though neither are much of an issue for us at this time.

    Some people have said to bring him, because "you can't just abandon you kid for six months"...of course these would be out non-hiking, non-hippie type friends who simply don't get it and who are entirely opposed to a thru hike, even before the kiddo existed. Then there's the folks who say to wait until he is older...well The Man nor I jive with that. We are both live & live type people and if you want to do something, and have the means to do it--well then do it! You never know what the future holds, and honestly the timing could not be more perfect. Then of course some people say to bring him along.

    So I want to know...the good, the bad and the ugly. What is your input? I will not get offended by anything you say, I promise!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    31,207

    Default

    it's a selfish thing to do goin' by yourself

  3. #3

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by barefootqt View Post
    I will not get offended by anything you say, I promise!
    I think your a *** for even considering sending your kid to live with a friend for 4-5 months while you go play.
    You arent mature enough to be a parent. A conscientious parent would not do that.

    Leaving it with one parent, while another goes is a different story.

    Why not just put it in foster care and be done with it?
    Last edited by Alligator; 07-23-2013 at 22:13. Reason: TOS #2

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-08-2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Age
    45
    Posts
    32

    Default

    not meant to pile on but i'm utterly amazed youre considering leaving your child for 4-6 months.

  5. #5
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,610
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Based on my personal experience camping with my two boys, I would say that 5yo is too young to expect to do a long-distance hike.

    Of course every child is different, but roughly speaking, this is what my boys have been like:

    Age 4: Simply doesn't have the coordination to safely negotiate the rough and uneven surface of the trials. They can manage short day hikes, but even without a pack, they will trip on roots and rocks about three times every mile and you'll need to hold their hand on any steep descents.

    Age 5: Acquired the footwork needed to negotiate day hikes. They will still occasionally trip over roots and rocks, but now about once every 5 miles.

    Age 6: Can finally carry a small back-pack (no more than 20% their body weight which should allow for about 10lbs of gear). That's enough to carry the weight of a small back-pack, a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad, and their own cloths. You'll have to carry the rest. Hiking speed will only average about 1 mph, even slower if the terrain is rough.

    Age 7: Can still only carry about a 10 lb pack, but can manage at almost an adult pace. Falls are rare. Expect 8 miles to be the maximum daily distance, and even that will wear them out.

    Age 8: Can start to carry a little more gear (perhaps add a stove and cook set). Can keep up with an adult (usually did up hill faster than me).

  6. #6

    Default

    You have my permission to thru in 13 years.

    Until then act like a parent.

  7. #7
    Section Hiker
    Join Date
    01-26-2013
    Location
    California
    Age
    47
    Posts
    1,030

    Default

    In a much nicer way: I can't comprehend how you could leave a child that young at home with no parents while you go hiking. Wait until the child is old enough to make the decision to go with you, and mature enough to understand the commitment. My 11 year old can tell you, it sounds a hell of a lot more fun until you actually get on the trail. We were shooting for just 30 miles and made 13. I would never--I COULD never--leave him and thru hike. He is so much more important than that, and the trail always be there later when he is older. My plan is to section for a week or so each summer, and when he is out of school, plan to finish whatever is left as one hike.


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
    "


  8. #8
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-30-2005
    Location
    NW MT
    Posts
    5,468
    Images
    56

    Default

    A thru-hike isn't always a barrel of laughs. There's a fair amount of painful slogging involved. Sort of like parenting that way, though the stakes are a lot lower.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  9. #9
    Registered User Trebor66's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-23-2011
    Location
    N. Georgia
    Posts
    222
    Journal Entries
    5

    Default

    If you bring your child along you are almost guaranteed to not finish the trail. By the sounds of it you then will have hard feelings toward your kid for interfering with your dream. Do the both of you a favor and stay at home until you both mature enough to make proper decisions.
    RIAP

  10. #10

    Default

    Alternate years.

    You go next year, your SO goes the year after.

    And don't you dare give me some bull**** about how that'd be bad for your relationship.
    Awwww. Fat Mike, too?

  11. #11
    Registered User hobbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-12-2010
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Age
    52
    Posts
    526
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    8

    Default

    I agree with shaky snake alternate years. The only people I give a break are military who have to leave their child because deployment..
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  12. #12

    Default

    i hike, my father bicycles. as a child he pushed me into cycling, and like any boy i craved my fathers approval and attention. i did my first century at 8 years old. at 12 i rode from atlanta to dc, covering the blue ridge parkway and skyline drive. i hated cycling, and still do.

    my opinion, you need to do some very long and deep soul searching. not about about hiking.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-27-2011
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Age
    54
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Troll!


    (text added because the post was "too short")

  14. #14
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-26-2004
    Location
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,320
    Images
    52

    Default

    In the end you have to be the one that makes the decision one way or the other. My opinion does not matter one way or the other.

    I will say I though that I recently read Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman and am now reading On the Beaten Path by Robert Rubin. As you consider your decision you may want to read their books. With these two books the one thing that stands out is the level of guilt and maybe even regret they felt for leaving family behind.

    Stutzman lost his wife to cancer and he used his thru-hike as a chance to heal and examine his life. But he was not home when his grown daughter needed him and missed the birth of his first grandchild.

    Rubin, burnt out on carreer, hit the trail for his thru-hike and the constant theme throughout seems to be his feeling of guilt that he abandoned his wife and left her to hold things together at home while he went on his thru.

    Check them out and take the time to read these.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-02-2013
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by barefootqt View Post
    I'm planning to thru hike in the spring and torn with what to do with the kiddo. I've talked to A LOT of like-minded friends, family, and random folks on the subject and have had so many different responses. He will be about 5 and a half years old at the time we begin the hike. As far as his schooling goes, he would begin Kindergarten in August 2014 - I have plans to homeschool so that is not much of an issue. Here are the two options:
    A.) he stays here, with a very close and trustworthy family friend. We would see to it that she is left with a power of attorney to be used in case of any medical or other issues should arise. And provide food money and such. In the case that he does not go on the hike, we expect to spend about four months, no longer than five months on the trail as we both have always been fast hikers and we are not planning to spend a lot of time in the towns. B.) he comes along with us. I have no objections to him coming along, but then it becomes HIS hike, not MY hike. I know that sounds very selfish, but I do not mean it in to sound that way (ok maybe a little). Also, we know that if he comes along it will drastically increase our time on the trail and our expenses though neither are much of an issue for us at this time.

    Some people have said to bring him, because "you can't just abandon you kid for six months"...of course these would be out non-hiking, non-hippie type friends who simply don't get it and who are entirely opposed to a thru hike, even before the kiddo existed. Then there's the folks who say to wait until he is older...well The Man nor I jive with that. We are both live & live type people and if you want to do something, and have the means to do it--well then do it! You never know what the future holds, and honestly the timing could not be more perfect. Then of course some people say to bring him along.

    So I want to know...the good, the bad and the ugly. What is your input? I will not get offended by anything you say, I promise!
    Try a weekend backpacking trip, then a week long one with him. I think that will probably change your mind.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-28-2008
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Age
    67
    Posts
    4,908

    Default

    Your wants and dreams are utterly irrelevant. Get over it.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  17. #17

    Default

    i'll suspend my disbelief for just a moment. your avatar says you thruhiked in '08. obviously you know about the trail. so where are your priorities mysti? is it more important to you to be a parent to your child, or go thru hike again? or did you postpone your attempt because you had the child, and now you want your life back, needs of the child notwithstanding. it may be time to stop pretending to be a hippie.

    tangentally related... for perspective

    three years ago i lost my youngest son in a car accident. three days in a coma to be declared legally brain dead. i pulled him screaming into this world, i was the first person he saw when he opened his eyes. and when it came time to sign a fracking piece of paper, i'll be g_d damd if anyone but me was going to make that decision. he is my son, i owed it to him. he would be ten years old now. i postponed a hike "because" of him. i have no regrets about that. the longest hike in my life was carrying my little boy to a hole in the ground. think about that for a little while. you talk about power of attorney like you're making a responsible decision. if something happened, if you weren't there, if you couldn't be contacted. if your child had to be buried before you could say goodbye. how would you feel?

    you are talking about abandonment, or a brutal force march on a child that can't make informed consent.

    value every moment you have with your children. it can be taken in an instant. children need their parents.

    go with god, hike your own hike, raise your own children.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-18-2013
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Age
    37
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Ape View Post
    i'll suspend my disbelief for just a moment. your avatar says you thruhiked in '08. obviously you know about the trail. so where are your priorities mysti? is it more important to you to be a parent to your child, or go thru hike again? or did you postpone your attempt because you had the child, and now you want your life back, needs of the child notwithstanding. it may be time to stop pretending to be a hippie.

    tangentally related... for perspective

    three years ago i lost my youngest son in a car accident. three days in a coma to be declared legally brain dead. i pulled him screaming into this world, i was the first person he saw when he opened his eyes. and when it came time to sign a fracking piece of paper, i'll be g_d damd if anyone but me was going to make that decision. he is my son, i owed it to him. he would be ten years old now. i postponed a hike "because" of him. i have no regrets about that. the longest hike in my life was carrying my little boy to a hole in the ground. think about that for a little while. you talk about power of attorney like you're making a responsible decision. if something happened, if you weren't there, if you couldn't be contacted. if your child had to be buried before you could say goodbye. how would you feel?

    you are talking about abandonment, or a brutal force march on a child that can't make informed consent.

    value every moment you have with your children. it can be taken in an instant. children need their parents.

    go with god, hike your own hike, raise your own children.
    Hill Ape, I'm so so sorry for your lost.

    Wow...I really hope the OP reads your post.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-18-2013
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Age
    37
    Posts
    24

    Default

    lost = loss

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Ape View Post
    i'll suspend my disbelief for just a moment. your avatar says you thruhiked in '08. obviously you know about the trail. so where are your priorities mysti? is it more important to you to be a parent to your child, or go thru hike again? or did you postpone your attempt because you had the child, and now you want your life back, needs of the child notwithstanding. it may be time to stop pretending to be a hippie.

    tangentally related... for perspective

    three years ago i lost my youngest son in a car accident. three days in a coma to be declared legally brain dead. i pulled him screaming into this world, i was the first person he saw when he opened his eyes. and when it came time to sign a fracking piece of paper, i'll be g_d damd if anyone but me was going to make that decision. he is my son, i owed it to him. he would be ten years old now. i postponed a hike "because" of him. i have no regrets about that. the longest hike in my life was carrying my little boy to a hole in the ground. think about that for a little while. you talk about power of attorney like you're making a responsible decision. if something happened, if you weren't there, if you couldn't be contacted. if your child had to be buried before you could say goodbye. how would you feel?

    you are talking about abandonment, or a brutal force march on a child that can't make informed consent.

    value every moment you have with your children. it can be taken in an instant. children need their parents.

    go with god, hike your own hike, raise your own children.
    This post ^^^ deeply touched my emotions!! It doesn't get any better than this. Hill Ape shared so much with you, barefootqt, I would take this post very seriously.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •