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Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

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Re: Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

Postby Cross Country » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:52 pm

One time ¨saint¨Diane and I went of a backpaking trip with Jim who was barely 3 and he was the size and phisical maturaty of a two and a half year old or maybe a little less. Diane and I were backpacking and Jim was along for the ride. We went passed Nevada falls and camped the first night at Little Yosimite Vally. Jim was riding on top of my alpenlight pack perched in a baby carrier. It was VERY unstable but fortunatly I never fell and killed my kid. My pack weighed almost 80 pounds. We stayed in LYV two nights and went back the next day. When we were in camp Jim kept saying he wanted to go backpacking. By the 3rd day I realized he was saying he wanted to go home. When I get home in 5 week I´ll try to remember to post pics of this trip. I believe this trip was almost unique.

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Re: Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

Postby DLeikam » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:05 am

Like you, I have been anxious to share the wilderness with my kids. Emma Lake has been our "easy go to" for quick weekend trips and my kids love it. I would absolutely recommend taking your 3 year old, I did it a few years ago and was amazed at how good she did. We went to East Lake out of Bridgeport, just south of Emma. It is 4 miles one way (I think) with lots to do once you get up there. Here is my TR, it was also my first ever backpacking trip: Since I started "backpacking" a few years ago, I have actually never gone without my daughters - so that means never over 4 miles one way. Regarding safety, you have to do what you're comfortable with. A coworker of mine thinks I'm out of my mind irresponsible for taking my kids higher than 2,000 feet alone - what if someone breaks an ankle, a bear eats you, you fall, and on and on. I'm comfortable with the risk and use common sense. I'd love to see your TR, please post when you get back! In addition to Emma, we have been several different places in the last 2 years and my girls are ALWAYS talking about going back into "the wilderness", and something about East Lake really left a mark on their memory. I love it.
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Re: Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

Postby Tom_H » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:04 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Desolation-Echo Lake area- kids love the boat taxi and there are close lakes and good trail, but it does involve some uphill walking.

They normally open the dam gates after Labor Day, which makes the Interlaken stream unnavigable. They may or may not run the taxi to the upper end of Lower Echo. This means hiking the PTC alongside the lakes. It is true that Tamarack and Ralston are a short distance from the upper end of Upper Echo, but climbing the high rough steps in that blasted granite is miserable for adults, much less toddlers. I would not take a toddler up that trail.
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Re: Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

Postby SSSdave » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:05 am

Hi Wendy,

A couple places not far from the Carson Valley for a single overnight, thinking out of the box.,-119.82041&z=15&t=T

At Ebbetts Pass, hike north on the PCT 3/4 mile up an easy 150 feet to Sherrold Lake. Wander west off the trail to the west side of the lake. Also better isolation Dorothy is another easy 1/4 mile west through thin forest with fine views at sunset. Nice Sierra junipers in area and lots of wildflowers mid to late July. No fish and small safe shallow pond sized waters with frogs and birds so unlikely to have other campers.,-120.07640&z=15&t=T

A bit east of the Kirkwood at the Margaret Lake Trailhead. Late season after mosquitoes and swampy areas in meadow have dried. Hike 1/4 mile down 150 feet on trail to Caples Creek. Wander upstream on south side 1/8 mile to 7800 feet where the creek flows over smooth bedrock down a nice gentle cascade and primitive camp in forest at the base there. Nice views of nearby dome 7955. Lodgepole pine forest with small safe creek late season and unlikely to see others except maybe an exploring day hiker or fisherman.

David ... les-0.html
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Re: Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

Postby ERIC » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:48 pm

HiSierra wrote:Be patient, they grow up so fast.

Easier said than done. Mine are 2 and 4. In all other ways but this I want them to stop growing up so fast..
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Re: Backpacking trips for a 3 year old

Postby NoBoHiker » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:51 pm

I started taking my Kids backpacking when they were ~4 or yrs old, and slowly build up Mileage. My son has then been up Half Dome when he was 6 and we have been back to do the same trip again this year - he absolutely loves Backpacking now and we go on several trips each year.

The key items to turn kids into happy backpackers in my opinion are:

1) Moderate Mileage
2) Plan for plenty of stops and even if it is a detour, go see interesting stuff e.g. waterfall, arches
3) Plenty of play time - we play Pinecone Baseball :)
4) Bring food that is a winner, don't try new stuff

Also make sure your kid knows what to do in emergency situations, I keep asking "What would you do if you'd be alone now? "

Happy Trails,

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