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Taking toddlers to high elevation

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Re: Taking toddlers to high elevation

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:41 pm

My first hike was to Velma Lakes in Tahoe when i was nine months old...and over the past sixty years I haven't stopped!

But one caveat. WHile you are worried about altitude sickness, I would worry far more about sunburn on that very delicate baby skin...and also dehydration. Please make sure you kids are protected against the sun, and drink PLENTY Of liquids.

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

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Re: Taking toddlers to high elevation

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:18 pm

I recall we took our kids on their first backpacking trip when the oldest was 5 and the youngest 1.5 yrs old. The younger one was not self propelled (Judy carried her in a kid carrier). It was a short off trail backpack and Judy and I carried spectacularly heavy packs, but it was a very enjoyable and memorable trip. I did a lot of dayhikes myself as a kid but didn't do my first backpack until I was 8 (Pear Lake en route to climb Alta Peak on an October trip).

How badly kids are impacted by altitude sickness really seems to vary by individual, just as it seems to for adults. My older one (now 11) gets bothered much more than the younger one.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Taking toddlers to high elevation

Postby Packtofish » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:09 pm

This thread couldn't have came at a better time. We just had our first and he's six months old. I can't wait to get him in the mountains, but the wife is a little concerned. He's already been to seven states and some dayhikes, but nothing at altitude for prolonged periods (we had him on loveland pass, co at 3 months, but it wasn't for very long). I think we'll just ease into it and see how it goes. Love all the stories of people getting out there, despite the challenges that come with young ones.

I keep wondering what the youngest is on Whitney, but that may be pushing it! :D
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Re: Taking toddlers to high elevation

Postby ndwoods » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:02 pm

We had a very scary experience with our son due to altitude sickness.

He was about 5 or 6 and we had climbed too fast and gone too many miles. But the biggest mistake we made was not retreating immediately when we realized he was in trouble. We waited til morning. He first got a headache. Then nausea. And he started coughing lightly. Nothing seemed more than usual kid maladies...but during the middle of the night he started coughing up pink and then was delirious and not really knowing where he was etc. When we started hiking out in the morning my husband carried his pack and I helped my son get down the trail. We had been about 10,000 feet I think...and when we hit 7,000 he had a miraculous recovery. We did take him to the Dr after and he said next time anything like that happened don't wait til morning...get down NOW even if it means hiking in the dark.

We did not take him backpacking in high mountains for many years after that, sticking to the Yolla Bolly's and the Marbles and Trinities and Ventana etc. Then when he was about 12 we went on a car vacation in Colorado where we were over 7,000 ft. He was sick for 12 days...nothing scary, but he just didn't want to eat a thing all that time. Then on the 12th day he finally acclimated and started eating everything he could. We went backpacking after that with no issues...and he has never had an issue since.
Since then we have taken grandkids from age 3 on up yearly backpacking and never had an issue. But, we did fewer miles and slower ascents with them. And...if I ever saw what I saw with my son in any of the grandkids I would have gotten them down just as fast as I could!
So...have fun, kids are a blast to hike with....but keep your miles low and get out if you have troubles!.
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