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Re: [at-l] Toys --- What toys do YOU carry?

--- Snodrog5@aol.com wrote:
> <<You? >>
>  When backpacking with the kids my fieldguides, binocs, compass, notebook, 
> and maps turn into their toys. They like catching bugs and frogs, playing
> in streams, throwing rocks and singing. It's gratifying to see how well
> can amuse themselves!  TJ

### This is INCREDIBLY familiar.
SINGING: I have a repretoir of perhaps a dozen songs, from 4H summer camp
and/or John Denver, that my kids love to hear. Again and again. And again.
AND again. And then they'll brutalize the words and crack themselves up in
stitches. I carry lyrics of John Denver songs (it's been that long) AND now
of Dave Matthews -- it's very cool to hear a six year old asking for Friend
of the Devil {GD} or One Sweet World or Tripping Billies....

CATCHING Stuff: One the Long Trail hike, we noted in our journal all of what
we saw, but we got into a special routine with trail toads (of various
species) and red efts (which, like gold fish, are actually orange). I carried
a plastic page magnefier (2"x6") in my front pocket (eventually -- it started
out unused in a pack pocket), and we would huddle around interesting items
"for inspection."

TOY toys: This was cool. I asked the boys what toys they might want to carry
in the backwoods (having already set some liteweight jobs aside), and they
picked out these semi-enormous enameled steel things... I made the
observation that they would have to be carrying these things over
hill-n-dale, and they looked nervously at each other, and went to the pile
I'd set aside. {phew!} They ended up picking out largish but lite-weight
free-rolling construction-type vehicles, which duly went into their
backpacks. We also brought a very lightweight ball a tad bigger than a golf
ball, and two small plastic lids which flew as perfectly as any frisbie.

When Mara-dear-Stitches volunteered to help us Tucker-wise, the boys
IMMEDIATELY  suggested loosing the construction vehicles -- BUT THEY WANTED
THE WHEEL/AXLE ASSEMBLIES... Why? Well, they figured they didn't need the top
to the vehicles -- indeed, they didn't even need four wheels, just two, and
an axle. The rest of it had to go. (Oh, and the 8 crayons had to stay, too!)

As a throughhiker/father, I choked up a bit at such a ruthless display of
throughhiker ethos in children so sweet. That was a good day. Ohhhhhh, and
yes, they DID get major enjoyment out of their "wheels" -- both on the LT and
just recently on the HATT/AT in the Smokies. Too cool.

What toys do *I* carry? I have a spring thermometer in a small plastic case
which has hung from my backpack since September, 1978, when I found it on an
AT rehersal hike in Massachusetts. Amazingly accurate, too.

Have a just a playful day!

Ask for what you want;
  Create what you need;
 Go with what you have.

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