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Re: [at-l] long distance hiking with young teenagers

In a message dated 97-01-01 15:30:55 EST, Sally writes:

 I have a question about the packing ability of youngsters. My brother-in-law
 wants to start his boys hiking, working up to a five-day trip next June. One
 boy will be almost 11 by then. He has a very slight build. The other will be
 10 1/2, is a little shorter and stockier.
 How much can they carry? I've read that, because they're still growing,
 pre-teens should not carry a great deal, but nothing I've read says how much
 "a great deal"  is. Everybody says no more than 20 pounds, but should it be
 Any help on that or advice on anything dealing with youngsters backpacking
 would be appreciated.
     I work with a group of young people ages 9 to 12.  We go camping and/or
backpacking once each quarter.  Our guidelines say that no boy can carry more
than 25% of their body weight.  This includes the clothing they have on.  We
weigh the boys, calculate 25% of their body weight and subtract 2 lbs for the
clothing they have on.  We then have them load their packs and weigh the boys
with the packs.  The total weight can be no more than their pre-pack weight *
1.25 - 2lbs.  
     Sticking to these guidelines means that many of the adults end up
packing the tents and sleeping bags for the smaller boys.  It's a small price
to pay to keep the boys happy and healthy.

Wayne Brown
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