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

At 12:28 PM 1/1/97 PST, SaraSW@aol.com wrote:
>Diana L. Cascioli wrote:
>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

I can only speak for myself, but Jessie did just fine last summer (age 8)
with a 9 pound pack on a 3 mile, somewhat hilly, hike.  It took us about 2
hours, with her leading much of the way.  I think that she would have had no
problem with a longer trip, but it was her first backpacking experience and
I wanted to make sure that she would have a good time.

Her gear:

        Osprey "Pika" pack.
        EMS LT 20 jr sleeping bag
        synthetic long johns
        rain pants
        possibly an extra pair of socks

She also carried a "bota" that I stuck in the webbing at the back of her pack.

I carried all the shared gear and her sleeping pad.

I think that she weighed about 50 pounds at the time, so she was carrying
about 20 percent of her body weight.

The Pika is a nice LITTLE pack.  It is quite narrow (important for Jessie),
and is adjustable over a wide range of torso lengths.  It as a real hipbelt,
and enough of a suspension (a "delrin" rod running around the outside) to
support a light load.  The pack was pretty stuffed.  I paid about $75 for
the pack, and plan to get two kids use out of it.

-- Jim

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