Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

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Harlen
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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by Harlen » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:19 pm

WD writes:
All kidding aside, there is a lack of appropriate or ultra-light gear for kids and that makes it more difficult to keep the pack weight down until they grow enough to fit into adult clothing. Even "youth" packs are too heavy.
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I think you are right again Nancy. In the photo above you see Nathan with the very full, adult (my old) Lowe Alpine backpack. Although he seemed to carry the weight alright- at least at the start of a trip, due th the length of the pack the waist belt hit him about mid-thigh. This greatly restricted forward leg movement, to such an extent that Nathan would mostly hop down the trail. It was fun for awhile- our little "Hoppit," but then he tired, and so we let him leave the waist belt unhitched.

I guess it's too late now Nancy- he's sixteen- but you would've recommended that we get him a smaller backpack, and lighten his load?

*All kidding aside, and I would have very little to say.
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Last edited by Harlen on Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.








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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:56 am

Back then REI did not even make kids gear. I sewed most of my kids' clothing; they used much of my old stuff. At least I am short! I actually have some REI-Kids gear for myself now!

I had a synthetic half bag that I had used for a climbing bivy- perfect as a kid's sleeping bag until about 4 yrs old (my kids were pretty short too). Then it was my old sleeping bag which filled about half of my old climbing day-pack, which sort of fit them. I would give them the light but bulky gear such as foam pads. I do not think they carried more than about 10-15 pounds, but they felt very proud because the pack looked BIG! They always liked carrying the pots because they clanked while they walked. But honestly from about 4 to 10 years, we used an outfitter to take us in on horses, and then walked out, mostly downhill, after we had eaten most of the food. Horse packers were not as expensive as now.

Osprey makes some nice light simple packs in women's x-sm which work well for kids. Only problem was that my grandson refused to use a purple-pink pack. I really wish they would quite making gear with "girly" colors.

Teens, on the other hand are really quite strong and capable, just lack good judgement. The main complaint I got from my teens was that I did not allow them to do enough, that I did everything myself. I really should have spent the time teaching them navigation and had them help more in trip planning and packing. If I had to do it over with teens, I would have them 100% involved in the trip from the first. If they really participate in the planning they buy-in to the trip a lot more and complain less.

Here are some funny pictures of my daughter "modeling" her backpack clothes for a toddler.
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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by oddtiger » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:13 am

I had a hard time finding backpacks for my daughters. Many cottage manufacturers had tried to make ultralight packs or gears for kids, but most of the kids' gears got discontinued eventually, due to the higher customization cost and limited market size. Serious little backpackers (and/or with serious parents who are determined to introduce little kids to backpack) are not that many comparing to the profitable full-size market.

Still, good (used or new) kids' gears show up time to time. It's just not easy to find sometimes. I bought a used Mountain Laurel Design Prophet pack (kid's version which was discontinued many years ago) for my older one last year (then 5-yo), and she just loved it and has logged more than 50 miles with it since then. ULA adds a new kid's SPARK pack to their product line earlier this year that is fully customizable. I hope it will last longer.

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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by TahoeJeff » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:44 pm

Geeeez, this went from a super cool TR to a pic fest of little kids and how packs fit them?!?!
Shouldn't that stuff be in a separate thread?
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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:59 pm

You are right. Fine with me if moderators move the last part of this to a more appropriate section. I do not know how to do that. Did not mean to detract from this very good trip report.

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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by wildhiker » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:00 pm

Personally, I like the way posts often wander into other related topics because they jogged someone's memory, who otherwise would probably not have started a separate thread. Sort of like discovering unexpected views or flower gardens on a trip.
-Phil

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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by rightstar76 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:34 am

wildhiker wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:00 pm
Personally, I like the way posts often wander into other related topics because they jogged someone's memory, who otherwise would probably not have started a separate thread. Sort of like discovering unexpected views or flower gardens on a trip.
-Phil
+1

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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by sekihiker » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:50 am

wildhiker wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:00 pm
Personally, I like the way posts often wander into other related topics because they jogged someone's memory, who otherwise would probably not have started a separate thread. Sort of like discovering unexpected views or flower gardens on a trip.
-Phil
Ditto. I guess we are not linear thinkers.

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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by giantbrookie » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:38 am

Agreed. This is part of how this process works and we should note that this subtheme is not disconnected from main trip report. Outfitting kids for a backpacking trip is important and there will be plenty of folks reading this post who wonder about such things. On this subtheme, whereas the difficulty of obtaining optimal backpacks for kids has been noted, I am pleased that there are far better (and more comfortable) choices in gear than I was exposed to growing up. My dad would pick up stuff at garage sales and have me carry them. One of these torture racks had back frame vertical members (part of external frame) located perfectly so they dug into my shoulder blades, which were bloodied by trip's end (I think I was 9 at the time). Things didn't improve for me until my family picked up one of the first generation magnesium-allow external frame packs for my mom. Then, on the "hard trips" (me and my dad only, instead of entire family), I'd take my mom's pack. I first did this on my 10th birthday and I thought it was wonderful in comparison to what I had experienced to that time. Our family had a bit of a different standard for me and my younger bro as demonstrated by a hike to Mt Diablo when I was about 8 and my bro 5. If my bro had but one grain of sand in his shoe he'd say something and we'd stop for him to take off his shoe and shake out what was in there. Me, on the other hand...On that trip I noted by boots were too small. "We're not made of money so we can't get you new boots". We got to the car and I took off my boots. I had ten blue toenails all of which fell out during the next week. I also had a big bruise (charley horse) on one thigh from a rolling rock that someone had loosed when we went off trail--I recall it had a pretty good vertical run before it smacked my thigh. So I got new boots and they got better calibrated to my pain tolerance. To return to 2019, Dawn (13) carries an REI Flash 65 pack and absolutely loves it. She has complained of various discomforts on trips but never her pack either in terms of fit or its weight. There have been no issues of balance with her pack (unlike her weak-legged dad who occasionally topples over making various moves). In addition to her obvious endurance and leg strength she has good upper body strength and strength to weight ratio (pull up set PR is 5 and can do sets of 3 routinely).
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Tale of Three Drainages: S Fork Merced, Merced, San Joaquin 7/20-26

Post by SSSdave » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:29 pm

The colorful rusty geology of the Red Peak area has been a target of mine for decades. The Ottoway basin is one that looks out westward with best unblocked setting sunlight in early bug-free September that often has clearer air as long as there are no smoky fires.

Quite a challenging route that would have been easier after a less snowy winter. With increasing age, you might learn to enjoy more relaxed semi base camping itineraries. Your off trail route choices again shows how well you wisely use topo lines.

Your painful carrying weight is near mine. During the last decade, I've had increasing problems with sole of foot soreness that tends to mostly recover overnight but while carrying the pack after 4 miles increasingly causes me to make brief stops sitting on boulders or logs. Uncertain if that is a temporary issue that will heal or if it is an age related problem that will only get worse.

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