Backpacking with Kids

As some of you may know, we like to dabble in the occult. I mean, outdoors. Camping, cycling, rappelling, backpacking; it’s all in the name of fun. We’d told the kids if they had good grades we’d let them play hooky for a day and do something fun. This…. is what they wanted to do.
It was my youngest son’s (Alex) 8th birthday on Monday and it was just after Easter weekend. I would like to say that my delicate nature made me rebel against going; but I was just as excited as the boys about it. We’d just gotten a new backpack tent and I was eager to try it out. So we got all geared up and headed out into the wilderness, the feral unknown, the mystical reaches of forest and woods…

Alright, we just went to Pyramid State Park. It’s about 15 minutes or so from us and embarked on a 4 mile hike in. We kept it short because of the soon-to-be 8 year old, but he did really great. Even our chocolate lab Shady came with us (We need him to protect us from the cow-yo-tees, Alex said) and he even has his own backpack. No one gets away with not pulling their weight!

Apparently, we weren’t too wilderness as my cell phone had a signal. I know this because we had five phone calls that night. Luke (Alex’s 10yr old brother) and Alex went just to the lake’s edge to enjoy nature. At some point of looking at frogs and trying to filter water by the small lakeshore, Alex fell in the water. He claimed his older brother pushed him. I was too busy trying to stay warm to see.

It was fairly shallow, but the cold weather, coupled with the water, meant we had to get him out of those wet clothes. Fortunately he had extra pants, but the boots/socks were soaked. My down booties were the solution. Man, I love those booties and I was greatly looking forward to enjoying them by the fire. Fortunately, Dad had already started a fire in anticipation of dinner.

What we didn’t anticipate was the sight of pants and boots roasting. He angled and turned them appropriately (with tongs and everything) but I guess his “clothes” cooking skills aren’t what he had hoped they were. The hike out the next day had Alex in some charred pants and slightly melted boots. Oh well, at least he didn’t burn the steak kabobs!

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