My oldest boy, who is six (and a half, he would correct me) has announced that he’s ready to get back on the trail for an overnight. He came home from school the other day to show me a story he wrote about camping out, fully illustrated with all of his favorite parts. Kat’s boy is five and, now that I’ve turned daddy into a hammock-hanger, he’s invested in a double-hammock. The boys are beside themselves with excitement about the prospect of sleeping in that thing.
We’ve got our eye on the 10-day forecast, praying for a nice, sunny 60-degree weekend right before Spring Break. They’re not old enough (or maybe they’re just too smart) to enjoy backpacking in cold, rainy weather.
Oldest boy, let’s call him by his trail name – Bear Bait – has a job between now and the hike. I’ve tasked him with writing the food list (for both of us) and his own gear list. For school, he graduated out of his glossy pirate backpack into a Coleman day pack. I didn’t originally plan for him to use it as a school backpack, but it has his Hobbs State Park patch sewn into it (from his first overnight) and he was so proud that I couldn’t resist. So what if it gets a little worn out, he’s got the coolest pack in the 1st grade. Which means that, for the first time, he wants to carry his own pack. I’ll stick to my rules of him carrying only his snacks and a water bottle – but I don’t have the heart to tell him he can’t shoulder a pack like the daddies.
It’ll end up strapped to the top of mine about 2 miles in, anyway.
At least he’s big enough now that I won’t be hiking the last 4 miles out with a pack and a preschooler riding my shoulders.
I’ll post his food and gear list when he finishes writing it.