Apr 20, 2009 at 6:33 am #1235725
@auradarLocale: FL Panhandle (aka LA)
heres the results from me and my son's (7) first backpacking adventure. I know ya'll have been waiting for this report for some time now :)
The Madian Voyage
Race home from work on Friday, load up, and head to Florida National Scenic Trail trailhead on SR85 just below Crestview. Hike the 0.9 miles to the Pearl Creek Campsite on the Titi section of the FNST, setup camp, back track 0.1 miles to the Pearl Creek and get water, search for a few treasure chests (4 geocachings sites along this stretch), and then return to camp before dark, eat, and turn in. Morning would be to finish treasure hunting, pack-up, and return home.
What Actually Happened:
Raced home from work on Friday afternoon. Started loading up and the boy threw-up on the floor in the living room. He seemed to be doing fine other than that, and he was really, really upset we wouldn’t be going hiking. So we decided to proceed as planned. However, as he was putting on his shoes moma noticed his face was white as a sheet. So we called off the hike and took awhile to explain why we shouldn’t go. Even though he was really disappointed and really wanted to go, you could tell he knew he couldn’t make it.
This little stomach bug he had, moma and baby brother had it earlier in the week so we knew it wouldn’t last long or be real bad. So Saturday we all went to the beach for a bit. Came home and the boy was doing supper. So at about 4:00 we decided to carry out the hike.
The trip went pretty much as planed. However, we forgot the bug spray. Just into the hike we came into a little hammock. The skitters were so thick visibility was severely limited. In fact, there were so many of them they had picked up the boy and started carrying him away. Luckily there was a verily thick canopy overhead that the skitters had troubling getting him through. I was able to grab his ankles and pull him back down. We immediately turned around and headed back (we were only a few hundred feet into the walk). We got in the truck, ran down to the gas station, got some Off, and returned. No more skitter problems.
We got a later than expected start so we only had time for one treasure hunt. The next morning, Sunday, I had to be at church by 8 so we got up at 5, packed up, and headed out. I toted the boy’s sleeping bag going out because he complained a little about a heavy load coming in
We had a awesome time. Boy really loved it, especially the getting water from the creek. And he was able to handle the hike with no problem. This was our first, and shouldn’t be our last.
Daddy: (weight approximately 32 pounds)
Army ruck sack
Entirely to heavy 4-man Coleman tent
First aid kit
Candle lattern (in the spirit of ultra-light I removed the bass pro shop sticker to lessen the load)
Water proof matches
Water proof match holder with striker on the bottom which doesn’t work
Water filter w/bottle
Three bottles of water
GPS w/4 geocach sites
4 light sticks
Stephen King book of short stories
Change of underwear and socks
Broom stick (walking stick)
Boy: (weight approximately 10 pounds)
Adult backpack that was regifted to daddy for Christmas
Sponge Bob comic book
Change of underwear and socks
1) Tent way to heavy. But I knew that going in
2) Boy’s pack was to heavy. Not so much to heavy as much as he’s not use to that. Need to lighten
3) 32 pounds is probably alright for me. Although I need to change my load as I’m not efficient with my weight. I knew this going in but for a mile I could brute force it.
4) Need to carry boy’s sleeping bag
5) Rucksacks work good. However, they have a “cinch strap” around them which is what holds the tent on. This means the pack is squeezed (sp?). Makes it hard to get stuff and you will crush your food
6) I need a mat
7) I need a lighter blanket
8) Our flashlights work good, but they use the camera C123 batteries which are expensive. Need to find a good AA or AAA flashlight
9) Need to get a new GPS. Mine is old and can’t keep the satellites locked in
10) Don’t read a scary Stephen King short story while sleeping in the back country
11) Need to invest in a lot of equipment. Need to prioritize what I need and start aquring
12) We got up before light and started home. Not a good idea. Trying to walk a trail at night is not a good thing.Apr 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm #1497444
Joshua BillingsBPL Member
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Any pictures?May 3, 2009 at 3:54 am #1498686
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Ahhh…best laid plans! Three good things about the are that (1) you made the effor to take your son out, (2) you got out and had a great time, and (3) you are thinking about how to do it better next time. Did you use the axe?May 4, 2009 at 8:07 am #1498945
@auradarLocale: FL Panhandle (aka LA)
no pictures. Didn't take a camera because I wanted to be an ultralight purists ;) Seriously though, my digital camera broke, I meant to get a disposable camera but forgot.
Didn't use the axe, but could have. There was a fire ring and we could have done a fire, but it gets dark late and the boy turns in early, I didn't want to have to do a fire watch.
Should be going on our next trip in a couple of weeks. A 3.5 mile hike with a nice creek in the half way in. Maybe a break and swim a bit.May 4, 2009 at 8:33 am #1498952
@cooldripLocale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Just a word of warning Rob about what you're setting your son up for. It's a lifetime affliction with no cure, and only one known treatment. The symptoms are many but could include:
-Trouble sleeping in a "real" bed in a house
-An inability to be comfortable when surrounded by walls
-An overwhelming concern for the welfare of natural places
-A preference for being dirty and damp
When allowed to progress to an acute phase, the patient will show a single-minded purpose for aquiring their next "fix", ie wilderness experience. The seriously afflicted will take every opportunity to get outside. You may find the boy playing in creeks or staring intently at trees with a distant look in his eyes.
While it seems to make the condition worse, the only known treatment is more and varied wilderness experiences. Again, this is uncurable, so many, MANY outdoor trips will be required to allow the patient to live a full, healthy, happy life. If you or your son need extensive therapy, I've found the mountains of NC/Tenn to have a powerful effect, though it could certainly worsen the condition. I wish someone had warned me; otherwise I wouldn't be sitting in my yard right now, rambling on a laptop with a nearly dead battery!
Glad you guys had a great time, and I look forward to hearing more about your trips with the boy. As much as I love wild places, they really become magical when you have a kid along and can see the place through their unjaded eyes. Oh to be young again …
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