Hiking with my Dad

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Hiking with my Dad

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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    Eric Vann


    Companion forum thread to: Hiking with my Dad

    Hiking with your father – or if you’re a dad, hiking with your kids – is restorative, healing, and builds strength in your relationship.

    BPL Member


    Locale: The Cascades

    Seriously! Nobody has a story about hiking with their dad?

    Okay, I’ll start:

    Hiking with Dad

    I went hiking with my Dad

    I didn’t think it’d be too bad

    But he was cranky and he was slow

    I kept shouting, “C’mon, let’s go!”

    He took far too many breaks

    Which actually made me quite irate

    And he didn’t want to go too far

    I should have left him in the car

    Yup, Dad and I went on a hike

    But it’s something that I didn’t like

    So now I simply leave him home

    I’d rather go on hikes alone…

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    Good one Doug. Hey look, we have the first two posts here again!

    I am not a parent and my father and step fathers are all deceased, non hikers so I have nothing to share here.

    I know that neither Doug or I are Twits, do Instagram, or Facebook.

    Bradford Rogers
    BPL Member


    I am trying to get my Dad to go to Alaska with me next year.  He hasn’t done any backpacking since the 70’s, but is still an avid runner, doing a marathon or two per year, and cycalist doing 50-60 mile rides three times a week, so fitness shouldn’t be an issue.  Growing up we didn’t do any backpacking, but we did do lots of hiking, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities.

    On the other hand, I have a 10 year old son and a 6 year old daughter that I would love to get involved in outdoor pursuits, but my son, at least doesn’t seem all that interested.  He can’t stand to be away from a wifi signal that long.   My daughter always wants to look at my backpacing pictures (sometimes even out of the blue  – her favorite is of me holding caribu antlers above my head) but is probably a couple of years away from being old enough to go.   The other problem is with baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, and gymnastics weekends free are pretty much non existant (which has decreased myweekends out per year as well) and the only ones we have are in the summer – which is not the time to backpack in Tennessee.


    Ben Klocek
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    @beroger0 I have two girls, age 5 and 7, and I’ve been taking them on nature walks and short hikes for years. This past Easter break, I took them on a 2 mile backpack trip to a nearby pond in the mountains. They carried their clothes and essentials. Only a little complaining about the 85 degree heat, but mostly “Yeah! This is awesome!”

    You might try taking your 6 year old out on a short trip. :D

    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    So is this an ad for Wilderness Trekking Courses or an article?

    My dad never took me camping or hiking because he had to work as much overtime as possible to support our family. Once a year he took one week off and took us to local amusement parks for 3 days and rested the rest of the week. It was all he could afford. When he retired, I took him on his first ever camping trip when he was 67 along with my kids, and we did a little hiking, but we both preferred to sit around the campsite and simply talk. It was a good time for the entire family to be together.

    I couldn’t have asked for a better dad. He taught us morals, ethics, and instilled a solid work ethic in me and my 3 brothers. He built character by example and by teaching. This is the most important job of a parent. Hiking is nice, but not required.

    I took my daughter on two backpacking trips as a child and she hated it. My son enjoyed our backpacking trips together and still backpacks as a young adult. Because we were a family, most of our vacations were camping trips, because we were together as a family without the distractions of the city and doing something each of us enjoyed. More important than being outdoors, was the quality time we spent together and the opportunity for me to pass on the lessons learned from my father.

    Camping on the Kern River, June 1997.

    Jack Whiting
    BPL Member


    Locale: (null)

    38 years ago I went hiking in the Wind River Range and was determined to go back soon.  Marriage, career and kids dashed those plans.  But, at 67, my kids fulfilled my dream and went with me to the WRR just last week.  We were barely down at the Brew Pub in Pinedale before we started planning our return and all the things we’ll do differently.  What a splendid experience and what terrific hiking partners!

    Elliott Wolin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia

    My wife and kids on the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier in 2006, for our 25th wedding anniversary.  We spent 13 nights on the trail and enjoyed every last minute (many people take far less time, I think this is a mistake).




    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    As a child in a single-income, government-worker family we camped as a way to vacation less expensively.  Prior to the three kids being in Scouts, we stayed in cheap motels, but once we could competently set up my grandfather’s canvas umbrella tent and light fires and Coleman stoves, we camped.  We’d camp in one location for a few days, see the local sights and take some day hikes.  I went on to go backpacking with friends and with work (leading backpacking trips).

    Having met my wife through the UC Berkeley Hiking Club, we’ve upped our game as a family and frequently take the kids backpacking.  My rule of thumb is to not travel more than X miles a day (using UL techniques!) where X is the youngest child’s age.  We’ve backpacked a lot in Alaska, plus Hawaii, New Zealand and Canada.

    Vacations of any sort remain some of my strongest memories from childhood.  Days in town were usually the same: Cheerios, school, dinner together and then games or some TV and they all blur together.  But vacations to new and different places still stand out in my mind.

    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    “We spent 13 nights on the trail and enjoyed every last minute (many people take far less time, I think this is a mistake).”

    That’s my sentiment exactly.  I’ll take 5 days to go around Mt Hood.  Some people do it as a day hike.  A waste of a great backpack trip : )

    My folks took two weeks a year of car camping.  Great trips.  We did a lot of day hikes, including some I still do today.  When I was 6 (?) we hiked to Ramona Falls.  I took my mom a few years ago.  We joked about how my siblings would kill me if she drowned crossing the Sandy River.  We didn’t quite make it all the way to Ramona Falls but we had a nice hike regardless.

    I think everyone should get a couple weeks of vacation each year.  (or more for you Europeans).  What kind of a society is it that people have to work all the time to barely survive?

    BPL Member


    Locale: The Cascades


    Katherine .
    BPL Member


    Locale: pdx

    I’m considering taking my super-fit-for-his-age father in law on a trip with my son next summer. Ages 87 and 9. He can do distance, but no elevation gain/loss. So I’d have to plan that very carefully.

    My own father, 73, just discovered he likes hiking. We had a great day hike out on the Oregon Coast. He wants to do something in Scotland with me. Inn-to-inn might be more his style. Don’t see him digging a cathole. Ideal would be a beautiful backcountry sites with non-gross privies like in some national parks.

    Overall I’m noticing a shift in my trip planning enthusiasms from solo trips to getting our with family. Cause the kids are gonna grow up and the dads aren’t going to be around forever.

    David Noll
    BPL Member


    Locale: Maroon Bells

    I never went hiking with my Dad. However, he taught us how to play baseball and hunt. He was a carpenter who worked 60+ hours every week in a family with a single income. I don’t think he ever made more than $18,000 in a year. He did instill character and moral fiber in all 9 of us. When he was 73(he had finally semi retired) my brother and I started taking Dad along with us on our annual BWCA trip. Over the next 10 years he joined us 8 times. We had some great times and incredible discussions around the campfires at night. I have included a Flickr link to the pictures from his last trip. He was 83 that spring and told us it would be his last trip.


    Brian Curtis
    BPL Member


    I really miss hiking with my dad. He was taking me out when he had to carry me on his back and we crawled all over the mountains of our home state of Washington. From 1975 through 2009 we did an annual longer trip that would last between 8 and 15 days. We did extended trips in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska as far north as the Gates of the Arctic, as far west as the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and kayak and canoe trips in SE. As I type this the memories keep flooding back. If I don’t wrap it up now I won’t be able to get anything done the rest of the day.

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