Backpacking Project 2013

A Backpacking Packing List

Honestly, this is mostly for myself! So next year or next time I can bring up the post and pack my bag. I looked up many a packing list for my three night, all-women’s trip into the Collegiate Wilderness. I added specific brands for items I was particularly impressed with! And I won’t say this…

Deuter Junior Backpack – School to Summit

Since the moment our kids could hike on their own two feet, we’ve been searching for the right kid pack. And we’ve had mixed success. But at least I can say we’ve tried a ton of backpacks…and I now know exactly what we want in one. As part of our Backpacking Project 2013, we are…

The Skinny on Hi-Tec’s Kid’s Hiking Shoes

Footwear for kids is tricky… Do you go with a stiff sole or soft? How about traction? And if I finally settle on a pair of shoes, will I have to buy new ones in three months because they’ve already grown out of them?! We’ve put most of the major outdoor brands through the paces…

Which shoe has superior traction? Be surprised…

This last weekend we were side-lined by a small running injury so we decided to kick around close to home. Which led to a whole host of new adventures up near Rockport Reservoir and the High Uintas. But we also frequented one of our favorite Salt Lake hikes perfect for kids, Bell Canyon Reservoir. Not…

Deuter Youth Climber Backpack

The #1 gear item on our list for this summer’s Backpacking Project 2013 was kid’s backpacks. Now I don’t expect them to carry much…but I NEED them to carry something!  But in my opinion kid’s packs are tricky. Most are designed for school, for obvious reasons. But we needed and wanted something with a little…

Backpacking / Backcountry Camping Gear List for Kids

Weather, snow pack, and location permitting, we are headed on the first of our family backpacking trips this weekend! And so, my posts have been less frequent because I am spending most my brain energy on packing lists. I figured I’d share my list and a few a guidelines in choosing our gear/clothing for the…

A Visual Tale of our Time on the Trail as a Family

This last week we embarked on our first backpacking trip as a family, and our first trip into Willow Heights Lake in the Wasatch. Really it could not have been more perfect and our trip report is coming soon. But for now I wanted to share a glimpse into our time on the trails through…

Our Backpacking Meal Plan for a Family of Five

I really don’t have any idea how to approach this post. Every person requires a different amount of food. Quantity also depends greatly on age of kids and gender! So what I am going to do is add in a bunch of qualifiers. First, we went with another family of four and there was much…

Trip Report: Family of Five Backpacking into Willow Heights Lake, Wasatch Range

Every once and awhile I have some romantic, glorious idea…albeit ambitious. And last winter, when the snow swirled deep, I was dreaming of sunshine and wild flowers and high mountain lakes. I got it in my head to try taking my kid’s backpacking…not a long distance, but far enough to feel like we were getting…

Gear review: Kelty Salida 4 Tent

Gosh, when looking for a tent, where do you start?! Honestly, when we first had kids I wished we had started here. I never really considered Kelty as my brand of choice when tent shopping but I have been more than pleasantly surprised! We sort of figured we only use it backpacking when the kids…

Gear review: ENO Double Nest Hammock with ProFly

I have several backpacking pet peeves. Bad (or not enough) food, bad sleep. They can take what would be the most amazing experience and make it unenjoyable. The first time I saw an ENO hammock was about ten years ago on a group camping trip. One of the guys pulls out this hammock that is stuffed…

Trip Report: Backpacking the Notch Trail, High Uintas

After an inspiring all-women’s backpacking trip in Colorado last year, I was motivated to plan my first trip out here in Utah. After much debating on location, I settled on The Notch Trail, High Uintas because it was super scenic and pretty tame in terms of trail difficulty. We had a few “first -timers” and…

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Lite 45+10SL Women’s Pack

Duration: A total of 5 nights and 7 days on the trail so far. Location: Testing in the Wasatch and Uinta Ranges Best Uses: Backpacking, Multi-day trips for those looking to go “light weight” or even climbing day trips where a larger pack would be needed. Yays! Size is great. I could easily fit a…

The right sleeping bag for your kid…

As a family, we’ve tried out a ton of different sleeping bags over the years. And for the vast amount of families, you cannot go wrong. Well…too wrong. Most sleeping bags on the market will keep your kids warm in moderate to warm temperatures. But there are significant differences that can affect a good night’s…

Deuter Act Zero 50 + 15

Recently I had the opportunity to try out the Deuter ACT Zero 50 + 15. (Wow, that name is a mouthful). It is a somewhat minimalist 50-65 liter pack from Deuter. I was really intrigued to try it out since it weighs in at a scant 3lb 4oz and has the same spec’d volume as…

When the mountains throw your mortality in your face…

I do some “risky” things. Climbing. Backpacking. Some might even say skiing. But not that risky. I am that person who sits down after a fun multi-pitch 5.7/5.8 trad climb (for you non-climbers, 5.7 is easy) to read Climbing Magazine or Backpacker Magazine. I like absorbing other people treacherous tales and the lessons they’ve learned…

Gearing Up for Backpacking with Young Kids

As we walked through preparing for our first family backpacking trip I noticed something: there are a ton of articles on backpacking with kids in their teens. Even a few with middle schoolers. But I found only a couple posts on backpacking with young kids… seeing as our kids are ages six, five, and three, I just…

Practical Family Tips Gleaned from the Movie “Tell It On The Mountain”

Last month I received a copy of “Tell It On The Mountain”, a walking documentary of life on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT is 2,663 miles long and extends from the U.S. border with Mexico to the U.S. border with Canada near British Columbia. This movie documents the lives of a dozen or…

Gear Review: Hi-Tec Oakhurst Trail Waterproof Jr.

In the fall/winter our choice of footwear for the kids becomes less…forgiving. The low-top hiking shoes and sneakers we usually grab are not quite suitable for our messy, muddy, and snowy adventures. Our first experience with this was last winter when we took the kids snowshoeing for the first time. Well…we strapped that snowshoe onto…

Gear Review: Joey Chair by Travel Chair

Finding a good seat in the backcountry can be hard. (Pun intended.) I’ve tried sitting on 3 legged stools, the ‘convert a therm-a-rest to a chair’ thingamabops and have generally settled on using a tree. None of them are very comfortable. When Alyssa said we were going to be testing the Joey Chair by Travel…

Gear Review: Kid’s Trekking Poles by Outdoor Products

As a family we haven’t been much into trekking poles. But this last winter my husband invested in a pair and has loved having them, especially when there is tricky footing and he has a kid on his back. So we began wondering how poles would work for our kids. And so far, especially on…

Gear Review: Deuter Kid Comfort Air

A good kid carrier is a must-have for any outdoor family. And having one that suits your needs might not be as straight forward as you think. So we jumped on the chance to review the new Deuter Comfort Air. Deuter Kid Comfort Air Tested in: Hiking, snowshoeing with 35 lbs toddler. Cost: $239.00 Availability: Exclusively…

Q&A: Keeping a young kid IN their sleeping bag?

A Kid Project reader recently asked:  How do you make your toddlers stay in their sleeping bags? My 21-month-old rolls all over the crib and she hates to wear any sleeping bag that covers her feet. She wears a Halo sleepsack at home but it won’t be warm enough for camping. Any suggestions? Ahhh! The…

Gear Review: Enlightened Equiptment’s Backcountry Quilts for Kids

As our kids get older, we have gotten bolder. Our adventures have migrated from family car camping to multiple backpacking trips a summer. But always the gear… sleeping bags that are heavy and bulky. So we jumped at the opportunity to try out backcountry quilts by Enlightened Equipment. And I must say, we’ve been won…

Through my lens: 14 women and the San Juans

It is about that time of year again, when we gather our wits, a whole bunch of gear… and head into the Colorado backcountry in search of summits.  This is my third year joining one of my favorite groups of ladies on a backpacking adventure and my mom joined me this year! Not many girls…

Through My Lens: Cirque of the Towers [Girl’s Trip!]

Sometimes I feel conflicted posting about my all-women’s trips on the Kid Project blog… After all they have nothing to do with kids. But they do have everything to do with inspiring people to get into the outdoors, push new limits, and explore new places… which is what we are all about here. And even mom…

Family Backpacking to Clyde/Booker Lake | High Uinta Range, UT

I’ve never regretted taking our kids into the backcountry. We’ve taken small steps in that direction, biting off only what we are comfortable with. But after a few summers of backpacking with the kids, the only thing I’ve regretted was not doing it sooner! I’d like to call the Uintas, “the land of lakes.” It…

Guest Post: Backcountry Education Made Easier with CertHero.org

Wilderness education has been something on my mind lately. My husband and I have recently taken up backcountry skiing, and safety is our primary goal, especially as parents. And so our winter has been and is full of Avalanche training, practice, and education.  Today, I’d like to introduce Logan Randolph, mountain guide and ski patroller,…

Q&A: Backpacking with kids [Backpacks for small kids]

I love it when our readers contacts us for more information! That is what we are about here! Sharing information, having conversation, making adventures possible simply by creating more ideas for HOW to make it happen! Recently my friend Amelia from Tales of a Mountain Mama and I got to field some questions regarding backpacking…

Q&A: Backpacking with Kids [Sleeping Bags]

I love it when our readers contacts us for more information! That is what we are about here! Sharing information, having conversation, making adventures possible simply by creating more ideas for HOW to make it happen! Recently my friend Amelia from Tales of a Mountain Mama and I got to field some questions regarding backpacking…

When three generations of women hit the trails together…

What is it that drives you out in to the mountains, on to the water, or in to the storm? This is a question that I ask myself a lot. And my answers are usually different depending on the day. But this day, in July, my reason to load on a 40+ lbs. backpack and…

Hiking with Kids [Part 1]

I get it. You saw this glorious photo of your friends and their young kids scampering down the trail, crossing some high alpine meadow, and you are thinking, “Wow, that looks amazing! I wish we did stuff like that.” The truth is you can, anyone can.  Hiking with kids doesn’t require super-mad-outdoor skills or awesome…

Hiking with Kids [Part 2, Longer Distances]

I get asked quite frequently if hiking longer distances flies right out the door when you become a parent, along with most your money, good sleep, and sick days. The truth is yes, and no. At first, your new infant is easily packable. The only limits are how far and how much weight you want…

Backpacking the Toxaway-Alice Lake Loop, Idaho

The Sawtooth Mountain Range lies in central Idaho, not far (approx. 45 minutes) from Sun Valley, Idaho. It is a jagged and rough mountain range, dotted with deep and clear lakes, abundant wildflowers and towering summits. The Sawtooths are also decently accessible and super family friendly both for backpacking and car camping. Though I’d certainly suggest…

Backpacking into the Conrad Kain Hut, Bugaboos [Family Edition]

The sun is nearing the horizon and the sky has lightened to a pale blue. The mountains hold mist in their laps as they wait for the heat of day. The bright moon that spent the night hanging next to Bugaboo Spire has moved on and the glacier sits below, a silent sentinel slowly creeping down the…

Packing List for a Backcountry Yurt Trip [Winter]

We have backpacked for many seasons now with our kids. And after successfully mastering our packing for summer trips, this winter we decided to embark on our first backcountry trip with the kids. Not wanting to winter camp in a tent (been there, done that), we reserved a yurt in the Lily Lake Yurt System…

Trip Report: Skiing into the Bear Claw Yurt, Uintas

Every year for the last 3 years, I’ve wanted to take my kids on a backcountry yurt trip. And every year the reservation period flies by and soon there are no nights left available. This year I was still late to the party, BUT I did get the last 2 nights available for the Bear…