Backpacking with my son

9:21 p.m. on August 5, 2008 (EDT)
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I want to take my 10 y/o son on an "intro" trip somewhere in the Sequoia's that includes fishing. He's a pretty tough kid with a huge sense of adventure. I've come across the hike to Twin Lakes from Lodgepole. Any other suggestions?

9:58 p.m. on August 5, 2008 (EDT)
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How much day-hiking has he done? I gather from your post, he hasn't done any backpacking (including where parents carried the load and he just hiked along). How about camping - how much has he done? How much fishing has he done?

If the answers to these questions are "none" or "only a little", I would suggest you limit the distance to 3 miles or less from trailhead to campsite. While you would want him to carry a pack, make sure that 1. it is properly fit for his size (don't make the mistake of "he will grow into the pack"), and that 2. you limit his load to no more than 1/4 his body weight. This may mean you carry everything but his lunch, water, rain gear, and warm jacket.

Main thing at that age is to make sure it is a fun trip, and that it is HIS trip, not yours. For the first few times, it should be a lot easier and less challenging than you think his adventurousness is up to. I'm not very clear on where you are intending to go, but I am guessing that the "Lodgepole" you refer to is the one in Sequoia Kings Canyon NP. There are a large number of "Twin Lakes" in California (36 by that official name), none closer to Lodgepole than about 20 miles. That's way too far for a 10 yo on an "intro" trip, unless he has a fair amount of backpacking under his belt already.

12:10 a.m. on August 6, 2008 (EDT)
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I agree with Bill, keep the first one short, especially if your son has little dayhike experience. If you do mean Sequoia NP a couple of easy overnighters: Crescent Meadow to the 1st or 2nd camping area along the High Sierra Trail. There is not a lot of elevation gain and views are great. Plus if you have time to spare on you exit day you can take advantage of a couple short dayhike options in the vicinity (Moro Rock and/or Tharps Log).

A second option is to hike out from Wolverton to Mehrton Meadow.

If fishing is important then look at these eastside sierra hikes: Onion Valley to Flower Lake (or Matlock lake 1 mile south of Flower if you want to avoid crowds). Or several options our of South Lake: to Treasure Lakes, to Chocolate Lake, to Bishop Lake.

Also, agree with Bill, let this be his trip too. So let him pick the menu (narrow down the selections but let him make the final picks). Bring some "comfort food" such as jiffy pop (if he like popcorn) and hot cocoa. Finally let him choose one or two pieces of backpacking specific personal gear. I let my son pick a headlamp out for our first outing together (he still uses the same one 14 years later!).

September 2, 2014
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