Time for the daughter to experience backpacking

7:49 a.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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So, the first weekend of October, I plan to take my daughter backpacking with me for the first time.

I plan on heading to Huckleberry Knob in the Nantala National Forest in North Carolina. It's only about a mile hike in, so I don't think it would be bad for my 4-year-old daughter. I've also invited some backpacking friends and their kids, so I'm hoping that helps with her first experience backpacking out in the woods.

The only problems I could potentially see are bears at the tops of the mountains during that time of year. I'll just have to keep an eye out on how the mast is doing.

I took her on a car camping trip a couple of months and she did great. Taking her and the fam on another car camping trip on Labor Day, so hoping to break her in a bit more.

Should be fun.

12:18 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Are you overnighting or just day hiking?

3:43 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Good for you!

When my daughter was 5, and my son was 8 they backpacked the entire Stevenson Trail (4 miles each way) with me for a weekend trip.

I let my daughter carry a small pack with a few items in it because she wanted to carry her own pack like I was doing. My son had already been on a few trips and had his own gear & pack by this point although I carried my gear plus all our food, shelter, etc.

My only regret is that we did not have a camera with us, that was a huge mistake on my part, other than that we had a great time. We made smores, cooked hotdogs, hunted for bugs, watched big birds fly in circles (vultures), and learned how to poop in the woods.

15 years later and my kids still remember the trip. My wife remembers getting a break and going shopping for three days with no worries, but she did go on many car camping trips.

Be safe of course, but do it!

....and take photos

5:37 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Wish I could get my almost 18 year old daughter to go hiking with me.

8:56 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm overnighting.

9:10 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I was introduced to my 1st overnighter at age 4 and I have been off to the races ever since. I can't seem to ever get enough of being on the trail. If it wasn't for my wife and my resposibilities I would live in a tent year round.

Oh and I still love to hunt for bugs, snakes, and anything else for that matter. 

My wife still laughs at me. I saved a baby chipmunk from a cat and brought it home in a McDonalds bag to rehab it back to health. I love animals and nature.

12:33 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Rocklion,

If the weather is good she will probably have a blast.  I recently took my family on their first real hike.  Two nights on the AT. My daughter (17) her friend (17), my youngest son (8) and my wife had a blast.  I'll be posting a trip report soon.  My son had his own pack with a two liter camelbak, sleeping bag and clothes and he carried it most of the way.  I would suggest a small pack or bag so she will feel part of the group.  She could carry a stuffed animal or something.

Gary,

Buy your daughter this book, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, it piqued my daughters interest in the trail and she looked into it more and decided she wanted to hike on it.

Don't be put off by the quote from a reviewer at the New York Times. It's at the bottom of the cover and It has to be the dumbest I have ever seen.

The best way of escaping into nature is to read a book like A Walk in the Woods...The reader is rarely anything but exhilarated." -Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

This guy has obviously lived in the city way too long.  Rick you didn't know that all you had to do was read this book. Far better than buying all that expensive gear and wasting all that time in nature. No need to smell the air, look at the scenic vistas. Just read this book.  Why its as exhilarating as getting stung by yellow jackets. What a blithering idiot. Didn't he even read what he said? My 8 yr old even went "Huh?" No wonder the New York Times is in such a decline.

12:35 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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A book? Man am I a fool. All the money($1000s) I have spent not to mention the ridiculous amount of time I spent on the trail away from all the smog, noise, and people. What was I thinking?

12:40 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Rocklion, how old is your daughter bud? Definitely hook her up with her own little pack. The stuffed animal thing is a cute idea as well. You know just to make her as much of a part of it as she can be.... Big kid stuff.

6:29 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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She's 4 years old, so I don't think she'll be reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods anytime soon unless I read it to her.

And do plan on having her carry a pack with a little stuffed bear.

11:21 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Good stuff. Hope ya have an awesome time with great weather. The bugs are a waitin lol.

10:02 a.m. on August 31, 2011 (EDT)
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4 is a good age, thats when I take them on overnighters

September 16, 2014
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