A long time ago Kari and I counted backpacking as a thing we did. We weren’t great at it nor did we do it a lot, but once we had kids it became an activity left behind.
Fast-forward 12 years and we’re back at it! Tory and Tegan are both more than capable of hiking long miles and carrying their weight. And best of all they don’t whine or complain.
They say they enjoy it, but I wonder if that’s a case of parental placation…
Lightening the load
One major reason we hadn’t started backpacking again sooner is all of our gear is rugged. And HEAVY. Carrying 40 – 50 pounds all day is not a whole lot of fun. So when Kari suggested we try to hike Kings Peak – Utah’s highest point – I suggested we think about better gear.
The first thing to go was our backpacks. We’ve had the same packs since our trip to New Zealand in 2001. They are big, and burly, and worked really well there. But they weigh nearly 8 pounds. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot – but if you’ve ever carried too much weight hiking you’ll know it’s about a couple ounces short of a ton. So we got 4 new packs from Osprey – each 2 lbs or less. We will continue to upgrade our gear but the packs are a solid start.
We also, for the first time, really thought about what we were bringing and how much it weighed. Food, clothes, gear – everything. And I cannot stress enough how much more awesome the trip was because of it. Lighter is definitely better.
The kids did really well
We were so proud of both of the kids on the trip. No complaints, super helpful, and they were out in front nearly the entire time. I warned them before we started that there might be times when the hike got hard… where they’d need to dig deep and keep going… We never really reached that point – the weather was great and the route is very straight forward. But again, we’re lucky to have two pretty amazing kids.
Here’s the gallery: