Pack Weight

Here’s a list of what each of our packs weighted for our most recent family camping trip.

*Weights do not include water or food (consumables) I carried all of the food.

 

Me: Hidden Woodsman Deepwoods Pack Loaded Weight 37.2 Lbs

Wife: Hidden Woodsman Dayruck Pack Loaded Weight 22.6 Lbs

15 Year Old: Hidden Woodsman Dayruck Pack Loaded Weight 15 lbs

12 Year Old: Rothco Mini Alice Pack Loaded Weight 15 lbs

11 Year Old: Urban Mountain Pack Loaded Weight 16.2 lbs

6 Year Old: Hidden Woodsman Dayruck Scout Pack Loaded Weight 7.4 lbs

4 Year Old: Ozark Trail Daypack Loaded Weight 5 lbs

As you can see, our packs were not very heavy. We did not lack for anything or suffer. We had everything we needed and a few extra’s. The youngest two carried only their extra clothing, sleeping bags, cup, spoon and bandanna. My wife and I carried the extra things they needed. We had a great time in a beautiful place and can’t wait to get out again.

I hope this inspires others to lighten the load and get out and enjoy the wild places that are available all around us. What things are a must for you to take camping? Have you ever primitive camped? Thanks for stopping by and please like and leave a comment with your answers or thoughts about the above questions.

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Preparations for Wild Camping with A Large Family

 

I love to be organized and it’s no different when planning a camping trip for my family. To make it as easy as possible I always create an Excel document listing everything we need to take for each person and our dog. It also includes our food and what we’ll be eating each day. Below is an example of what I used for our last trip.

 

Camping List
15Year Old 12Year Old 11Year Old 6Year Old 4Year Old Wife Me
Backpack x x x x x x x
Tent/Hammock x x x x x
Sleeping Bag x x x x x x x
Sleeping pad x x x x x x x
Clothing x x x x x x x
Cup/Spoon x x x x x x x
Cooking Stuff x x
First Aid x x x X X
Water Filter x x x x x
Bug Stuff x x
Headlamp x x x x x x x
Fire Kit x x x x
Knife x x x x x
Saw x x x x
Cordage x x x x x
Food x x x x x
Bandana x x x x x x x
Toilet Kit x
Tissues x x x x x x x
Water Bottle x x x x x x x
Bear Bag x
Hand Gun x
MultiTool x x x x
Camp Soap x
Iphone Tripod x
GoPro (?) x
Food
Fri. Lunch sandwiches (6) & chips (6)
Fri. Snack Granola Bar (6)
Fri. Dinner Hot Dogs (12) Cut Peppers (3) Ketchup Rolls (10)
Fri. Dessert S’mores (11) Coffee
Sat. Breakfast Oatmeal (12) Bacon (2) Coffee Hot Cocoa (10)
Sat. Snack Granola Bar (6)
Dog
Food (2 Scoops)
Bowls -2
coat
Bug Stuff
Leash
Tieout (25′ of cord)
Bedding

 

Next, I’ll break the excel document down further into word documents for each person to pack from. Each person in our family gets a sheet with a list of items to pack. This way as each person packs, they can cross off the things as they are placed in the pack. This has helped us tremendously to not forget things. Examples from our last trip.

 

15 Year Old’s Camping List

Backpack

Hammock

Under&over quilt

Clothing (stuff to sleep in and wool pullover)

Cook kit with spoon

Water filter

Headlamp

Fire Kit

First Aid Kit

Fixed Blade Knife

Folding Saw

Cordage

Bandana

Tissues

Water Bottle

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Food

 

12 Year Old’s Camping List

Backpack

Tarp, Ridgeline & Tyvek

Sleeping Bag or Wool Blanket

Sleeping Pad

Clothing (stuff to sleep in and Sweater or jacket)

Cook kit with spoon

Water filter

Headlamp

Fire Kit

First Aid Kit

Fixed Blade Knife

Folding Saw

Cordage

Bandana

Tissues

Water Bottle

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Food

 

11 Year Old’s Camping List

Backpack

Tarp, Ridgeline & Tyvek

Sleeping Bag or Wool Blanket

Sleeping Pad

Clothing (stuff to sleep in and Sweater or jacket)

Cook kit with spoon

Water filter

Headlamp

Fire Kit

First Aid Kit

Fixed Blade Knife

Folding Saw

Cordage

Bandana

Tissues

Water Bottle

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Food

 

6 Year Old’s Camping List

Backpack

Tent

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Pad

Clothing (stuff to sleep in and Sweater or jacket)

Cup & spoon

Headlamp

Bandana

Tissues

Water Bottle

 

4 Year Old’s Camping List

Backpack

Tarp

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Pad

Clothing (stuff to sleep in and Sweater or jacket)

Cup & spoon

Headlamp

Bandana

Tissues

Water Bottle

 

 

Doing lists like this makes it so much less stressful to pack our large family for a trip and makes it more delightful. It gives me peace of mind and I’m not racking my brain at the last minute trying to think of things we may be forgetting. It also makes our trips more successful and enjoyable. What things do all of you do that helps or hinders your trip planning and packing? Thanks for stopping by. Please like or leave a comment with your thoughts on trip planning.

Natural Tinder (Mushroom)

Well out for a walk with my family, I came across a standing dead tree that had mushrooms all over it. Whenever I’m walking around, I’m constantly on the look out for great natural tinder sources to test with my flint and steel kit or with a fero rod.

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I noticed that all the mushrooms were dead and dried up, so I grabbed a couple to see if I could get an ember going using my flint and steel.

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Sure, enough after a few strikes, the broken piece of mushroom took a spark and I was able to blow it into a nice ember that would burn for a long time. Since the mushrooms worked so well, I went back and filled a brown paper bag full of them so that I could test them some more as well as have my kids try them out as well.

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Mushrooms are not something I know much about, so I’m still trying to find out what kind they are. I’m thinking they’re some kind of polypore. I’ve shown them to others online that know way more about mushrooms than I do but they’re unsure as well. Since they’re dead and dried up, it makes it harder to ID them. As soon as I have the ID, I’ll post a comment on this post stating what they are.

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What natural tinder sources do you use with your fire kit? Have you ever tried flint and steel or a fero rod? I love challenging myself and furthering my skills and I hope you all do as well. If you’ve never tried starting a fire with flint and steel or a fero rod I urge you to give it a try. You won’t regret it. Learning can be fun and empowering. My challenge to you is, learn a new way to start a fire this week, month or year. Thanks for reading and leave a comment sharing what new fire starting skill you’re going to challenge yourself to learn.

Camping With My Dad

A few weeks ago I went on an overnighter with my dad. We both had new Deepwoods Rucks from The Hidden Woodsman that we wanted to test out and it had been many years since my dad has been able to get out and camp. He had gotten seriously hurt on a construction site when I was younger and it really took a toll on his body, which meant backpacking and camping and any of the outdoors stuff he loved doing were out of the question for a long time. It’s only been in recent years that hes been able to slowly try to get back into some of the outdoor activities that he loves. Since other plans I had that weekend fell through and instead of doing some side work, I texted him and said lets get out for an overnighter and cook some steaks over the fire. He replied with YES! LETS GO! So the planning ensued.

I knew the night time temps would be in the low 30’s with windchill around the low 20’s and since it was his first time back out in the woods in years, I decided to go to one of my favorite spots to camp that was maybe a 20-30 minute hike in so my truck would be close in case we needed any extra supplies for warmth. I gave him my 0 degree Hammock Gear over quilt to use and I used my 20 degree over quilt. We used foam pads with  Klymit insulated static V blow up pads over top so that based on the R-value I new we’d be good down to 0 degrees and we’d be comfortable since we both have back issues. I set up my Warbonnet Outdoors Superfly tarp since it has “doors” and I knew it was going to be very windy. We used reusable heavy weight emergency blankets as our ground sheets.

We camped near a large pond with a great view. It rained a bit after we got camp set up and stopped just as we started to cook our steaks over the fire. The steaks (Venison backstraps cut into steaks) and potatoes came out perfect and tasted amazing after being cooked over the fire. We enjoyed some time around the fire and headed to bed. We slept pretty decent all night. The wind gusts got going pretty high which concerned us because the trees creaked like crazy all night and we could hear some trees and limbs falling in the distance. The wind was constantly changing direction all night. Otherwise it was a pretty good night. We both got up around 4 am to go to the bathroom and I loaded up the makeshift fire pit with wood so that we’d have coals to get a fire going later that morning. After I got the fire going again and warmed my hands up, I headed back to bed for a few hours.

I think we ended up getting up around 8-8:30 am. There was a little bit of snow on the ground, on our tarp and on our packs that were hung on the trees. The low that night was 32 degrees with a windchill of 18 degrees. It was so windy when we got up that we both decided we’d just pack up and have breakfast when we got home instead of getting a fire going and trying to cook over it in the wind. Plus I didn’t want to have to worry about the fire being reignited after we left because of the high winds.

We enjoyed our hike out and had a great time. It was nice seeing my dad be able to camp again and enjoy the things he use to be able to. We had a fun successful trip. We ate great food, had a great time and slept pretty well. We only needed our rain gear for a few hours the night before. We both love our new packs. My dad will eventually upgrade his pack frame to the same one that I have because mine has much more padding and is very comfortable. My dad’s already looking forward to our next trip, and to me that always means your trip was successful when anyone you took out enjoys themselves so much that they look forward to the next trip.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the attached photos of our trip. What extra little things do you do to ensure you have a great trip? Heres a link to the video of our trip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rbbY5vnuW0

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Start Them Young

I have four boys between the ages of 22months and 10. They all love the outdoors. I take the older two hunting with me during early hunting season when it’s a bit warmer. They love to hike and my 10 year old absolutely loves kayaking. They can’t get enough of hiking in the wilderness. This year I started a new tradition where I’m going to be taking each one of my older three boys on their own three day weekend adventure. I plan on doing this every year from now on. They can’t wait. This way we can get some one on one time (hopefully get them more comfortable talking to me and prepare them for their teen years) and I can also tailor each trip to each of my sons’ abilities and likes.

This month I will be taking my older son. We are going to kayak out to an island where we will camp for three days. We will do a lot of fishing. He is a natural when it comes to fishing. He had all kinds of trouble trying to fish with those cheap kids combos so one day I gave him one of my fishing poles and off he went. He could cast it farther than a lot of adults and he’s caught some nice size fish all on his own. The area where we are staying is surrounded by over 2500 acres of state forest which is full of trails and streams. So we will be spending a bit of our time hiking as well. I don’t know who’s more excited him or me.

All of my kids love being outside but my 22 month old can’t get enough. All winter he would just trudge through the snow and didn’t care how much effort it took or even how cold it was. Now that it is nice outside he doesn’t want to be anywhere but outside. He loves to help feed and water the chickens. It amazes me how much he can actually do all on his own! On Mother’s Day after we had dinner the kids and I were out walking around our property. We have a section of our property that has a steep hill in the woods that is mostly loose dirt and tree roots. He was climbing up and down the hill without any help and never fell once. None of our kids could do that so early! This kid has amazing balance. I wish I had a picture of this hill so that you could see it.

I say all this to encourage people to get their kids out hiking and enjoying outdoor activities as early as possible and to do it as a family. I had my older son sitting in my lap well kayaking before he could even walk (he had a life jacket on and I had a long daisy chain hooked from the top of my lifejacket to the bottom of his). He loved it. Children are much more capable than we think. You’ll never regret the time spent outside with your kids but you’ll always regret the time wasted on TV and video games. They will always cherish those memories as well. I still remember all the camping and fishing trips I took as a kid. Those are the memories I cherish most. Below are some pictures of us hiking on a well worn trail system on Memorial Day. What activities does your family like to do outside together? Do your kids like being outdoors? If your family is not use to hiking or being outdoors regularly, start small. A simple hike down a short trial will do wonders. Don’t try to start out with more than you or they can handle. Start small and enjoy working your way up to more difficult hikes, camping trips or backpacking trips. Enjoy the process together. You’ll also get to see some breathtaking views along the way.

Just an FYI, we have each of the older three kids carry their own hydration bag. This works out very well. They can easily carry their own water, snacks and lunch. We tried having them just carry containers with water in them but not too long down the trail they would get tired of carrying the containers so we found that this works our well for us. Also, with boys you will need snacks. Don’t venture out without some. If they are not eating they are thinking about eating! Our boys eat more than my wife and I do. Anyway, enjoy the time spent outdoors with your kids and don’t underestimate their abilities.

 

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