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Help with gear suggestions for a teenager's trip to camp.

Hello! I am packing for a trip to Maine for my 13 year old. They are camping at Acadia National Park for 10 days with access to laundry and other campsite features. I purchased the Osprey Kids Ace 50L pack and the Marmot Trestles 15 degree sleeping bag. Other items I will likely need are a camp chair, hammock and phone chargers. Oh and he has a sleeping pad, pillow and other essentials like that. I will likely also pack him a day pack for day hiking where he can pack a water bottle and a few snacks so I would love some recommendations there. My biggest question is about airport travel. I was considering getting the Osprey bag you can put your backpack in for flight travel (to check your bag). Is this something you would recommend? I was going to get the Large which holds up to like 100L bags so I could make sure the sleeping bag and other things fit that will be strapped to his backpack. Thoughts on this? Also, any recommendations for cell phone chargers? Solar or not? 


Thank you!!


5 Replies

@alipetty Thanks for reaching out!

This sounds like an amazing trip for your 13 year old! We will provide some suggestions of items that you asked about, however, we would also encourage you to think about scheduling a virtual outfitting appointment with one of our product experts. That way you can get one on one answers for any other questions you may have.

In terms of the travel bag for your gear: that is a really good choice. Backpacks and camping gear often have loops and straps that can get caught on conveyor belts and other handling at the airport. Getting all of that gear into one big bag not only eliminates potential damage from travel, but it also keeps it all in one place for easy identification and transport.

If you're looking for a hammock, the Eno SingleNest or DoubleNest are solid choices. We also recommend the Eno Atlas Hammock suspension system as it makes setting up the hammock on trees, and adjusting it, very quick and easy.

The REI Co-op Flexlite Chair is a great camp chair, plus it weighs lest than 2 pounds and packs down really small (which is great when traveling!). A good option for day hiking is a hydration pack. Kids tend to forget they need to drink water on the trail and having it available to drink through a tube can be helpful. Depending on how much gear and snacks he needs to carry you can check out these options:

Also, depending on how long his torso is, you may want to look at some adult sized daypacks as well. The REI Trail Hydro 20L hydration pack is a good place to start. 

To answer your question about solar chargers and batteries for cell phones: can you provide some more context to your needs? Is he actively using his cell phone? Will he have it on/connected to the network? Is he just using it for photos? Is any electric outlet going to be available at any time?

If you are worried about keeping a phone charged out on the trail then a device like the Goal Zero Flip 36 Power Bank is a really great option. It can store enough power to recharge a phone 2 or 3 times and is small enough to easily fit into your backpack. You can pair the Flip 36 with a Nomad 14 Solar Panel to recharge it, although be aware it can take up to 10 hours of direct sunlight to fully charge. You can also get a kit like the Goal Zero Venture 30 Power Bank + Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel Kit that includes the solar panel and a power bank together.

Hopefully this helps, it is a lot of information! Please don't hesitate to reach back out if you have more questions, or feel free to check out that virtual outfitting option as well. Thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you so much for your well thought out response, this is SO helpful!!

i don’t think he will be on his phone and connected to the network (but then again I’m sure you know how 13 year olds are 🙄). I’m hoping he’s only really using it for photos!

i think I will purchase many of these items and I will also set up a call/appointment like you suggest! Thank you!

@alipetty Thanks for your response, we're glad we could be of help!

If he puts his phone in 'airplane mode' for the bulk of his time there and uses it for photos/videos only he could probably get away with just the Flip 36 battery and not need a solar panel for charging. It is likely he will be busy throughout the day anyway and not available to tend to a solar panel and make sure it is pointing directly at the sun.

Thank you so much for your question and for being a part of our community!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @alipetty ! I'm not an REI employee, but I'd like to share some additional suggestions to what @REI-JohnJ provided.

First, good choice on the transporter bag from Osprey.  I got one for my daughter, who is studying archaeology in England, and had an excavation trip to Egypt.  The bag worked out great BUT, do NOT get the large.  These bags are fantastic, but grossly oversized.  I got the SMALL and her 55L Gregory backpack, fully loaded,  fit easily, with room to spare.  I am afraid that the large would be overwhelming for a 13 year-old to try and carry.

As to the day pack, if packing space is at a premium, you might also consider the Sea-to-Summit travel daypack.  It packs into its own pocket, about the size of your fist.  It has no technical features to speak of, but is very handy if you are trying to save space and weight.

Hope your son has a fantastic time!  Sounds like a great trip!

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I really appreciate your thoughts and recommendations! Especially on the size of the transporter bag, that is so helpful. I was hoping to find a transporter bag that would be big enough for his pack and his sleeping bag. The sleeping bag packs pretty small but would take up way too much space if I were to pack it inside his backpack...

I like the day pack idea too. Thank you for responding!!