Oh...one other thing. All of my gear with the exception of my tent is old. So the PU coating in my packs, bags, fly etc are all sticky. Ultimately I want to replace these items but gear has changed so much I would prefer to have some time to figure out what works for us....and that is assuming he really wants to go regularly. So rather than dump several hundred right now I would like to try to limp along with what I have and slowly replace stuff. After looking around I saw some people suggested talcum powder to help with stickiness, others recoated the fabric but it seems like the best way is to strip in a bath of IPA, dish soap and water then recoat. But I think I would need several gallons of that solution and what the heck do you do with it when you're done? Any other suggestions? I was thinking of just getting a pack liner so none of my new gear picks up that tackiness but just wondering if there are better solutions.
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Well it turned out to be a great trip. Going in the weather was threatening rain but never did so we only saw one other person. He also thought it was cool that the top of the mountain was in the clouds but as we descended again we could start to see some other peaks. I did have him help with a few things but for the most part I let him explore the forest around camp and take pictures of what he thought was cool. I know have about 300+ photos to go through. But he enjoyed it enough that he wants to go back. I told home each time we go he will get more jobs from planning to cleaning gear after...as well as carrying more weight but he is still in. Lego figures only came out once for one picture on the top of Cornell. He didn't even bother on Wittenberg. Next time they will stay home. Overall it was nice to just hang out and play cards and pass the pigs, even the story dice were fun. We made some great memories which is all I really wanted to do.
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Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. The current plan is to do the Slide, Cornell Wittenberg trail from the parking lot by the rod and gun club. First day with a pack will be somewhere around 4 miles. It might be a little more as there are two routes to the top of Slide. One is steeper so I will see what looks like the best way for him the day of. The next day would be a day hike out over Cornell and Wittenberg which is also about 4 miles. Then the next day we would be back to the car. Overall I think it is a doable route and even if we have to take a lot of breaks 4 miles shouldn't take that long. Once before he enjoyed a scavenger hunt on a day hike, so I made up a few for him to do with plants and animals I would expect to see in this area. He seems excited about that. I also decided to add a little weight for him to carry in the way of a digital camera. I thought he might find it fun to take pictures of what he finds interesting rather than just what I thought looked cool. My son also loves Legos and made a "camping" figure for both of us and the pup. Not sure why but for some reason I am carrying a machete...but maybe that was the only knife he had. But I suggested he bring them and we can set them up in places to take their picture, then we can recreate the same picture. It might be an epic fail, but he was interested in having something to play with a a little and being plastic I figured we wouldn't have to worry about them getting ruined in the rain. The ice cream on the way home sounds like a great idea, I will have to watch for places on the way up. If nothing else my son loves to eat and ice cream is always at the top of the list. So talking about a nice cold treat when it might be warm and humid out might be a good diversion.
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So I haven't been backpacking or camping for real in about 20 years so most everything I have is ancient and heavy. Back then I was the only one with a "decent" pack so I carried most everything for the group which meant I had a rather heavy bulky pack, often well over 100#. Realizing I am not in my 20's anymore and also knowing I am responsible for another human means I needed to drop weight and bulk to make sure I was able to do this hike hopefully without injury. I replaced a couple of key pieces of gear like my tent to make we stay dry and sleeping pads to reduce bulk and weight. We were supposed to go this week but Elsa had other plans for us. It is one thing to have some rain, another to have the potential of flash floods and worse yet lightning while we are trying to get over the highest pt in the Catskills. Probably wouldn't be the best first experience. Since we shifted our plans I have some more time to rethink my gear and was wondering if anyone had any input.
My goal is to do the bulk of the work so my 10yo son will be more likely to enjoy himself. But with that said I am giving him a day pack that will have some snacks, a water bladder and our spare clothes so he feels like he is contributing. I am carrying everything else and right now my pack is weighing in at 53# so day of I will be sitting around 60 which I am comfortable with.
Since I think I can handle a bit more weight and bulk I would consider bringing extras just to make sure he enjoys himself and wants to go again...which by the way means he will have more than snacks and clothes! But to set the hook is there something people would recommend I have for a 10yo boy? Back when I started we cooked over a fire, now I have a stove but for me the smell brings me back to those days. Plus, even though we don't need it for cooking or warmth (summer trip) I think it is an important skill to learn. So I am leaning towards bringing some kind of a saw/axe to be able to collect wood. But on the flip side, often these areas are stripped of all dead wood so it could be weight for nothing. Also I am concerned it could be discouraging and not get him engaged like I would like.
So is there something I should plan on doing or not doing to keep his interest?
By the way thanks to this forum for one excellent suggestion....I plan on letting my son take the lead so he can set the pace and explore. Rather than my past experience of just grinding away.
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