Here is an observation that occurs frequently when we are hiking…
More often than not I see tykes hiking without a backpack. Mom or Dad is lugging their tykes gear on the trail. I always ask myself why? Especially, when it’s older tykes, ok, maybe they aren’t tykes anymore…9, 10, 12 years old. Why don’t these kids carry their own items? Even kids that are younger?
J-Man has been carrying his own backpack pretty much since the time he started hiking on his own. Are we cruel to make him carry his own gear?
I don’t think so.
I think it makes him more independent, makes him feel like he’s part of the activity and there’s a sense of pride when he can get into his own backpack for the items that HE packed.
There are times when he gets tired of carrying his backpack and we have to carry it for him but that isn’t very often.
There is a huge convenience factor to him carrying his own backpack with a water reservoir. It is very easy and convenient for him to stay hydrated. We don’t have to stop, pull out a water bottle, let him take some sips, put it away and then continue the hike. He drinks on the go just like we do.
What does J-Man carry in his backpack?
He always has a water reservoir or water bottle.
Snacks that he gets to pick.
Gloves if we are in the mountains and the weather could potentially turn bad. (I’ve ruined my fingers from frost nip hiking in the mountains when the temperature dropped 30+ degrees. Won’t let that happen to J-Man.)
Most times he will pack a Hot Wheels car or two.
Dude the Duck sometimes.
So I’m just curious…
Does your tyke carry their own backpack when hiking? If not, why? Are we cruel to make J-Man carry his own?