Saturday, May 24, 2014

Adventure Chat with Kids - Backpacking

Backpacking is hands down my favorite outdoor adventure pursuit.  There is something about following a rough trail through a forest,  traveling along a beach, or scrambling up a slope that never gets old.  Moving with one's own power, stumbling across beautiful scenery and watching wildlife, no matter their size, in their natural setting fills my heart and soul.  It is also my favorite because of who I backpack with.

Backpacking as a family is our norm: hubby, two kids and me.  In fact, prior to having kids, my husband Joel and I only backpacked one time.  Plenty of car camping in remote areas but only one backpack trip.  Maybe that's why backpacking is so special for me.  My kids have been with me every step of the way, experiencing it all for the first time together.  I have been able to grow with my children.  The memories being made are not their first but rather our first. Roughing it in the back country has solidified our family bond.  Together we have built trust, shared joy, faced fears, and endured wet feet and hungry stomach's.  I have watched Ben and Liv handle situations outside their comfort zone beautifully.  They have watched Joel and I do the same.  I have also watched them struggle, encouraging them to rise to the challenge.  They have returned the favor.  I can't even describe how powerful and rewarding it is to walk off the trail after 3 or 4 days and high five my little adventurers.  Perhaps that is why I have very little blog posts about our adventures backpacking as a family.  I can't put it into words.  My words don't do it justice so instead I will share their words on our most recent backpacking trip.  

One day after our 4 day/3 night backpack trip along the Sunshine Coast Trail (near Powell River, BC, Canada) I sat down with the kids and got their take on the experience.


Let's start off with food.  It is a huge part of our adventures so, on our last backpacking trip what was your favorite thing we ate?

Liv - The strawberry cheesecake.
Ben - Bacon and eggs.

Yumm...I agree. The Backpackers Pantry dehydrated Strawberry Cheesecake with graham crumbs sprinkled on top was pretty tasty.  But, it is pretty hard to beat bacon and eggs.  The liquid eggs from "eggcreations" with real crumbled bacon bits is one of our staple backpacking breakfasts for sure.  

Lets move on to camp chores.  When we arrive to camp, mom and dad are pretty busy getting everything all set up.  You are both great at helping out.  Can you think back to what it was you both did to contribute to camp life?

Liv - I set up the tent, put all my stuff out, and made my pillow.

How did you make a pillow?

Liv - Stuffing my sleeping bag bag with clothes.  

Anything else?

Liv - I always pack my stuff back up.  Sleeping bag and clothes.  And I snap together our plates before eating.  I like doing that.

Thank you for always being so helpful.  Ben? What did you do to contribute to camp life?

Ben - I pack my stuff up when we get ready to leave.  Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and clothes.  I did the dishes, made a table to eat at, and collected water.

Thank you Ben.  We appreciate your help.  I know that backpacking is not always easy.  It is hard work trekking up and down hills with heavy packs.  Your feet hurt.  You get hot.  The bugs can be annoying.  What did you like least about our last backpack trip?

Liv - That we had to sleep in tents.  It's uncomfortable. So rocky and bumpy.  

Do you need a new mattress?

Liv - Yes, a puffier one!

Are you going to carry it?

Liv - How?

In your backpack?

Liv - I need a bigger backpack!

Ahhh, got it.  Well, if that will help with your uncomfortable sleeps then we will get you a bigger backpack. (guess she is ready to fill my shoes)

Liv - Thank you.

Ben - I don't like carrying the huge pack.

Do you want to trade with Liv?

Ben - No, I won my backpack in a video contest.  I just wish it was not so heavy.

I know.  But the pain is worth the gain in the end, right?

Ben - Yes.  And I like having all my stuff with me.  I like reading my books and carving with my knife.

Now that I know all the things you do not like about backpacking, lets hear the things you like.  Mom and dad like backpacking as a way to escape our busy schedules, connect as a family, and take in the beautiful natural settings like the ones we saw along the Sunshine Coast Trail.  What did you like most?

Ben - That we got to go on a vacation.  I liked everything.

Liv -  I like the wildlife, the huts, and everything.

I loved watching the Orca's pass by while we were eating breakfast at Feather Cove.  And what about the crazy water taxi dismount we had to do at Sarah's Point? That was fun. Crashing waves, boat rocking, and nothing but steep rocks! Oh, and how could you not like the plastic toilet with no doors or walls!  

Liv - I did not like that! You think they could give some privacy while going to the bathroom! Gheesh!

Some outdoor facilities on the sunshine coast trail resemble this toilet.  Photo courtesy of SaskParks.net


More blog posts on backpacking the Sunshine Coast Trail to come.  Thanks!

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