41

As an active adult in the Boy Scouts of America, I would highly suggest that you find a local scout troop in your area and sign up. Not only will you be helping the troop in a number of ways, but it will present you with a great way to learn many of the outdoor skills that you are interested in. As the Boy Scout troop gains new members, they will have to ...


39

Not a bad idea. I happen to have a 5 and 3 year old. I can think of reasons for not letting them sleep in the same sleeping bag, but none of them are because it wouldn't work in theory. If your two kids would actually sleep together in one bag, then I'd say it's a great idea. They'll stay warmer at night and that's one less bag for you to pack. Your only ...


37

If you have children with you, you will have no worries about keeping yourself busy, you'll be plenty busy. If the weather is nice, your kids might enjoy games like: Throw Rocks in the Water Run Around As Fast As You Can See If You Can Throw A Prized Toy Into A Tree And Get It Stuck There Find A Stick and then Fight Over Whose Stick It Is My kids also ...


27

Volunteer in Search and Rescue (SAR). I just got certified through my state's Sheriff's Association as a volunteer search and rescuer. I went through a two-month-long class with an intense outdoor "final exam" in order to get the certification. Class topics included: tracking, outdoor clothing and equipment, wilderness navigation (map/compass/GPS), fire/...


22

I don't know of any organization as you describe, but there certainly ways for adults to learn outdoorsmanship. There are likely outdoor clubs in your area that run educational programs. Here in New England, the major one is the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club). They regularly run educational programs on various topics and at various levels. I attended ...


19

Children are a relatively high risk on board a small boat. At 4 or 5 years old they don't know enough about safety, and by their teens they are either convinced that they are invincible, or terrified that they will drown, so at either end of that spectrum there are challenges. Ideally you want everyone on the boat to be a very strong swimmer. This ...


18

All our kids have been coming on hikes with us since they were newborns. We have two types of baby carrying hiking packs, two more snuggly baby carriers, and a variety of baby wraps. The answer to your question is to carry the kid in the carrier suitable for their size and age. When your baby is brand new and can't sit up on it's own, then you should carry ...


17

We've camped for a month (4 adults/no kids), no TV, no phone, no radio or power & one water spigot. We didn't manage to get bored. Other than the routine of getting firewood/cooking/cleaning, here's some of the things we did: Swim. We went swimming a few times a day to cool off. Explore. This was a new area to us so we took advantage of the time to see ...


17

We took my youngest with us in a punt on the river Cam when she was ten days old. Slightly different age and size but as they are effectively immobile, they are actually easier than once they hit toddler age. Some things you do want to check: are you both very strong swimmers? If there is an issue, whoever is holding the baby needs to be able to keep ...


15

There is a little bit information out there (here), about falls of climbers heavier than normal which suggests (very roughly) almost a linear relationship between fall load (force) and body weight, assuming equal fall factor. Applying this in the reverse, a significantly lighter climber would apply a significantly smaller load. This says a UIAA fall is ...


14

In addition to Kate's excellent answer I have the following advice, from over 35 years camping (13 of them with kids): If there is the slightest chance of the entire holiday being rainy, take a tent much larger than you need. This isn't just to give you room to dry wet things, store dry stuff etc., but it gives kids the opportunity to play in the tent ...


14

15 km (9.3 miles) is really long for the average 5 year old, especially when it's 65% longer and at higher altitude than what she's used to. This sounds like a bad idea to me. You say you can carry the 2 year old "easily", but you need to think about that carefully too. 2 years old is about the limit for one of those baby-backpacks. You may be fine ...


14

You could read the Boy Scout Handbook and the BSA Fieldbook to get a strong basic knowledge of scouting skills. You'll need to get hands on experience, but that doesn't require being in the back country.


14

There are a few different styles of shelters that come to mind with differing levels of difficulty. A lot of it depends on if they will be making it to survive the night, or to survive for an exponential amount of time until possible rescue. A snow cave is one option, however it may be difficult with the tools you have mentioned. Although I think that it ...


14

While children can be proficient mountaineers and well trained, there are things they likely cannot do and some additional risks they face. For example, children are more susceptible to hypothermia. Most children are not capable of performing first aid and lack the physical strength to dig out someone trapped in an avalanche. If a single adult is climbing ...


13

Look for wildlife. This will depend on where in the world you are camping, but in most rural areas, there will be some wildlife around. And its often possible to see some of it without too much effort. See how many different species of birds you can spot - binoculars and a field guide may be helpful. Or try photographing a variety of animals. You can even ...


13

Yes! This is a rewarding and awesome experience. I have three children that I take hiking all the time. My youngest is almost a month old and he hasn't been out yet, but will as soon as he has a bit of neck control. I was also raised going on many hikes in my father's pack. I have the old pack that I was carried in and let me tell you, they have made leaps ...


13

All conventional backpacks are unbalanced Here's the problem with conventional backpacks - they are inherently unbalanced. So once you are carrying any kind of non-trivial weight, you have to lean forwards to counterbalance the additional weight on your back. This throws out your natural walking posture, causing fatigue and discomfort. It's simply a law of ...


12

Apparently it was removed due to lack of funding for repairs. Here's a link to an article about it. Here's a link to a picture for the curious. Too bad.


12

As a kid we often went on hiking trips and I got my first knife when I was around eight to ten years old. Below are some of the things my parents looked out for when I was a child. Obviously this is addressed at an even younger age than OP described, so you might have to adapt it accordingly... General advice For beginners either get a fixed blade, or one ...


11

There's a lot of great answers here, and one answer touched on it, but I really wanted to emphasize the quality of the resources and classes available at REI. Classes are open to members and non-members, with members getting a discount on paid classes but they also have free options for things like emergency preparedness. The REI website has a search page ...


11

As a supplement to @ShemSeger's answer, NZ rucksack makers Aarn offer clip-on front pockets that help counterbalance the weight of a kid on your back if you're using a carrier with a waist-belt and sternum strap. The idea is that you fill the pockets with some of your heavier gear and your water. As well as keeping your stuff to hand, balancing the load in ...


11

There is a clear answer here: just don't do it! Glacier rescue is challenging - you need to know the techniques and practice them seriously. And I can tell you from experience that a glacier rescue is scary, stressful and exhausting, and that was with a party of 4 fit and experienced adults. If you have to ask the question, you simply don't have the skills ...


10

I have friends with a sailboat who wanted to take their <1yr infant on their sailboat with them, and so consulted the (Canadian) coastguard about how best to protect her. The good news is that very young children (< 2 yrs, I think) don't count as passengers from a legal point of view; so there are no legal requirements to fulfil, just what you need to ...


10

I've carried them out, and I've burned them in the nightly fires we were having anyway. This was canoe-camping rather than hiking, so weight was less of an issue - but a weeklong trip accumulating diapers from two toddlers: smell was a problem. We used a dedicated bag for them, and kept it well away from everything else at campsites. Bags within bags within ...


10

It's not strictly too soon. I have known plenty of people who camped with a nine month old in rougher conditions than you describe. It's too early if you are not in condition to carry a baby in addition to all of your gear. They make packs specifically for carrying wee ones. That's really the best way to go.


9

More suggestions. Btw @Kate, I loved your list. During the day. Day hikes River / lake swimming Just exploring Practice survival skills At night. Word games book reading Theological / political discussions Solve all worldly problems Get drunk and then tell your best friend to "check this out". Earn Darwin award. :-)


9

I think it was polypropylene, it was that cheap, hard, twisted stuff sold in hardware stores for general utility You may find a larger hardware store sells a wider quality spectrum of plastic-based ropes. Your best bet will be to browse stores until you find something that seems well-made, at a price you're willing to pay. Hemp rope is an old classic, but ...


9

Carrying all the gear won't be easy. Whoever has the baby will probably only be able to carry one day's worth of baby stuff and nothing else. Either you get a rucksack carrier as Russell suggested (I recommend this as well, a Deuter kid comfort fitted me and was still usable over age 2), or you wear a daypack as well as a front carrier and have 2 sets of ...


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