In 2009 I took my then-6-year-old backpacking for the first time. This is what I wrote up when we got back:
1. That ‘sleeping pad’ called a Z-rest that was perfectly comfortable to sleep on for 5 months in 1997 just doesn’t cut it any more. Once you sleep on a 10-pound Paco pad, there’s really no going back.
3. Putting 5 pounds on a 6 year old used to carrying nothing is apparently equivalent to the punishment of Sisyphus. Asking said 6 year old if she’d instead like to trade for my 40lb pack is totally ineffective in terms of gaining sympathy or a better attitude.
4. The journey is in fact NOT the destination. Just ask Maisy.
5. The olfactory memories emanating from that 13-year-old pack might just be a sign that it’s time to move on to a new pack.
6. It doesn’t matter how cold, tired and hungry you are when the 6 year old you just dragged 5 miles and 2000’ straight up is colder, more tired, and way hungrier.
7. Ramen noodles make everything better. Still. After all these years.
8. A water filter is WAY lighter than a gallon of water. I really need to find that stupid thing.
9. The fairy world is an extensive and complicated society complete with its own language, rules and realities. After 8 hours of instruction on the fairy world, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of all there is to know.
10. 1 mph, while maddening, is infinitely better than 0 mph.
11. A 5-year-old’s horribly bloody nose in the middle of the night at 11,200’ is just one of those little things you chalk up to ‘character building’.
12. Sitting at the edge of a high-alpine lake with a warm drink and a kid who, after being quiet for a minute says ‘momma, it’s really pretty up here’ ranks up there in life’s happiest moments.