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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I am trying the minimalists approach to hiking to get the family moveing this comming summer. What I would like to do is get a light hydration pack for each of us and then a fanny type pack and combine the two. Kind of like an LBE but o the civilian side. What I am having trouble doing is figuring out just what I need to bring. So far I have water that will be on our backs, fire making supplies, a small fishing kit, small first aid kit, trash bag for shelter if needed, and some emergency food, I am thinking peanut butter and crackers and a cliff bar. Should I include anything else? Where we will be going will not be far from civilization ( my wife wouldn't like it) and with in 5 miles of the vehichle (Ihope). Thanks for any advice you can give.

TH
 

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I find one of the best items to bring on any trip is a good reliable flashlight with fresh and extra batteries. And if your family i going along have one for each member of the family, or at least 2 or 3.
 

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trois pour cent
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I'd pack LED headlamps instead of flashlights.

Why a trash bag for shelter?
No sleeping bags?
Compass?
Communication equipment?
Signal whistle?
Knife?


Five miles from your car with inadequate equipment could spell absolute disaster.

If this is a new endeavor for the family (apologies if I am misreading this), I would buy good quality camping gear and learn the ropes. As your family's outdoor skills grow, you can then decide what can safely be done away with.
Every minimalist backpacker I know developed great skills before deciding to pare down equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We will be on established trails and will notify someone before we leave and when we return. We will have cell phones with us and I am confident I can survive a night out myself. Just making my wife that confident is the problem.
 

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i started my family car camping with shower and bathroom facilities get them to enjoy that 1st do what sounds fun to them 1st then slip em into something you like and slowly
start leaving things you don't need and more primitive camping maybe one with bathrooms but no shower then move alittle farther out and leave the bathrooms behind.
before you know it they will be confident in your skills and their own to feel safe and confortable out in the wilderness then start thinking minimalist involve them in the desicion making and what they want to carry and if you have real young kids short hikes or long hikes with lots of breaks snacks even let them help in what direction to walk if they think they are leading the family hike they will hike more you can still suggest the right direction to keep them on track
 

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free man
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If you feel the need, a light silnylon tarp would do way better as an emergency(great for backpacking) shelter w/o taking up much room at all. My Intregal Designs 5x8' silnylon tarp weighs about 10oz including the stuff sack and packs to the size of ones fist.

Light compressible shell jacket(9-15oz max). Always.

Emergency space blankets?

Food for an average day hike, I typically use some form of GORP, Gels, and powerbars mostly.

LED headlamp for sure. A Tika weighs about 3oz max w batteries and lasts for 100+ hours, and are super reliable.
 

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To secure peace is to...
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Hey guys,

I am trying the minimalists approach to hiking to get the family moveing this comming summer. What I would like to do is get a light hydration pack for each of us and then a fanny type pack and combine the two. Kind of like an LBE but o the civilian side. What I am having trouble doing is figuring out just what I need to bring. So far I have water that will be on our backs, fire making supplies, a small fishing kit, small first aid kit, trash bag for shelter if needed, and some emergency food, I am thinking peanut butter and crackers and a cliff bar. Should I include anything else? Where we will be going will not be far from civilization ( my wife wouldn't like it) and with in 5 miles of the vehichle (Ihope). Thanks for any advice you can give.

TH
I'm assuming that this is just a day-hike. If so, here's my suggestions:

First aid kit with snake bite/sting kit and benadryl. Snakes and yellow jackets are a huge threat to those that are allergic, etc. I've seen this situation and it isn't pretty.

As a backpacker, I always double my "needed" food.

You haven't mentioned any type of navigation materials - maps, compass, GPS, etc.

Plenty of water, or just one hydration pack and one filter for the whole crew.

A good knife/folding hand saw

Firesteel or magnesium fire starter

Remember, there are some items everyone in the party should carry and others should be "group items." It's pretty obvious which is which.

I don't know where you plan on hiking, but in some areas, even in the summer, cold weather can strike. If not, a lot of areas can have quick hitting thunderstorms so compressible raingear might be nice.

Oh yeah, one more must have item is a handlamp/flashlight. I prefer headlamps, they are handsfree!

Good luck!
 

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Adaptable.
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man, if this is your first camping trip with wife and kids, go large! If they are miserable on this trip, the second will never happen. No kidding. My wife only came around to tarp camping because we were to tired to pitch a tent one night, now she doesn't insist on bug netting on any night out. And she has done hundreds and hundreds of miles with me.

Make it fun before you make it challenging. And read mosquito coast...
 

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inho, one of the best deals in survival or camping gear are the heavy duty survival blankets, they are very solid and can be used for shelter or as a blanket to wrap around you. You can find them for 10-15 bucks, they can be used for signaling and a few other things and they can be used over and over again....best deal out there!!!
 

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inho, one of the best deals in survival or camping gear are the heavy duty survival blankets, they are very solid and can be used for shelter or as a blanket to wrap around you. You can find them for 10-15 bucks, they can be used for signaling and a few other things and they can be used over and over again....best deal out there!!!
Cabela's calls them a Sportsman's Space Blanket. I am thinking about swapping to these to.
 

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instead of peanut butter crakers i would suggest trail mix. easy to make and my kids love mine and it lasts better than peanut butter crackers, in the heat that can get real messy. i make trail mix with honey nut cheerios, kix cereal, peanut m&m's, peanuts and bananna chips. it tastes good, is healthy, easy to make and you can put it in ziploc bags to put in everyone's pack. that way everybody has at least a little food with them. if you haven't bought the packs yet cheaper than dirt has some molle hydro packs that look pretty good for about $40 i think and they have several different kinds of fanny packs too. i have been thinking about that same kind of setup for dayhikes and i think you could pack all the essentials plus some comfort items too pretty easily.
 

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I'd pack LED headlamps instead of flashlights.

Why a trash bag for shelter?
No sleeping bags?
Compass?
Communication equipment?
Signal whistle?
Knife?


Five miles from your car with inadequate equipment could spell absolute disaster.

If this is a new endeavor for the family (apologies if I am misreading this), I would buy good quality camping gear and learn the ropes. As your family's outdoor skills grow, you can then decide what can safely be done away with.
Every minimalist backpacker I know developed great skills before deciding to pare down equipment.


I absolutly agree with this....


if this is your first outing......or you only have a few under your belt....you need to make the adventure somewhat comfortable and fun for the first few outings ...otherwise family members could get turned off from the idea.
 

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Day hike or overnight?

I wasn't clear if you were thinking of day hiking or camping. If camping, I would urge you to start out staying in state park type campgrounds, and day hiking from the campsite. A good tent should only be $50 to $70 from Walmart, OK for summer camping. you can get by with blankets in summer. One key is a decent pad. www.sportsmansguide.com has a self-inflating thermarest pad, 4 inches thick, for like $45. it is as good as my bed at home.
if day hiking, check on the net for lists of the 10 essentials. anyplace hot, sufficient water is mandatory. I am a coordinator for a hiking group in Cincinnati, and it is all too common for people to show up for 10 mile hikes with no water or like a 20-ounce bottle. that is absurd.
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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As I am sure others have already stated, add a knife, a fire starter, and a signal device (whistle, flare gun, mirror). Even though you have a cell phone and are on a designated trail things happen. To quote my scout master as a kid "Be prepared." Nothing wrong with packing light for a day hike, just bring the basics no matter what. This is what is found in my day pack, which is a camelbak style pack.

Camelbak Backpack
Water Bladder
Gerber Evo
Light my Fire Firesteel Army Model
Lansatic Compass
Signal Whistle
MRE or homemade MRE
Space blanket
Basic First Aid Kit
Rain jacket


Other items are added and removed from time to time depend on where I am going, or what i feel like bringing. However this should give a good example as to what ya should bring. It is better to have brought something and not needed it, then need it and not have it.
 

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Oh, and if you can bring along a map of the trail. Can get them from the parks' station, or if it's not at a park check with the local towns council. Sometimes they have maps of area trails. I recommend making notations on the map. Last year I was out on a trail, and it was near imposible to understand the map that was given to me by the ranger. I eventually got turned around and basically lost. Night fell, so I set up camp (had my normal backpacking gear). Next day I managed to find the trail again and got out without problem. Well, least till a ranger found me and gave me a 185 dollar ticket for illegal backpacking.
 

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I try to avoid packing food that makes me thirsty. +1 on the local area maps. Take twice as much water as you think you are going to drink. Hiking is thirsty work. Knife (not the "survival" knives with the hollow handle filled with low quality stuff), good compass, bug repellent, Hat, whistle. Definately head worn flashlights. To go super-light pack a space blaket and poncho. Its better that you wear warmer socks than you need than have too thin socks and cold feet.
 

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devil's advocate
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Sounds like you've got everything covered. Gonna fish and cook it for lunch? Maybe take backup sammiches.

Don't forget jackets.
And maybe a hanky or some tissue.
Oh, and whatever you might need to deal with nasty critters in your area, if there are any (like wear a bell to warn bears away, or have that super strength pepper spray stuff. And if you see a cougar, act tall and make weird noises.)

For a short hike, I can't see how you would ever need anything else. The only people who get lost or stuck are the ones who go off the trail or something. Especially since you'll have cell phones. And since it'll be a short distance, if one of you breaks and ankle or something, it won't take long for the other one to go get help.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok guys. This IS a day hike. The plan would be to leave the car, walk either the entire trail or until we decide the kids have had about all they want then get back in the car and leave. I know in my pack that I will have means for a shelter, fire, map and compass, a sheath knife, and survival kit. Everyone will be packing their own snack or food, water, whistle, and jacket. We will not be camping unless someone gets hurt and I can't get to the vehicle. Does this sound good?
 
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