We did this trip back in 2014, when F was almost 10 month old. It was our second overnight backcountry hiking trip with a tent since F was born. The first one was a weekend trip to Tricouni Meadows. Below are a short trip report on our thoughts just after the trip.
It was an 8 day (unsupported; no food pickups) backpacking trip. We hiked from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite Valley by (mostly) the Pacific Crest / John Muir trails, about 50 miles / 80 km. We usually hiked 4-5 hours a day - basically during naps with a bit of awake-in-the-carrier time before and after - and took a huge lunch break so the little one could roam around, splash in water, try and eat pinecones, etc.
We was really happy with how the trip went - I think the little one had a fantastic time. Probably she won't remember it, but hopefully it will help form her personality somehow. I will certainly remember it, in any case, and it was great to spend so much one-on-one time with her.
The only thing I would do differently was food packing - we did a lot of freeze-dried (rather than dehydrated), which means more bulk, which means more (heavy) bear canisters - we had 4! Also, we brought too much food in general - we did our standard 1 kg per person per day... this has worked great on long expeditions in the past where you're working hard 12 hours a day... but with the little one there was way less metabolism. We forced it down, and still had at least 1/3 of our lunch food left over.
I don't regret the decision not to do a food cache in Tuolumne meadows, as most would do along this route, as I think it was a good one based on what we knew at the time and allowed us extra flexibility in case the trip turned out differently... but, if doing the trip again now that I have more baby-hiking experience, I would totally do it - it would have dropped 25 lbs of food and fuel from my pack. Kids grow up fast, though, so I guess very few have the opportunity to get really good at baby-hiking.
5/11/2016 11:53:34 pm
I CANNOT believe you did 10km/day with 140lbs. Christian must be a packing superhero.
5/12/2016 10:33:45 am
We had never done this trail before... we had actually never been in California before either. A friend recommended the area, and I spend a lot of time researching the area and the trails to find the perfect route (while breastfeeding in the dark winter months). We have actually taken F to a lot of places we had not been to before, but of cause also lots of places we are very familiar with. Before we had F there were some activities and locations I never went to, because I wanted to 'save' them for after kids. Therefor I am just getting into bike touring, canoeing and cross country skiing the last couple of years.
5/12/2016 10:27:01 am
Christian is my packing superhero! We could have definitely cut down on weight though. Without all the extra food and dehydrated instead of freeze dried we could have cut at least one bear can and at least 10 lbs. In addition we eat around 4 lbs a day, so by the end the packs were definitely lighter.
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River of Golden Dreams
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