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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Backpacking with Children

Backpacking with children is easier than you may think. Young children idolize their parents therefore you can spark their interest at a young age by introducing them to the backcountry. Trip planning with kids will take a little more time and care when planning. Start by locating an area where you can access a campsite with in 1-3 miles of the trail head. Once you are at your campsite, set up camp and choose a day hike. Plan your hiking speed to average 1mph with children and gear. It will take you longer to reach your destination with multiple stops and shorter legs.

For kids 5 and up include them in the trip planning process, helping to pack food, clothing, gear and putting together a checklist. Show them on a map where they will be going and what the area will be like, also explain the activities you will do such as building a campfire, making smores, looking for wildlife/ animal tracks, swimming, fishing and so on.  Plan fun snack and water breaks.

Be sure to have an Emergency Plan and explain to your kids what to do if they get lost. Equip them with an emergency whistle, tell them to blow on it 3 times and to stay where they are. Practice at home so they remember and feel comfortable with the plan. Show them the 1st aid kit equipped with some fun band aids. Talk about viewing wildlife from a distance, not eating berries they find on the trail unless they have be identified as edible. Identify wildlife in pictures before you go out, they will enjoy looking for them in nature and know the animals behavior pattern.

How much weight should a child carry in their backpack? There is much controversy over a child's growing body and how much weight should be imposed on there body where backpacking. A rule of thumb is that they should not carry more than 20% of their body weight on their back. Fitting your child for the right size backpack will make the trip a more enjoyable experience for the child and is very important as they are constantly growing. There are many companies who make kids specific packs that shift the weight of the pack to be carried by the skeletal frame of the child lessening the impact on their body. At outdoor kids we have chosen the best kids backpacks. Give us a call with any questions you may have.

Happy Backpacking!

Friday, June 4, 2010

How to choose the best rain jacket for your child

When it comes to exposing your kid's to the outdoor activities you enjoy there is a fine line of where they can love it or hate it. A sure way to ensure your children love it is buy making it a fun, comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Choosing the right rain gear that fits properly, keeps them dry and warm and is comfortable will help them to enjoy their surroundings and the experience when those afternoon storms hit. Making the experience and adventure will ask them begging to go again.

So how do you know what brand works best, fits best and will last. In today's outdoor industry kids are taken more seriously and manufacturer's are making serious gear for them. Attributes of a good rain jacket for boy's and girl's are breathability, waterproofness, durability, design and fit. Choosing a water proof jacket that is breathable keeps a child dry and prevents condensation build up on the inside of the jacket from body heat on warmer days unlike polyurethane jackets or ponchos. Although not the cheapest alternative, companies such as Marmot, Patagonia, The North Face and Sierra Designs are using an lining that works similar to Gore, but with out the Gore price. The difference in these liners is compared to Gore Tex is breathability about 20% less but are just as durable.

Choosing the right Jacket:

 1) Make sure there is able material in the arms and shoulders that compensate for movement and some room to grow.

2) Length the jacket should fall below the hips

3) Venting Pockets/ Pit Zips help the jacket to breath better during exertion or on warm days

4) Hood will keep rain off the head and from getting to the inside of the jacket during down pours

5) Draw cords around the hood and bottom of the jacket help keep wind out

6) Durable quick drying nylon outer layer


A quality kids rain jacket will last and can be handed down to a little brother, sister, cousin so don't get discouraged by the price tag. Here are some great examples of kids rain jacket

Marmot Precip Jacket for Kids:

The Marmot Precip Jacket is lightweight, durable, and breathable! Made of a double layer of PreCip polyurethane coating for waterproof protection, this jacket also offers sealed seams and DryTouch technology to reduce condensation and cut down on the clammy feeling that so often accompanies rain gear. Complete with an adjustable brimmed hood that rolls up when the sun comes out, zippered pockets and a double storm flap, the Precip jacket will see your kids through the most challenging of storms and then pack away easily in their backpack for later use.

• Waterproof with sealed seams

• Breathable with DryTouch technology

• Adjustable brimmed hood

• DriClime lined chin guard

• Compact design fits easily in a backpack

Price: $55.00
One Sale: $45.00

Buy Now

Sierra Designs Hurricane Parka for Kids:

The Sierra Designs Hurricane Parka for Kids has all the high-tech features of the adult design but is sized down for your little one. This parka is constructed of double layer waterproof yet breathable fabric, completely seam sealed with Extremity Vents for the ultimate in rainy weather protection. This Parka packs into its own attached pouch so small that your kids can keep it in their backpacks in case of sudden downpours.

Sizing Help: Based on customer feedback and product testing, Outdoor Kids recommends you buy this parka one size larger than your child's actual size as it runs small.

Double layers of breathable, waterproof fabric

• Completely seam sealed

• Extremity Vents to prevent overheating

• Packs into its own attached pouch

• Features two mesh pockets for convenience

Price $45.00
On Sale: $29.00
Buy Now

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Backpacking Equipment List

___ Clothing suitable for the time of year (one for hiking, one for the evening)
___ Hat to keep the sun off or one for warmth depending on the temperature/ time of year
___ Synthetic or wool long underwear (poly pro, thermax, polar max, capeline, merino)
___ Rain Jacket and rain pants or pancho
___ Insulating layer fleece or wool sweater
___ Wool or synthetic socks and sock liners
___ Pair of comfortable shoes to wear around camp
___ Pair of boots or all-terrain shoes for hiking that have good tread and offer support
___ Personal Hygiene supplies ( toothbrush, past, comb, sunscreen etc)
___ Sleeping Pad (foam or air mattress)
___ Synthetic or down sleeping bag
___ Frame pack with hipbelt
___ Pack Cover
___ Flash light or headlamp with extra batteries
___ Any medications, inhaler, or other personal items you would normally have with you
___ Camera/ Notebook/ pen/pencil
___ Food
___ Water/ Water Treatment/ Water Filter
___ Tent/Tarp or Bivy Sac
___ Camp Stove
___ Cookware/Mug/bowl/utensils
___ Sunscreen/Bug spray
___ Bandana
___ Camp Towel
___ Trowel

Outdoor Kids Anniversary Sale

Celebrate our Anniversary through the entire month of June with us and save on Kid's Outdoor Gear, plus lots of deals for Mom's and Dads.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Living the Dream

In today's society parents haven't stopped participating in the outdoor activites they love, instead they have incorporated their kids into their life style at a slower pace. Preparing kids for outdoor adventures is easier these days with Outdoor Gear and Clothing manufactures producting kids specific backpacks and clothing parents love. At Outdoor Kids we strive to help you equip your family at a prices you can afford.