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Can two 11 year olds handel a week+ on the trail?

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    • Can two 11 year olds handel a week+ on the trail?

      A friend of mine and I have both have 11 year old boys and we were thinking of thanking them on the trail for a week to a week and a hallf. Neigher of the boys have any real hiking experience. We have camped before and that went well. Just curious if anyone else has attempted what we are contomplating, and if so how did it go?
    • Although I haven't hiked with kids, there was a woman last year who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail with her 10 kids last year.
      No reason you couldn't. Try to plan the hike so that you have a reward, like a waterfall, swimming hole, or beautiful viewpoint. And make sure they always stay within sight of you or your camp.Try also to plan it when the weather's good. Nobody enjoys hiking in the rain.
      its all good
    • Depends on the kid.

      I'd try a weekend/long weekend first and then evaluate.

      I met a father who was hiking with his son for a month and he seemed to enjoy it. Of course he was missing school during this time (he was required a keep a daily log as homework).

      On the other hand, not everyone enjoys our hobby.

      Perhaps select a hike that has a convenient bailing out point(s) enroute. In Georgia, for example, if you start at Springer Mountain (the start of the AT) you will cross paved roads at 20, 30, 37, and 52 miles where someone can rescue you if necessary. There are even more options if driving on a forest service road is not an issue.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • give them time during the day to play; climb on rocks, splash in streams, or swim in a pond or lake. If they have fun they're more likely to enjoy the trip and want to do it again. Oh, and make sure to have a camp fire at least some of the nights. I know both of my sons really enjoyed camp fires.
    • It's not a question of if they can hike for a week. It's whether or not they will have fun hiking for a week. Lots of good suggestions on having rewards to keep it fun.

      Planning a celebration for the completion of the hike might also be a good idea. A favorite restaurant, ice cream, etc. My buddy and I even used an indoor water park as a reward for our kids. And we didn't mind the hot tubs and bar. :D
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Clingmans Dome and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • 13 years ago started AT with my 10 year old son. At Thanksgiving did 3 nights of Springer to Neel Gap. Followed that up with 3 nights at Spring Break with Neel Gap to Dicks Creek Gap. He really enjoyed the first trip, the second was OK, but he was not up for the next trip. Despite less than 70 miles of my 2,193, we till have good memories from the experience.

      If they enjoy hiking, I do not think a week is too much to take on. Although a weekend pre-hike is always a great idea. Having another child of the same age is a benefit. My biggest challenge was trying to physically keep up with my son.

      Go for it and have fun! :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General