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HOW TO CHOOSE A BACKPACK FOR A KID OR A TEEN ?

Packing a backpack can quickly turn into a headache, but if you overlook this stage, you risk paying the price for it the next day. Before that, the choice of your child's rucksack is crucial. This choice will also affect the amount your child can carry. The ultimate goal: to have the lightest bag possible without forgetting anything!

What to take in your backpack when going hiking with your pre-teen - title

CHOOSE A BAG SUITED TO EACH ROUTE AND EACH BUILD

You don't take the same bag for a 4-hour walk and an 8-hour hike. So identifying the route and the length is a completely vital preliminary step before you start packing your backpack.

An old adage: when there is space we tend to fill it... rapidly increasing the load that we will inflict on ourselves.

For a 4 hour hike, a 10 L to 15 L bag is more than sufficient (or 20 L in winter to carry additional layers).~For a day-long hike, a 20 L to 25 L bag will be most suitable.~Beyond that and there is a high risk of you carrying unnecessary weight.

Don't put off choosing a backpack for your child, ensure that the length of the back is suitable and favour a backpack with a chest strap. Their comfort is essential so that they enjoy the day.

Take care to adjust your child's backpack, and to do this, don't hesitate to watch the video below:

MAKE SURE YOU SPREAD THE LOAD

It is advisable not to exceed 10% to 15% of the child's weight for their backpack. Beyond this, the weight can be harmful for their spine and cause them pain.

If you load up your child like a mule, don't expect them to enjoy it and want to return!

Think "group": how many hikers (adults and children), in order to best spread the load knowing that an adult can carry approximately 25% of their weight.

In terms of weight, generally it is the water and the picnic that impact your load the most; yet you must not neglect these 2 points. Ensure you favour "dry" food with a lot of calories (dried fruit for example or cereal bars) rather than "moist" preparations. Remove as much superfluous packaging as possible, you will be lighter and will have less waste to carry.

WHAT TO TAKE IN YOUR BACKPACK WHEN GOING HIKING WITH YOUR PRE-TEEN?

Spreading the load is not just a question of weight, you must also balance your backpack properly, so that it is comfortable to wear. It is advisable to put the heaviest things against the back (typically: the water bladder, the picnic), in other words as near as possible to your centre of gravity. Also make sure that all the contents is properly wedged so that nothing moves around when walking.

 

Also consider placing snacks to keep hunger at bay that you give out regularly in an accessible way (belt or hat pockets are perfect for this). If you don't have a water bladder, ensure that the flask is also accessible. Finally, leave your windbreaker or waterproof jacket right on top, ready to remove it at the first sign of cold!

 

Tip: identify the drinking water points on the route where you can fill up, this will stop you loading your water bladder to the maximum. Otherwise, bring at least 1 L per person. To finish, a little trip to the scales, (bathroom ones will do the trick) and the question "Is everything that I've taken really necessary?" will allow you to further save 1 or 2 kg.

 

OK BUT.. WHAT SHOULD I TAKE?

BACKPACK AND ESSENTIAL ITEMS

- 10-L to 20-L backpack (depending on build, length, weather)

- Snack + numerous small snacks (cereal bars, biscuits, dried fruit, etc.)

- Water bladder in addition to a flask: fun, it will make them want to drink without having to stop

- Tissues / toilet paper

Bonus: A small knife if your child is quite big

 

SUMMER CLOTHES

- Light and resistant trousers - tip: there are trousers which can be turned into shorts

- A comfortable and breathable t-shirt

- Hat with a wide rim or cap with neck protector

- Grade 3 or 4 sunglasses (check that they are suited to their face) - discover how to choose children's sunglasses here

- Light fleece (nobody is protected from a sudden change in weather)

- Light waterproof jacket or 3-in-1 to go from a warm jacket to a light jacket via two zips (the weather in the mountains can change quickly)

- Good shoes: soles with good crampons, ideally with good ankle support and favour laces over Velcro as they offer more accurate adjustment. (if required, bring spare laces). We have developed a Cross Contact sole to better grip different kinds of terrain.

The added extra: Kit them out in clothes that dry quickly, children will not hesitate to splash around, but afterwards they risk cooling down very quickly



SAFETY

- Headlamp: in case of something unexpected

- Survival blanket

- Mini first aid kit (at the least some plasters in the event of blisters)

- Factor 50+ sunscreen

- Map + compass

Important: a mobile that has been charged beforehand with the emergency services contact details saved on it and possibly knitted or written on the top of your backpack.

 

A precaution to take: before leaving, put the route that you are going to take in your pockets and the time that you think you will be back.

WHAT TO TAKE IN YOUR BACKPACK WHEN GOING HIKING WITH YOUR PRE-TEEN?

To make sure they're well kitted out:

WHAT TO TAKE IN YOUR BACKPACK WHEN GOING HIKING WITH YOUR PRE-TEEN?

OTHER TIPS FOR GOOD HIKING? THIS WAY, PLEASE!