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Couple hiking AT with 1-year-old

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  • Couple hiking AT with 1-year-old

    Really?

    http://www.mnn.com/family/family-act...ail-their-baby


  • #2
    "If the Quirin family's attempt is successful, baby Ellie will become the youngest person to ever thru-hike the famous trail."

    You should have had to walk the AT to qualify as thru-hiker.

    Don

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    • #3
      What could go wrong?

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      • #4
        Takes guts. Looks like they're planning it out thoroughly. I wonder what their total combined loads will weigh.
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        • #5
          Years ago, I climbed Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the terminus for the AT traveling north. There I met a couple with a young boy, maybe 5 or so. They touted he was now the youngest person to complete the entire AT. Though we were silent, a lot of people, including myself, thought this was irresponsible of the parents. It bordered on child abuse. A 5 y/o kid is hardly prepared to tackle either the length or challenges of an AT thru hike. The same goes doubly for a 1 y/o. I doubt their attempt to drag their child, indeed a baby, along will succeed (I hope it doesn't) but even if the child completes the trip he will have no appreciation of the beauty of the trail. Indeed, I think whatever memories he may garner from the trip will be highly negative.

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          • #6
            Carrying a 1-year-old sounds more reasonable than a 5-year-old actually hiking it. The 1-yo is essentially like hiking with a sack of potatoes.
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            • #7
              While I respect them for not letting having a baby crush their dreams, and going on despite the added load, if they get any distinction for this, it should be "hiked the entire AT while carrying a baby/toddler" rather than "youngest thru-hiker at age 1".

              That being said, it would probably have made more sense for all involved to wait 16 years and either go when baby Ellie starts college (in the case that she turns out to never want to hike again after this traumatic memory!), or take a gap year and hike the trail as a family when she's old enough to appreciate it...
              ADK 46*/46 CATS 5/35 FT 4/28 Saranac 0/6 Bristol 6/6

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              • #8
                The parents are a little bit crazy for sure and it's a safe bet the naysayers will heavily out-vote those who think this is an OK thing to do. If it's valid to draw comparisons a huge number of babies born into the world (including in our own countries and towns) have lives a100 times worse than what this little kid's will be like on the AT.
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                • #9
                  Welp, this just struck my "this is what's wrong with _____" nerve for today. Damn! I was trying to make it until noon...

                  To Neil's point, yes, there are kids born into much worse conditions than backpacking along the AT. Where I take issue is that this isn't Cambodia or West Africa, its the US and kids don't have to live like this here. The child hasn't taken her first steps yet and she's about to spend 10 hours per day for the next 6-9 months of her life strapped into a baby pouch on one of her parents. The loss of developmental time and constant body posture could easily take her another year or multiple years to recover from, and she never had a choice.

                  This is stupid. Idiot yuppie millennials.
                  “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, I thought about the prolonged time and upright posture in the pack but figured since they were going to take a year that the kid wouldn't be in there for more than x hours at a go. I wonder how the grand-parents feel about the project. Probably horrified. People have a lot of freedom in our countries but could an authority intervene in a case like this and stop them?
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                    • #11
                      i forget the exact numbers but many (most?) thru hikers who attempt don't finish anyway. if i had to bet, i would say that they will have a nice 3 week section hike before bad weather, injury, and/or a routine baby illness convinces them to adjust their plans.

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I wanted to do some lighter hiking in Harriman with my daughter early on and definitely had to decrease my expectations which I'd already thought I'd tempered. She is a champ and definitely just fascinated during the hikes, but there are serious concerns that carrying a kid in many baby-wearing devices can lead to hip dysplasia if prolonged or adjusted poorly.

                        K

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                        • #13
                          Where do the diapers go?
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                          • Makwa
                            Makwa commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Generally they go around the infant's waist UNDER his/her clothes. That second part is most important.

                            From the article... "The biggest issue — and the challenge that the Quirins are asked about most frequently — is the diapers. The Quirins' current plan is to double wrap the diapers in Ziplock bags and then carry them (outside their packs) until they can dispose of them."

                            All of this sounds like a lot of extra work and weight.
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