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Couple hiking AT with 1-year-old

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  • Couple hiking AT with 1-year-old


  • #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.



    • #3
      What could go wrong?


      • #4
        Takes guts. Looks like they're planning it out thoroughly. I wonder what their total combined loads will weigh.
        Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


        • #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.


          • #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.
            ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 238/552
            Photos & Stuff


            • #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


              • #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.
                Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


                • #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.
                  My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


                  • #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?
                    Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


                    • #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.


                      • #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.



                        • #13
                          Where do the diapers go?


                          • 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.

                          • All Downhill From Here
                            Editing a comment
                            Color me skeptical that every diaper is packed out.

                          • Kitsune_Soba
                            Kitsune_Soba commented
                            Editing a comment
                            In many Asian countries, it is considered normal to use "split pants" rather than diapers. Essentially, you just cut a whole in the crotch/butt area of the pants and the kid goes through the hole, rather than into a diaper. I have to wonder if that would make more sense in this case, you would just need to get a grasp on the kid's "schedule" to make sure that everything stays relatively clean.


                        • #14
                          checking back in on this couple, their last instagram update suggests they passed the 400 mile mark (~18%) 33 days into their trip. they've certainly lasted longer than I'd have bet. but that is still a lot of miles left, with some of the tougher weather, logistics, and terrain of the northeast yet to go.


                          • #15
                            TBH I really don't see the issue with this. The sedentary lifestyle is a relatively recent adaptation in human history. The nomadic lifestyle is the norm for our species. Parents have brought babies on long "hikes" since the beginning of our species, if not well prior to that. Judging by the instagram, it looks as if they are making sure to let her walk around and such, I just hope that they brought reading material for her as one of the most developmentally important things that you can do with a child is to read to them. Many other aspects of modern parenting are overrated, children's brains will naturally grow, you don't need to own plastic blocks in order for your kids to understand the concepts of shapes and colors.

                            To the point that "kids in America don't need to grow up like this," plenty more kids grow up in overcrowded daycares and are neglected by parents working long hours, which is probably much worse. On this trip, she'll have constant attention, plus tactile and sensory information.

                            I just hope that they have the sense to quit if someone gets sick or hurt, or if they find that they get in over their heads, particularly once they make it to the NorthEast. I also don't know their financial situation, but I hope that they have the money to get some indoors time in the event of a prolonged burst of terrible weather.