Outdoor Products Backpack for Kids

OutdoorProductsArrowheadWhen I do talks and workshops on backpacking for new Scouts, I put an emphases on making the backpack one of the last buys people should make.

Those just starting off in lightweight backpacking should focus first on other gear, like their sleeping bag, shelter and clothing, then choose a pack that best accommodates their gear choices.

My suggestion is to borrow or rent before buying. However, for a younger boy, you may want to consider a pack I recently discovered. It is inexpensive, plenty big for beginning lightweight enthusiasts and can be purchased at Walmart.

Also found at various online stores, including Amazon.com, this lightweight backpack has all the features any Boy Scout would need for most weekend or week-long backpack trips. The best part is that it is 46 liters, weighs about 1.5 pounds and costs about $35!

The Outdoor Products Arrowhead is a small-framed pack, designed for kids. Some adults have purchased this pack and it simply does not fit most people over the age of 13. Based on the reviews I’ve read, the Arrowhead is a decent piece of gear.

Arrowhead Backpack Reviews>>

To learn more about how to choose a backpack, read my post, Choosing a Backpack.

Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles for Under $30 — Updated

Recently, while at Costco, I came across a killer deal: Costco is selling carbon fiber trekking poles for $27! So I bought a pair, stripped them down (removed the strap, basket, etc.) and weighed each pole in at 7.1 oz. Although they are no longer offered at Costco, they can be purchased on Amazon.com (click here).

If you have any thoughts of using poles for hiking and backpacking, these are a great find and probably worth checking out.

I use trekking poles to help take pressure off my knees on the down hills, makes the uphills easier, helps me balance, especially on tricky trails and stream crossings. They also serve as my tarp/tent poles, monopod for taking photos and is a handy duct tape dispenser. Talk about multipurpose! Here is a review from Andrew Skurka>>

The Sleeping Bag

Mountain Hardware +20 for
under $90 as of 4/3/2013

Of all your new Scout’s backpacking equipment, the sleeping bag will be one of the most important investments. Do your research and shop around online for deals. I suggest the following minimum criteria when looking:

  • Synthetic
  • +20°
  • 3 lbs max total weigh (Not fill weight)

I have found the 20° to be the best all-season rating for Troop 4 base camp outings. I personally own a +20° synthetic bag for base camping.

My preference for backpacking, however, is a goose down 800-fill bag due to its ability to compact down to nearly the size of a Nalgene bottle and it’s weight of 19oz. Down bags come with a higher price tag but they ultimately cost less due to the fact they wear much longer than synthetic.