How to Backpack with a Daughter

Glacier Peak Wilderness
Campsite – Glacier Peak Wilderness ~ artist Bryn Rosander aka Stealthy (artwork presented as a birthday gift)

It has been almost 2 months since completing the entire Pacific Crest Trail. My daughter, Stealthy and I managed to successfully partner up for 518 miles trekking through the state of Washington.

In 2013, I hiked through the states of Colorado and Wyoming on the Continental Divide Trail with my son, Silly Chili. I feel very blessed and honored to have shared precious trail time with two of my adult children. Many lessons were learned, beauty enjoyed, hardships shared, and triumphs celebrated. Reflecting back, hiking with my son required a different skill set on my part, than hiking with my daughter. I wrote about my reflections and tips in “How to Backpack with a Son”. For that difference, I am thankful. Each experience is very unique and made me stretch and grow.

Along the way Stealthy and I found rhythm and routine. Here are a few tips:

Tips for a successful hike:

  1. Embrace meal planning, preparation, and food choices before the hike.
  2. Communicate personal and physical needs, boundaries, and respect them.
  3. Know how to read a map and agree before the day begins possible break and lunch spots. Also, evaluate the map for the upcoming day’s elevation gains, losses and locations of reliable water sources. Establishing mileage goals is helpful.
  4. Agree on start time of each day. Be willing to change and be flexible depending on weather, temperature, and resupply locations.
  5. Both carry lightweight gear and comfortable packs.
  6. Know how to use each piece of gear and share camp duties.
  7. Treat yourselves to ice cream, soft clean beds, and lots of great food at resupply towns.
  8. Enjoy, laugh, and have fun.


  1. I love the drawing! And, excellent tips!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Ah thank you. I am going to have it framed to keep it nice. Funny how these tips were so different than hiking with a male.

  2. Great topic and great art! So cool! My daughter is now “Paintbrush” as she loves art and loves the Paintbrush flower up here in Oregon. Such a great experience. (I’m catching up on old posts due to being tardy in moving over to your new site. 😀)


    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      I hope she has a nature journal to express art and nature together! Those journals become such keepsakes. Ya, this new site…It has been a long process. I’ll bet there are a lot of readers that have my site in a reader and the website address changed from to Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  3. If you happen to get anywhere near the Hike Inn (, you need to contact me. I will glad for you and a friend to be my guest there, assuming there is room. Let me know if you are interested, and I will try to make it happen. Glad you like THRU. It was a finalist in the Georgia Author of the Year Awards, and all proceeds go to the Appalachian Trail Museum.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      You just might be hearing from me in the next couple of years. Is the Hike Inn open during Thanksgiving week? Hoping to visit my son in Nashville during that time.

  4. I also love the drawing! Really awsome. Seems like the tent in the drawing is a ZPacks Triplex, unlike the tent mentioned in the gearlist.


    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Thank you Marla. The tent is the ZPacks Duplex. I use the Duplex and LOVE IT, whenever I need a tent for 2. You are so right. Great idea adding a Gear List for when I am not hiking solo.

      • We also wanted a Duplex and just when we wanted to order, there was theTriplex! For the two of us, that’s a palace! When on my own I love my Hexanet with Hexamid tarp.

  5. I too love that little work of art at the top of this blog post (Go!Bryn!Go!). Just perfect. Wish I was there now. -And I love the eight tips. Good for anybody all the time! (and I know that for some of you that they are just a reminder; not me, I need all the help I can get). And there you have it, Rockin’ equipin’ the hiking community!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      You are so right. Compromise and communication are huge tips for hiking with anyone: friend, family, or new acquaintance. If not things go south quickly. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. The drawing is priceless! I backpack with my son, who is now 9, and this summer was the first time our entire family could go (my daughter is 7). It was just a single overnight, but was very successful. We look forward to these each year. We won;t be able to backpack much, given all of our other yearly vacation requirements, but the night or two we do take is invaluable. I’m glad that you get so much time to do this with your kids. That, too, is priceless!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Thank you for sharing. It takes a lot of planning and cheering on to have successful trips with small children. Good for you. You are creating memories for a lifetime.

      The first overnight with my kids, they were 6 and 8. We did short trips for years that were just perfect.

      Happy hiking!

  7. Georgette Theotig

    Nice drawing, Brynn! What a wonderful way to record your backpack together this summer. I hope to see more of Stealthy’s work in the future.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      I was so touched and emotional by her very special birthday gift. I really had no idea she could draw like that. The drawing is from a photo I took of our very favorite camp spot in Washington.

      My dream is to someday feature you as the artist on a blog post. How about next week? I am not kidding. Readers would be so blessed by your artwork. You can do it.

  8. Lady: My kids independently thru-hiked the AT, probably in part because they listened to my years of droning on about the wonders of my 1973 thru-hike. Tomorrow, Laura (Steady) and I fly to Ireland for two weeks of hiking. My son (Optimus Prime) and I enjoy hiking as well. If someone asked what my greatest gift in life is, well, it might just be these two kids and their love for the things I love. Hope you get a chance to read my novel, THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story, which is a manifestation of my love for long-distance hiking. By the way, I love Stealthy’s art.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Ireland? Wow! Have a most fantastic trip with wild pitches and wind at your back. How exciting is that?

      I have loved reading your book “THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story” and following your very different, unique, and entertaining Bly Gap Gang. I am reading slowly because I don’t want the story to end. My son moved to Nashville this year and our family is visiting him over Thanksgiving week. One of my plans is to set foot on the Appalachian Trail. Is the Len Foote Hike Inn open that late in the year? Sure appreciate your words of support. So does Stealthy.

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