Backpacking/Fishing/Gear Testing w/ the Kiddo.

Matt Cashell

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My son, Bitterroot Spike, and I hit the high country for his 8th birthday week celebration last week. We had a great time and were able to do some fishing. We also saw some deer and a goat, but mostly just fished and spent time together. It was great fun, and also a great way to get some gear tested.

Here we are prepared for the hike:



The Kuiu Icon 6000 (2011 model) loaded up with 60 plus pounds of "hero dad" load.



On the trail:



Some close-up work with the Nikon J1;

 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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Beauty around every turn:



Breaking into the alpine:



FISH ON!



Arctic Grayling:



Home sweet home:



Bitterroot Spike said it was the best trip ever, and didn't have any trouble with the 15ish miles of total hiking. The GoLite Shangrila 5 was an excellent family shelter, and supplied excellent bug protection with the full nest. I still think next time the nest will stay home and it will be floorless for us.

My new Hanwag Mountain Lights were exceptional. I simply have never had boots so new perform so well. I think these are winners for sure, and Lathrop and Sons have their stuff together for getting a guy fitted. Bitterroot Spike was rollin' in Columbia low hikers, and was clear that traction was excellent.

The Icon 6000 seems to get a bad wrap on some forums, including Rokslide. There is no doubt that some pack designs fit some folks better than others. They are kind of like boots that way. Without a doubt the Icon fits me very, very well, and I don't just want to ditch it after hard hiking like my other packs. It is holding up just fine for me. I have no strap slippage, no floppy loads, and no pinching belt issues. I am very satisfied with this pack so far. It does occasionally squeek, the hydration port is too small, and there is no webbing for belt accessories.

The Nikon J1 is quickly becoming a favorite. It is compact, easy to use, and has phenomenal results.

Kuiu Attack pants rok.

My REI (Komperdell) poles are suitable, but I am really thinking fliplocks are in my future.

The Sawyer inline filter worked so slick. We pretty much stole Luke and Becca's system, but it works great!

Finally, I also spent a lot of time behind the 20-75 eyepiece of a Zeiss Diascope 85FL. More testing is needed, but so far, it makes things far away look MUCH closer.
 
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2rocky

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So Matt. tell us a little bit about how you introduced spike to hiking into the high country and how you kept it enjoyable. i find my patience tested quite easily these days....
 

Becca

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Sounds like an awesome trip, BB! It looks as if Spike had an awesome time, and even packed a pretty decent load himself from the looks of things. Thanks so much for sharing this, and I am glad to see you getting out there with your son. A birthday week to remember, I am sure!
 

Ryan Avery

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Nice write-up. Bitterroot spike looks like a soon to be elk packer!
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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So Matt. tell us a little bit about how you introduced spike to hiking into the high country and how you kept it enjoyable. i find my patience tested quite easily these days....
It is a carefull balance for sure. His first overnight trip was age 5, it was a short two miles with very little elevation gain, and ... most importantly ... there was easy fishing at the end of the hike. Having a goal successfully met is the key. We increased the difficulty level each year, and we will do the same next year.
 

Kevin Root

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Looks like you both had a nice trip Matt. Sounds like the new gear tested out well too. Hearing, "Best trip ever" from Bitteroot Spike after 15 miles in the high country together was surly one of the highlights of the adventure. That is awesome!
 

dreamingbig

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Looks like an awesome trip. I have a 2.5 year old daughter and I started her off with some car camping trips this year. She loved it. I am hoping to try out the backcountry next fall after the bugs go away for the year. It will be an overnight trip and the forecast needs to call for sun!
 

luke moffat

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Too cool BritterRoot. I think next year our little neice will be big enough to hike into one of our hike in fishing spots and we'll take her along. Thanks for the great pics. Looks like Pops and sons had a ball out there together!!!
 
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Matt Cashell

Matt Cashell

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A big thanks for all the kind words, friends.

Bitterroot Spike wanted me to make sure you all new that we had a bald eagle ("HUGE bald eagle, Dad!") hanging out by our camp and fishing with us.

I can't believe I forgot to mention it ... ;)
 

MOHunter

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Thanks for the write up BB. I really enjoy seeing things like this as I want to be able to introduce my children to the outdoors in a way that they grow to love it like me. It's so good to see a dad actually being a dad. Way to go!
 

cmeier117

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That's awesome My little ones 2 and 1 month and I can't wait to take them out. I plan on starting with walking a couple miles around the house and then take it to longer trail day hikes and hopefully when he is 5 do an overnight trip. Awesome pictures.
 
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