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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Canoeing with kids
      CCS rucksack     



08/05/2018 08:36PM  
I am planning on going into the BWCA next year with my 3 kids. Next year they'll be 11, 9 and 7, (boy, girl and girl). I do have two portage packs but they're large and I'd be the only one able to carry them. I was considering getting some packs to acclimate them to portaging as well as giving them the opportunity to chip in. However I don't want to spend a lot on packs they will grow out of in a few years.
I am considering getting a CCS rucksack for the oldest a youth pack for my middle child and letting the youngest carry odds and ends. This way when my oldest graduates to a full sized pack, he can hand down the rucksack down to his sister and she can hand down the youth pack down to her younger sister. The end game being the rucksack still in use, probably as a carry with a canoe, and only the youth pack out of play. Perhaps destined to be used by grand kids some day.
My question being would the rucksack be suitable for a couple short Portages for an 11 year old boy, lightly loaded with the chest strap cinched down? Or would the pack be to large to work for his frame in any way? I understand this is a little subjective but I'm looking for opinions from any of you with experience with the pack.

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08/06/2018 10:36AM  
The rucksack is very versatile.....

We got each of my daughters a rucksack that they started using at age 5 for portaging. They still use them now and my older daughter just did a trip at age 13. Each year I'm able to add more stuff to their pack. At first their pack was very light with just their fun stuff (stuffed animal, coloring stuff, uno, books to read) rain gear, and a couple of other light things. This year my 13 year old carried all of her stuff in her rucksack plus some....... rain gear, water bottle, clothes, camp shoes, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, journal/pens, uno, and some of the camp gear. If you keep it light they can carry the rucksack at an early age and it's a pack that they can continue to use into adulthood.

little duckling at age 5

little duckling at age 7

big duckling at age 9

little duckling at age 9

big duckling at age 11

big duckling at age 13

As you can see in the progression of photos..... the pack doesn't have much in it at age 5 and it gets filled more and more until age 13. On my trip with my 13 year old this year I was able to get so much in her rucksack that we only needed 2 packs for our trip. I carried a ccs guide and she carried the ccs rucksack.

08/06/2018 02:34PM  
I've thought about doing CCS rucksacks for my two daughters 13 & 10. When my oldest expressed interest in carrying a bit more I just reused two of my Granite Gear Solo packs (discontinued) and kept the load around 22lbs. Both did very well on a trip we just finished from Lizz, Caribou, Meeds, Swallow, Pillsbury, Allen, Horseshoe, and back out. This loop had 3 portages of around 100 rods. No complaining from my oldest, and my youngest managed pretty well though the portage from Pillsbury to Allen was fairly difficult for her (she was also hand carrying a couple fish on a stringer). I did try and lighten their load over the days as the food pack started to get lighter/smaller.

They ended up carrying (each):
2 REI camp chairs
Clothing for daughter & parent
Camp sandals daughter & parent
1-2 small books/card games
2 Pillows
2 Rain Gear
Fleece Jackets

The GG Solo was nice as it seemed to fit their torso pretty well, though the hip belt was a bit large. They should be able to carry this load easily in the next year or two.
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08/06/2018 03:03PM  
I used the Kondos Guidepack for my kids when they were the ages that you are bringing with. My youngest was probably 5 when we did our first extended trip, and she wore the guidepack with sleeping pads in it. Still gave her the impression she was carrying her weight on the trip, but wasn't dealing with a heavy pack.
08/07/2018 11:54PM  
Thank you, everyone for the in-depth replies. Very useful information and I think I may just skip the youth pack and get two rucksacks or a rucksack and a bushcrafter perhaps. The most important thing is to get back out there and to make sure the kids enjoy themselves. Someday they can carry my weight.
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