Backpacker Radio #209 | The Daley Family on Thru-Hiking with Three Young Kids: Motivation, Gear, Meltdowns, and More
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by the Daley Family. Marketa and David Daley have been avid backpackers for many years, and have not let the addition of their three kids Sequoia (age 6), Joshua (age 4), and Standa (age 3) slow them down in the slightest. Their recent treks include thru-hikes of the Tahoe Rim Trail, 1,300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, and 250 miles of the Appalachian Trail this year. Although we’ve interviewed thru-hiking families in the past, we cover some new ground here, including managing breastfeeding while backpacking, an honest portrayal of the challenges that come along with backpacking with three young kids and how that gets more challenging as the family grows, the events that are most likely to trigger meltdowns, dealing with critiques from the online community, and why they still wouldn’t have it any other way. This is an insightful chat for anyone who’s curious what it’s like to backpack with multiple youngsters.
We wrap the show with a story of a woman who was bitten by a black bear on the Appalachian Trail, the triple crown of backpacking-specific compliments, and an impromptu interview with a Patreon Chuck Norris Award Winner about backpacking on the Centennial Trail.
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Interview with Marketa and David Daley
Time stamps & Questions
00:02:48 – QOTD: Rank who gets the most excited when a pregnancy is announced
00:07:25 – Support us on Patreon to get bonus content!
00:11:20 – The TrovaTrip is happening!
00:13:30 – Introducing the Daley family
00:14:33 – What are everyone’s trail names?
00:16:22 – How did you two get into backpacking?
00:18:19 – Where did you move to America from?
00:20:31 – What was it like growing up in a PCT town?
00:22:22 – How did you both get into trail work?
00:23:14 – What was your thought process when you first got pregnant with Sequoia?
00:24:18 – What is the toughest age of kid to backpack with?
00:25:23 – We Love Love: tell us more about how you met and fell in love
00:31:00 – Was Sequoia a surprise?
00:32:03 – Walk us through the evolution from not wanting kids to having 3 of them
00:34:22 – Have all three of the kids adapted to the outdoors easily?
00:35:56 – At what point did the prospect of a long backpacking trip become feasible?
00:37:41 – What is it like to adopt a child and did backpacking play a role?
00:40:00 – How did Sequoia adapt to gaining a sibling?
00:42:40 – What was the main difference between backpacking with one kid versus two?
00:43:40 – Tell us about water crossings with kids
00:45:45 – Tell us about the Tahoe Rim Trail
00:47:40 – What does your backpacking schedule look like?
00:48:56 – How has hiking with kids changed your relationship with each other?
00:50:25 – Does any part of you feel like you’re sacrificing the way you want to hike?
00:52:31 – How do you gauge whether your kids are enjoying the hiking or not?
00:55:18 – Relative to their peers, what attributes do you think your kids have gained?
00:56:35 – Have you ever freaked out on trail about the kids?
00:58:02 – Tell us about breastfeeding and food on trail
01:00:30 – Tell us about hiking the PCT in 2022
01:03:00 – What is your gear setup?
01:04:50 – How did you ration water?
01:06:29 – Are the kids comfortable with night hiking?
01:07:28 – How do you prepare kids for dealing with rattlesnakes?
01:09:17 – At what age did you feel like you can cohesively communicate dangers to them?
01:10:22 – Tell us your best kid poop stories
01:12:32 – Is there a common meltdown trigger, and how do you deal with them?
01:15:40 – Tell us about your experiment on the last day of the AT
01:17:52 – What caused you to get off the AT?
01:20:25 – What has the feedback been on social media versus in real life?
01:25:37 – What’s the most common question you get?
01:28:22 – Do you feel pressure to set records as a hiking family?
01:30:00 – Would say either the PCT or AT is more kid friendly?
01:31:06 – How do you handle the threat of ticks on the AT?
01:32:00 – What’s next?
01:33:19 – Is there a non-obvious question related to kids hiking that we haven’t asked?
Chuck Norris Award Winner Interview
Triple Crown of backpacking-specific compliments
5 Star Review
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A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Alex & Misty with Navigators Crafting, Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Austin Ford, Brad & Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Brent Stenberg, Christopher Marshburn, Coach from Marion Outdoors, Dayne, Derek Koch, DoGoodPantry, Erik Hofmann, Greg McDaniel, Liz Seger, Matt Soukup, Mike Poisel, Morgan Luke, Patrick Cianciolo, Sawyer Products, Timothy Hahn, and Tracy “Trigger” Fawns.
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