The Backpacking Dad Prequel

So, looking through some old pictures I found what I believe to be the very first version of Backpacking Dad. It’s like an origin story in a summer blockbuster based on a superhero comic but with more straps and fewer explosions.

So, from August, 2007:


That was the first and only time I wore the harness. I think it’s a Snugli. I felt ridiculous; I felt like Erin felt ridiculous and uncomfortable and she couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t get to her easily or even carry anything else except for her.

So I upgraded to the Deuter Kangakids:


We lasted quite a while in that pack, and it was easy for Erin to sleep in. But what that model didn’t have going for it was a high strap load limit. I think Deuter has increased it since the model I bought, but at the time I just went with a different pack: a Kelty Kid Carrier.



I carried Erin in the Kelty until the summer of 2009, so nearly two years after I first strapped her to my back. She was getting pretty heavy toward the end, though, and very tall.

In the almost year that’s followed Adrian has gone from the Deuter


(still my preferred pack, especially for younger babies because it’s easier to sleep in it without the head lolling all the way out the side) to the Kelty just as his sister did before him.


And Erin has gone from being carried around the zoo to doing four-hour hikes on her own two feet.

Really, although Backpacking Dad had a prequel, he is in his entirety just a prequel to “Erin and Adrian: The World’s Cutest Hikers”. You know that 13 year old who just climbed Everest or something? Well, not to be outdone, Erin’s going to Mars, and Adrian’s going to the center of the Earth.

And that’s just in the first movie. The sequel will have a Burns-mobile that jumps mountains.

10 thoughts on “The Backpacking Dad Prequel”

  1. I never understood the true practicality of kid backpacks. And now I get it. You don't take them out! I can already visualize the savings on baby proofing, cribs, high chairs and all the other peripherals. This parenting thing. I'm improving daily.

    1. Hell, they're both in backpacks hanging in the garage right now. I toss a

      cheese stick in every now and then and watch them have a swing fight over


  2. I have been looking for a new carrier for my 15 month old daughter. She's 22lb's and 33" long right now. Would you prefer the Kelty if so which one? I really really need to make a decision before I leave to Colorado in a month. this weekend i'm wanting to go to REI to try on a few but I've yet to find anyone that has tried both the Kelty and the Deuter. Thanks! :)

    1. I don't know about the most recent Deuter, but Erin was definitely straining against the shoulder straps of the older model I have at 15 months, which is when I switched. I don't like the hard plastic bottom plate on the Kelty because I feel like it bothers longer-legged kids, but it is more forgiving for tall kids.

      1. I went ahead and bought the Kelty FC3.0 which is the framed carrier. It just seemed to distribute the weight a little better than the one that didn't have the frame. Plus I can sit her down and if she doesnt move around too much she won't fall over. and she kept trying to stand up in the TC when I tried it on over at REI. It should be here (ordered it from Amazon for $189) this week and I hope we have lot's of fun with it :)

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