The Teton Sports Escape 4300 Backpack holds 70 liters, which is enough to hike in the wilderness for a week!
While the main compartment is a top-loading,large opening with a divider for putting smaller items, there are lots of smaller storage areas throughout. It has 2 long, zippered side storage areas where I put my collapsible fishing pole and tackle. I use the large bottom-access storage area for my sleeping bag and a jacket in case the weather changes. In one compartment on the top hood, I keep my toiletries, and in the other I keep my whistle, headlamp, matches, and first aid kit. My favorite compartment is a small zippered pocket in the waist belt because I can have easy access to a granola bar or trail mix while hiking without taking the pack off. Just be sure to empty all these compartments when you come home, or you might think you lost your knife while it is just hiding in your backpack. It has happened to me.
The Teton Escape 4300 backpack is designed long and narrow, just like me. This isn’t a youth backpack, and would be too big for many younger hikers. But I’m very tall for my age, and the torso adjusts from 17-21 inches, so it fits well now, and I should be able to continue to wear it as I grow. I found this pack very comfortable to hike in as I could maneuver around tight spaces without getting hung-up by a bulky backpack. When our scouting group went through a short, very narrow cave, my backpack fit just fine while friends with wider, smaller-volume packs were scraping and pulling their packs to get them through.
Backpacking for Kids
I strongly encourage parents to take older kids backpacking. When backpacking, always carry a water filter and plenty of easy-to-prepare food and don’t sweat the rest. I like short, hard trails, ending at a fun destination like a waterfall or swimming hole. Be sure to fish for a few minutes in ponds, climb to the top of every rock, cut vines to swing, and catch crawfish in the creeks.
Room for anything you want to take with you backpacking for several days
Relatively lightweight for a large pack (4.75 pounds)
A snack pocket on the waist belt
It is green, my favorite color!
The only potential problem with this pack is that there are so many pockets that you can easily forget where you put something. Be organized, and have a plan for where you put each item when you pack!
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The Teton Sports Trailhead +20°F Ultralight Sleeping Bag is much superior to my old similarly priced sleeping bag for one huge reason: the Teton’s zipper never gets stuck. When camping, I usually turn in for the night dead-dog tired and cold. Even though Dad always warns me to zip slowly to not snag the fabric, I always jerk the zipper.
With the old sleeping bag, the zipper would get hopelessly stuck, and Dad would have to fix it while I sat cold and guilty for getting it stuck again. Over the past year I have slept in my new Teton bag on several camping, backpacking, and canoeing trips. The zipper always zooms up, and I begin to feel warm pretty quickly. The Teton’s quality zipper is what makes it stand above others in its price range.
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The Tribe Provisions HydeTech 20 oz Water Bottle I received is amazing. It is a rubber-coated, vacuum-insulated, stainless steel water bottle with a clip. After a campout, I could not find my water bottle. When I found it a day later, the temperature was the exact same as it was when I lost it. The whole time it had been in the ever-changing temperature environment of being lost in our van.
Once while I was trying to unclip my water bottle while running up a hill, I dropped it. It rolled all the way into a ditch and didn’t have a scratch or dent on it. My sister Lisa has a similarly-advertised water bottle of another brand; however, the metal is thinner, and it is already dented.
Another thing I like about it is that it's insulation and coating makes it feel the same even when the bottle contains hot liquid. I’ve had other metal water bottles that burn my hands when I put hot chocolate in them.
I highly recommend the HydeTech 20 oz Water bottle especially to friends who don’t like lukewarm water, need an easily cleanable bottle (for when you forget that you put hot chocolate in it for a few days), and won’t break or leak at all.
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Trent's First Review
This is the first review from our Hiking Forward Jr. Correspondent Trent Vickers. Trent won our Essay Contest earlier this year and the role of Hiking Forward Jr. Correspondent. Trent will be reviewing the gear he won and talking about his summer adventures.
Tribe Provisions Compact Field Stool
Easily attaches to backpack
Easy to get back in the storage bag
Stable to sit in even on uneven ground
The best features of the Tribe Provisions Compact Field Stool are that it is extremely light and small while being surprisingly stable. In fact, my older brother Luke taunted me that he was sure it would collapse under my weight. It is so small that it looked more like my preschool sister’s chair than anything I’d be able to sit in.
I gingerly sat in it around the house a few times. I took it fishing and found it to be the perfect size for balancing on a small, flat rock right near the spillway. Since it has no constricting back to it, I could even cast straight from my stool. With still no falls or wear or tear on any part of it, I used it on a scouting campout. At about ten o'clock we were sitting by the fire and found ourselves surrounded by darkness. The only things I could see were my friends, my stool, and the fire. The ground there was very hard, and I was very comfortable in my stool.
I’ve grown to trust the stool, and I can easily carry it anywhere. Prior to this point, I’ve never taken any seat backpacking. With my stool weighing a weightless 12.2oz., I will take it with me next time I go as it will provide a lot more comfort. That is, if my mom hasn’t stolen it again to use while watching my younger siblings play soccer.
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