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Family Camping & Climbing in the Pinnacles

Family Camping & Climbing in the Pinnacles

by SHRED DOG Editor September 19, 2018 0 Comments

When the American Alpine Club announced that they had reserved some campsites for members at Pinnacles National Park in early May, 2017, we jumped on it. School was still in session, but it was time to start spending some quality time outdoors with my two boys.

Pinnacles is about a 4-hour drive from our home in San Francisco – nearly as far as Yosemite. The towering rock walls are not always solid, and poison oak is abundant. But it’s full of family-friendly adventures: easy camping, great hikes, rock climbing, cave exploring, swimming holes, and truly unique wildlife viewing opportunities. 

Pinnacles National Park viewWe arrived in the late afternoon and everyone pitched in to help set up camp. The boys settled right in and quickly formed a pack of explorers with the other kids, looking for beetles, sneaking up on bunnies, and finding the perfect marshmallow roasting sticks. After an easy pasta meal and a lovely campfire (with s’mores, of course), we went to bed early to get ready for the big day ahead.

Boys on a Hike at Pinnacles National ParkAfter a quick breakfast, we jumped on the shuttle bus that you can take to the Bear Gulch trailhead, and we headed up the trail. It started off easy enough, but quickly started gaining altitude. Luckily, we had three tricks up our sleeves to keep the boys’ motivation high: lots of distractions (birds, insects, reptiles, running water, sticks, rocks, etc); copious snacks and treats; and the promise of a really cool cave to discover, a lake to play in, and some rock walls to climb at the top!

boys entering cave at Pinnacles NPDespite all that, the 3 miles uphill were still a challenge, and the cave came just in time. The boys flicked on their headlamps and charged in, navigating their way through tight squeezes, large chambers in absolute darkness, roaring waterfalls, and some tricky stairways. The boys absolutely loved exploring the cave.

boys exiting cave in PinnaclesEventually, we emerged back into the daylight. Almost to the summit and the promise of Bear Gulch Reservoir!

boy and woman wading in bear gulch reservoirAt the summit and reservoir, the temperature had dropped quite a bit so a swim was out of the question... but it sure felt good to cool our feet in the chilly water!

kid on summit of bear gulch hike in pinnaclesAfter that, we found a great perch high on the cliffs where we could enjoy lunch with an amazing view of the Pinnacles.

kid roped up for a climb in pinnacles national parkOnce our lunch break was over, it was time to continue our adventures! We found a suitable climbing wall for the boys, set up a rope, and got everyone geared up. In the end, the climb proved a bit too intimidating for the boys on that particular day, and we didn’t push it – we all have days like that, and we still had a big return hike ahead of us.

boys at campsite in pinnacles national parkWhen we finally made it back to our campsite, everyone was pretty exhausted. But our steak dinners seemed to hit the spot, and the AAC had a big campfire planned. There was no way that the boys were going to miss that! Loads of s’mores, endless stories, finding connections and making new friends. The boys may not have really climbed much that day, but they felt like real climbers around this campfire.

Many thanks to the AAC for hosting this fun event and to our National Parks for giving us space to live, grow, and dream big.

 ________________

This Family Adventure was contributed by Mike Kavanaugh from San Francisco, CA. You can check out more of his family's outdoor adventures (not to mention his great photography) by following him on Instagram @m.kav.

 

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Size Guides

SHRED DOG size guides are based on body size not garment measurements. Please note that all SHRED DOG products are designed to layer, therefore each product is cut and sized to accommodate the appropriate layers underneath it. 

In general, we have found that one size larger than the child's age is typically what most families choose to allow more room for growth. But to be sure, it is always best to measure.

Measuring Tips

To get the best fitting products please take a few minutes to measure your kid following these simple steps. For all measuring use a flexible tape.

  1. Chest - Measure horizontally across the fullest area of the chest
  2. Waist - Measure horizontally around the narrowest part of the waist, (which is about 2 inches above the belly button)
  3. Hip - With feet together measure around the fullest point of the hip,  keeping the tape measure horizontal 
  4. Inseam - Without shoes on, measure from front crotch straight down to the floor and reduce 1/2" 
  5. Height - Measure from floor straight up to the top of the head
  6. Sleeve Length - Measure from center back across shoulder point and down the arm to the wrist 

 

Girls Insulator and Outerwear Products

All Measurements are in inches.

 SIZE 4 5 6 S (8) M (10) L (12) XL (14)
CHEST 22 - 23 23 - 24 24 - 25.5 26 - 27.5 28 - 30 30.5 - 32.5 33 - 34.5
SLEEVE LENGTH
21
22
23 - 24
25 - 26
27 - 28
29 - 30
30 - 31
WAIST 21.5 22 22.5 - 23 23 - 24 24.5 - 26 26.5 - 28 28.5 - 29.5
HIP 22 23 23 - 24 24 - 27.5 28 - 29.5 30 - 31.5 32 - 33.5
INSEAM 17.5 - 18 18.5 - 19 20 - 22 22.5 - 24.5 27.5 - 28.5 29 - 30 30 - 31.5
HEIGHT RANGE 41 - 42 43 - 46 46.5 - 49.5 50 - 53.5 54 - 57.5 58 - 62 62.5 - 65

 

  Girls Seamless Baselayers

All Measurements are in inches.

 SIZE S (4 - 6) M (8 - 10) L (12 - 14)
CHEST 22 - 25.5 26 - 30 30.5 - 34.5
SLEEVE LENGTH
21 - 24
25 - 28
29 - 31
WAIST 21.5 - 23 23 - 26 26.5 - 29.5
HIP 22 - 24 24 - 29.5

30 - 33.5

INSEAM 17.5 - 22 22.5 - 28.5 29 - 31.5
HEIGHT RANGE 41 - 49.5 50 - 57.5 58 - 65

 

Boys Insulator and Outerwear Products

All Measurements are in inches.

SIZE 4 5 6 S (8) M (10) L (12) XL (14)
CHEST 22 - 23 23 - 24 24 - 25.5 25.5 - 27 27.5 - 29.5 30 - 32 32.5 - 34
SLEEVE LENGTH
21 22 23 - 24 25 - 26 27 - 28 29 - 30 30 - 31
WAIST 21.5 22 22.5 - 23 23.5 - 24.5 25 - 26.5 27 - 28.5 29 - 30
HIP 22 23 23 - 24 24 - 27.5 27.5 - 29 29.5 - 31 31.5 - 33
INSEAM 17.5 - 18 18.5 - 19 20 - 22 22.5 - 24.5 25.5 - 27 27.5 - 28.5 29 - 30
 HEIGHT RANGE 41 - 42 43 - 46 46.5 - 49.5 50 - 53.5 54 - 57.5 58 - 62 62.5 - 65

   

Boys Seamless Baselayers

All Measurements are in inches.

SIZE S M L
CHEST 22 - 25.5 25.5 - 29.5 30 - 34
SLEEVE LENGTH
21 - 24 25 - 28 29 - 31
WAIST 21.5 - 23 23.5 - 26.5 27 - 30
HIP 22 - 24 24 - 29 29.5 - 33
INSEAM 17.5 - 22 22.5 - 27 27.5 - 30
HEIGHT RANGE 41 - 49.5 50 - 57.5 58 - 65

 

Boys & Girls Socks

Sock Size S M L
 Average Age 4 - 7 years 5 - 10 years 10+ years
Shoe Size (US) 9 - 12 12 - 3 3 - 7

 

 

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