Gear Shakedown and Trip Report: Backpacking Cheakamus Lake with Toothless

As a low risk hike to test out our gear, various systems and build a routine we hiked up to Cheakamus Lake and camped at Singing Creek Campground. We have done this hike before and it is very accessible and easy – and we thought it would be a good first trip with Toothless.

We planned the hike Monday/Tuesday sometime mid May and made reservations. We only planned to stay overnight.

Day 1

As with our trip to Alice Lake, we drove when Toothless was napping and arrived at around the time he wakes up.

When we arrived at the trailhead there were only a few vehicles parked.

Natasha carried Toothless on the way in. I would carry him on the way out on Day 2.

We started hiking at around 11am and it was uneventful. We saw one family early on hiking out. Then saw nobody else until we reached the lake.

Toothless’s first water crossing!

There were a lot of downed trees after the first campsite. Natasha cleared these quite easily while Toothless slept. She even had to crawl under one!

Once we got to camp, nobody was there so we got to choose our site, do laundry and lounge on the beach.

Toothless standing at camp

Then we spent some time in the tent to relax and let Toothless blow off some steam. We tried putting him down for a nap but Natasha had to carry him in the carrier and walk around to get him to sleep. The problem here was that he had a ZLite with nothing to contain him and he was just too interested in the rest of the tent to nap.

While walking around with him, Natasha got to test out our MYOG down baby wrap blanket. It kept toothless toasty warm!

Dinner was very productive! We had beans and rice and Toothless loved it. The hiking umbrella kept him dry while he ate. Our modified bib (we added velcro as a closure) was really easy to use and held up. It would have been better to have two spoons – we find at home he likes holding a spoon and is reluctant to give it up. So having two spoons lets us trade him his empty spoon for a full one and keeps them from falling on the ground.

Bedtime was challenging. It started raining at dinner and at bedtime it picked up hard and turned to snow and hail. Toothless was stimulated by the rain and hail on the tent, he isn’t very used to sleeping next to us (in fact, being next to us in bed is his morning waking up routine). He barely slept. We ended up taking his sleeping bag off him and co-sleeping with him on our sleeping pad between us partially underneath the quilt. This really is not ideal as it’s not the safest arrangement for sleep. He also liked tugging on the blanket and I didn’t have much blanket to begin with so I was cold most of the night. Ultimately we got very little sleep.

If we need to co-sleep we would need a larger quilt and sleeping pad.

Day 2

The second day went reasonably well for us having very little sleep. We woke, then fell back asleep and basically slept in for an hour. This is not our usual routine but was welcomed.

We then were able to change diapers, pack up sleep system and tent fairly quickly. Natasha fed and changed Toothless and I took down our sleeping pads and packed our sleep systems in our bags. Then I carried Toothless and got the ursack and Natasha took the tent down.

It was my day to carry Toothless so after shuffling between my pack and him, and getting coffee made in my water bottle we headed onto trail.

We moved fairly quickly. It was still raining and I had the umbrella clipped onto my pack to keep us dry. I had to take this off to get around some downed trees but for others I could manage with the umbrella out.

Toothless napped reasonably well, but short. We made good time on the trail and the entire morning was pretty uneventful.

Hiking out you could see the snow stuck to the treetops but the trail was thankfully still clear.

We held off on feeding him breakfast (solids) until we got to the car. This was late morning and honestly a little later than we intend to do on trail – we are planning a late breakfast on the GDT but not this late!

Conclusion

Overall the trip taught us a lot. Toothless is fantastic with hiking and eating – all the awake stuff – but our sleep set up doesn’t work for him. After doing a few more tests at home we confirmed that he doesn’t like sleeping next to us or co-sleeping. I think he’s just confused since he usually sleeps at our feet in his own bed and only comes up to our bed when we are about to start the day

4 thoughts on “Gear Shakedown and Trip Report: Backpacking Cheakamus Lake with Toothless

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