Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Deuter Junior for the Crag-Kiddo (aka a New “Cookie Pack”)


The original cookie pack, circa 2012, at the Red River Gorge.

Does your family ever ascribe unconventional names to everyday items?  We do this ALL. THE. TIME.  Sometimes it’s an abbreviation for an often-used, long word.  Other times the creative moniker is merely a victim of mispronunciation by one of our children that happened to stick (in our household we use “constructions” to put together Legos.)  And because we are creatures of habit, we tend to stick to these nicknames long after the reason it was created has expired.  (Which is why Caleb and Bennett, two of our favorite climbing partners, will forever answer to “Cockie” and “Butt-Butt” even though my 5 year old has been able to say their names correctly for years.)

Big C’s “cookie pack” is another such example of a label that has stuck with us for the long haul.  Back when Big C was just a Little C and first started hiking in by himself, we got him a tiny backpack for him to carry a few toys in (contents usually consisted of plastic bulldozers, a few rocks, and a lot of dirt.)  We christened it the “cookie pack” because it had a giant cookie monster face on the back of it.  But this pack was  cheap, Walmart quality not made to last, and passed away after about a year of use.

I then let him inherit the Speedster 14 running pack I’d received for review (here).  Of course it looked nothing like a cookie, but by then it was too late, the name had stuck.  Whatever Big C carried to the crag was always and forever doomed to be known as “the cookie pack.”  It only seemed strange to me when I caught the sideways glances from other groups at the crag when I told Big C (often repeatedly) that it was “time to pack up your cookie pack” at the end of the day.

Getting ready to head down the Honeymooner Ladders at Endless Wall

Getting ready to head down the Honeymooner Ladders at Endless Wall

And now that he’s getting older, he’s certainly packing in more than just a few bulldozers (although there’s still a fair amount of dirt, and I did dump out a few rocks recently.)  He carries in all of his own food and water, and often a couple of extra layers…and for a while now that poor cookie pack has been busting at the seams!  So when we recently got a chance to upgrade to the Deuter Junior, we jumped on it.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

What Cragmama thinks: 

This pack offers great functionality in a kid-friendly package.  For a small backpack (18 liter capacity, weighing in just shy of a pound,) we sure can stuff a lot in it.  It also seems to be pretty comfy, no doubt thanks to the padding in the back and on the straps.  We load it down pretty heavily, and even on long approaches there are very few complaints (so long as I have an ample supply of “hiking bears.”)  My favorite features are the d-rings and cording that are on the lid.  They are a God-send not only for bulky items like helmets, but also for attaching extra layers on the outside of the pack on those days that start out cold, but end up warm!

What the CragBoy thinks:

First and foremost, he loves that it’s blue.  Secondly, he loves that it has mesh side pockets on the outside just like Mommy and Daddy’s packs.  He also really likes the multiple zip pockets on the outside, as they are perfect for storing little nature trinkets that “need” to be easily accessible.

This pack is designed for kiddos 5 years old and up, and appears to be very well-constructed out of durable fabric, so I’m hoping that it will last him for years to come (and maybe when he finally grows out of it, he can pass it on to his sister!)  There’s a smaller, 8 liter version, that’s intended for 3+ years, which would DEFINITELY have been a better option than the original cookie pack…but then we wouldn’t have adopted the name!

What are your favorite adventure packs for kiddos?  (And do you have names for them, or is our family weird?)

Exploring the fall foliage at the New River Gorge, WV

Exploring the fall foliage at the New River Gorge, WV




2 Responses to “Deuter Junior for the Crag-Kiddo (aka a New “Cookie Pack”)”

  1. Chris W

    A bit off topic for this post Erica, but do you have any tips on getting a toddler to wear a jacket? My 2 year old son hates wearing a coat or jacket. Granted, he runs a bit on the warm side, like me, but it can be 30 degrees with a howling wind and he won’t want to put one on. Sometimes he seems fine, others he will shiver and say he’s cold

    At this time of year when it gets dark so early, I turn on all the outside lights and the barn lights and let the kids play in the backyard and driveway after dinner. Tonight was in the upper 30’s and humid with a little breeze. He was wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt and shivering, so I put his vest on him. He literally screamed and threw a tantrum for the next 30 minutes. After a 5 minute time out for hitting, he settled down enough to play for a little while longer. Then he told me he was cold and let me put his fleece jacket on! Any thoughts or tips?


  2. Erica

    For some reason your comments keep ending up in my spam folder, so sorry about the delayed response. As for the jacket issues, thats a hard one. Two thoughts come to mind – maybe let him pick out a jacket on his own? If its something he chose himself perhaps he’d be nore psyched to wear it. The alternative would be that if he refuses to wear a jacket he cant go outside. When he’s ready to put one on, out he goes. Depending on his personality that could be the ticket…or it could backfire on you. Kids are all so different! Hope that helps.


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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN