Life changes once you’ve had kids. Along with everything else, getting away for a night in the hills takes a lot more effort. No longer can you check the weather forecast on Friday lunchtime, grab some food from the supermarket, chuck your gear into your pack, and head away for the weekend. All of a sudden you have to think about who else will be in the hut, how bad the sandflies will be, and how many nappies you’re going to take. BUT you still want to go. Not just want, you need to go. To get away into the hills, to feel like your pre-children self. AND as much as you’d love to do a multi-day transalpine mission, you don’t want to leave the kids behind. You actually want them to come along so they can experience what you did as a child, or what you wished you had. To see them splashing in a stream, snuggled up on a bunk bed, or helping light the fire. But where to go?
When we started taking our first daughter tramping, we found that the biggest challenge was knowing where the best hut/place would be to go. With little people, huts are no longer just a space to shelter from the storm, with a mattress and a fire, that you can take or leave. Rat-infested hovels are not good, sandfly screens that don’t work aren’t ideal, open fire places in the middle of winter are best avoided. Tramping can be so much harder with kids, especially when they’re really young, so you want to make it as enjoyable as possible. And in our opinion, enjoyment level is highly correlated to appropriate destination. But we found it hard to get hold of this information. There were the usual guides and websites but none of them were specifically for tramping with children. The information was probably there but it took a lot of time to sort through – another hurdle in the way. Maybe it was because the places that you’re likely to go with kids are the places that you’d previously walked past on your way to somewhere bigger or more challenging. But now with kids, those places are probably great but you can’t remember them.
After a particularly enjoyable tramp to an excellent kid-friendly hut, my husband suggested I write a book. I discussed this with like-minded friends and many agreed that there was a distinct gap in the market. And thus this website was born. Somewhere parents (/grandparents/uncles/aunties…) could go to get ideas for overnight tramping trips with children, with (hopefully) easily accessible, relevant information. To make one less challenge for getting those little legs out and enjoying this amazing outdoor environment that we’re blessed with.
NB: This website is aimed at those wanting to get their kids, especially little kids (or ones without much experience) out to fun, enjoyable tramping experiences. Not too far from the road, reasonably safe tracks, …. So if you’ve already taken your 2 year old on a three week ridge-top bivvy mission, then you probably don’t need this website 🙂
5 thoughts on “Background”
This is a great idea, I love tramping and Definetly think that kids should enjoy it as much as I did when a kids. I’m yet to become a mother but I will make sure when I do, a front pack, back pack etc is the top of my list
This is a fantastic idea. I am wanting to take my 3.75 y/o son on his first overnight tramp to a hut and found your Daly’s hut write up helpful – we’ll see how it goes as he is now too heavy to carry. Hope more people find this and add to the info.
Hey Matt, how did you go? Got to try to find out 🙂 Hopefully enjoyable for some of it! Feel free to comment on your experience and share the website around. Thanks, Jo
It was a great trip. We had a range of kids from 9 to mine as the youngest at just under 4. we walked it as a loop staying the night at the hut. It basically took double the posted walking times including lunch and all the many other breaks (around 3-4 hours total from memory). We were all surprised how well the kids handled the walking – none of them were carried at all (not that it was an option!). They loved the hut complete with paddling in the stream down the track, marshmellows toasted over the camp fire and poking some dead possums which had been caught by enthusiastic Dads in the night. The walk in was by the river which is the better formed track. The second day we decided to complete the loop which went well but it is slightly longer and the track not as well formed for little feet with a lot more roots. Overall a great experience and achieved the aim of my son wanting to do another one! I would consider it in winter (with dry weather) but there is no fire in the hut which rules it out in my book for kids.
Sounds great Matt! Paddling in streams and marshmallows are definitely favourites of our trips too 🙂 I might try to copy this to Daly’s Hut page if that’s ok? Have fun out there, Jo