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 🙂