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October 2017 Issue
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Packing for an overnighter with the kids

Sadie and Dan carrying their own packs onto tramp. Photo: Megann Drive
Packing for yourself is no problem, but what about the kids? Megann Drive shares her kit list for her two young children.

You’ve put in the hard yards, your children have succeeded on short walks, carrying their own gear and persisting, even when they are tired. You’ve become versed in telling stories, singing songs, and staying positive in the wake of whinging. Now you’re ready to tackle your first overnight family tramp. It’s just a matter of getting packed.

If only it were so simple. It doesn’t matter how long the trip, packing and preparation tends to take me at least five hours. There is the matter of gathering all the gear and supplies, planning and shopping for meals and snacks, and packing these in such a way that they are convenient to access, protected from damage, and waste is minimised.

Lastly, there is the double check. Even, and perhaps especially, experienced trampers forget things (I’ve forgotten toilet paper and on a recent trip with the kids, we only realised our camping stove was broken once we reached the hut).

I took my two children, Dan (6) and Sadie (4) on a two-night tramp. Here’s what we took and how we carried it.

The kids each carried:

Sadie’s gear weighed just 2.04kg. Photo: Meg Drive

  • Puffer jacket
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Hat
  • Mittens
  • Headlamp
  • Matches
  • Plasters
  • Pocket-knife
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Full set of spare clothing (top, bottoms, undies, socks)
  • A fuzzy friend or a special book

Sadie’s pack weight: 2.04kg

Dan’s pack weight: 2.81kg

I carried:

Among the gear carried by mum is three sleeping bags. Photo: Meg Drive

  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Puffer jacket
  • Sleeping bags x 3
  • Pots
  • Stove and fuel
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Board games
  • E-book stocked with bedtime stories
  • Spare adult clothing: Top, bottoms, undies, socks
  • Additional kids clothing: Slippers, socks, merino layers, undies
  • Headlamp and spare batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Matches
  • Phone
  • Wallet
  • Camera
  • Map
  • Hut passes
  • Pen
  • Breakfast – e.g. Pancakes and maple syrup, green tea
  • Lunch – e.g. peanut butter and honey sandwiches
  • Dinner – e.g. cans of beans and corn chips
  • Snacks and desserts – e.g. apples, muesli bars, marshmallows, veggie sticks, peppermint tea
  • Dehydrated meal for emergency use

My pack weight: 15.62kg