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Ten-year-old Ellie Davis

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January 2020 Issue

Ten-year-old Ellie Davis and her family have rented their home and taken a year out to travel New Zealand in their caravan. They are on a mission to explore as many tramps and bike rides as possible.

Ellie has been collecting the DOC Kiwi Guardianship Medals on her trips and has walked the Abel Tasman and Heaphy Track Great Walks. Soon, she’s walking the Kepler and heading to Stewart Island.

“My favourite things about tramping are walking in nature, seeing all the different birds, and roasting marshmallows,” says Ellie.

My pack is a Macpac Torlesse 30 Junior. This is a supportive and adjustable pack for kids. It comes with a rain cover and has external mesh pockets. We line this with a classy rubbish bag and have an emergency whistle permanently attached.

I have a Domex synthetic sleeping bag rated for zero degrees. It is bulky and weighs 1400g but does the job. My $2 inflatable pillow is great as I often wear my puffer jacket when sleeping and I like a thick pillow.

Wet weather
I use a Tuffbak PVC raincoat and pants which my mum says is hands down our best investment. They are light and totally waterproof.

I get the honour of carrying the bulky light stuff that doesn’t fit in my mum’s pack. I usually carry the rice crackers and marshmallows along with my collapsible drink bottle.

My OzTrail USB-rechargeable head torch has multiple lighting options and long battery life. It tilts down so I don’t blind people and is pretty much unbreakable.

A pen and a few pieces of paper have a thousand uses. Playing Cards and a plastic travel crib board. If it’s a quiet hut, the ping pong or bouncy balls may come, too

A change of undies and merino socks, pants, top and beanie. This is my sleepwear and the next day’s outfit. I also have an additional thin fleece and thermal top either being worn or in my pack. I wear a quick dry t-shirt and thermal pants with shorts over the top. When it gets cold, I wear my Kathmandu 550 hooded down jacket.

I wear Hi-Tec waterproof boots. These are affordable and have a removable additional innersole to accommodate my growing feet. I wear light slides at the hut because these are easier to get on and off than my boots.