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Geoff Mallinson
(geoffmallo) - MLife
Overland track in Tasmania with 7 year old son on 02/07/2011 04:47:18 MST Print View

Soon I'll be hiking/bushwalking/tramping with my 7 year old son on the overland track in Tasmania, Australia. I've been keen on getting him on a bigger walk for a while to provide a deeper experience and a chance to do something a bit more remarkable together.

We'll be taking 2 weeks and hope to do a bunch of side trips such as climbing cradle mountain and Mt Ossa.

We've set up a site where others such as his class at school can follow along (we'll be carrying a SPOT) and get some information. I'm setting up content to blog while we're on the trail covering a bunch of topics of the walk.

http://geoffmallinson.com/overland-track

For those on Twitter you can follow me @geoffmallo for updates too.

Subscribe by email or RSS if you're interested.

This trip has provided a few interesting gear obstacles.

Firstly remaining as lightweight as possible. We'll be gone for 2 weeks and he'll only be carrying his sleeping bag, mat and food for that day leaving me with all the shared gear and his food for 2 weeks. My last 2 week walk I carried 12kgs including food but this time I'll have about 11kgs of food alone! We dehydrate our own meals and generally it works out to be 420g per person per day. The weather can be variable with blizzards possible in summer so we need to be carrying a bunch of stuff that otherwise could save weight such as the warmth of our sleeping bags

Secondly there isn't a lot of good kids gear available. We've found a few sources, but generally the quality of materials, design and construction is better suited to someone going on a half day walk than a 2 week thru hike in alpine scenery. I have noticed many of the bigger and better brands now have kids lines such as mountain hardware which has been helpful. While there is still room for improvement such as the materials. I haven't found a kids rain jacket in eVent for example.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Overland track in Tasmania with 7 year old son on 02/07/2011 05:22:04 MST Print View

Geoff, you don't say where you're from, but I'll presume Australia. Yes, good kids stuff is hard to find in Oz. That said, I think the view has always been that breathability (in rain gear) is less important for kids - but the real reason is probably cost. But fleece is fleece: my Japanese nephews and nieces have been handing down some Kathmandu fleece we gave them more than 10 years ago, even though there's hectares of the stuff available over there.

If you're serious about it, MontBell does good kids clothes, as do a number of European companies like Jack Wolfskin. Getting them in might be expensive though.

Edit:

But Cabela's is cheap:

http://www.gore-tex.com/remote/Satellite/kids/outerwear/paclite-shell

Edited by Arapiles on 02/07/2011 05:35:43 MST.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
kid's rain gear on 02/15/2012 08:46:21 MST Print View

I got my kid's pants and jackets from Cioch Direct(Scotland, but mailed to me in USA).
They make Paramo gear, more breathable than Event and more supple, which is great for kids. It is warmer though, since it includes the liner. So it might be too warm. They make all kids sizes and custom sizes.

http://www.cioch-direct.co.uk/kids/kids_waterproofs.html

Edited by Tjaard on 02/15/2012 15:03:42 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Overland track in Tasmania with 7 year old son on 02/15/2012 13:54:59 MST Print View

> it works out to be 420g per person per day.
I really don't think that is enough for an adult.

> I haven't found a kids rain jacket in eVent for example.
Don't bother. Get him a poncho to go over him and his pack.

Avoid all cotton/wool clothing, but go for thick wool socks. OK, cotton underpants maybe. Nylon trackies, Kmart fleece - all OK.

Carry a good canister stove: kid needs warm food in bad weather. Get in early to the huts and grab a bunk for the two of you.

I've seen plenty of kids do that trip and enjoy it.

Cheers