How To Choose A Child Carrier

October 12, 2014 in Gear, Tips and Tricks by Matthias

This article contains everything you need to know to choose the best child carrier for outdoor activities, especially for hiking trips; both for front or back carrying, and for children of any age.

Things are different outdoors than they are at home. If you want to learn how to use your child carrier in the outdoors in smart and trail tested ways that are safe for your child and energy saving for you, you should definitely download your free copy of my comprehensive e-book The Ultimate Outdoor Child Carrier Manual.

If you are planning to buy a carrier to take your child on hiking trips with you, you might have noticed already that there is a mind boggling amount of different child carriers available today. Looking at the many options, you may feel like you just got parachuted into the middle of an unknown jungle, and now need to find your way out on your own.



It can be tempting to just buy the next best carrier that looks nice and shiny, to pick the model that a friend of yours also uses, or to default to one that’s made by your favourite backpack manufacturer, only to get this decision over and done with. My advice is: Don’t. Instead of overactively storming off into some random direction Read the rest of this entry →

The Inner Wild Frontier

September 27, 2014 in Tips and Tricks by Matthias

“There is no before or after. The intellect doesn’t drive you anymore. It doesn’t exist anymore. You become what nature needs you to be: this wild thing.

Sarah Marquis

A quote from Sarah Marquis, an incredible woman doing incredible things with her life. Humbling, inspiring, wow. Thanks Sarah for exploring the inner wild side, and for sharing.

You can read more about Sarah’s very unusual hiking life here.

Buy Extra Muscles To Carry Your Child

June 11, 2014 in Gear, Tips and Tricks by Matthias

There are heaps of articles and forum discussions all over the outdoorsy part of the internet that revolve around the question of what the “best” piece of equipment is. Of course, the only true answer to that question is usually that it depends on what exactly you want the particular gear to do for you, and many other factors. There is no such thing as the “best” tent, camp mat, stove, and even child carrier – although there are some that are just better than others, no doubt.

Every now and again however, a product comes along that completely transforms a category of equipment into something that is so different from what everyone knew until then that the product in question plays in its own league without any competition.

Exactly that is about to happen in the world of child carriers Read the rest of this entry →

Toddler Adventures

April 11, 2014 in Strategy, Tips and Tricks by Matthias

Just found the time to pull out another short video clip from my archives for you – of Loki keeping busy with a few rocks during a rainy morning in the higher parts of the Routeburn area, while the so-called grownups are packing up camp in the background.



The Jet Pack Child Carrier

April 10, 2014 in Gear, Tips and Tricks by Matthias

All right, the headline of this post may be a teeny tiny bit exaggerated, but if you try this yourself, you will understand why I call this little do-it-yourself modification the jet pack child carrier!

There are many child carriers on the market, and after five years of serious hiking with babies and children and testing quite a few of them, I can honestly say that way too many are actually useless for real outdoor trips – some are even outright dangerous – and even the best Read the rest of this entry →

Five Years, Sixteen Miles: An Epic Three Day Trip

March 25, 2014 in Gear, Strategy, Tips and Tricks, Trips by Matthias

Today I have decided to finally take the time and do a write-up of our epic three day trip that, interestingly, resulted from Loki telling me that he doesn’t like our hiking trips anymore. Sometimes, more is better!

So here is how it went:

Together with a few other families, we had planned a day walk for the Saturday from the Kaituna Valley side to Pack Horse Hut. After Loki and I had decided that we were going to do a three day trip that same weekend, we had a good look at the map and did our best to find a way to combine those two walks, so we would still be able to walk with our friends on the middle day as part of our larger trip.

We came up with a pretty interesting route that, on Friday, would lead us to a nice and sheltered camp spot near the car park where we were going to meet the others on Saturday morning. Then we would walk up to Pack Horse Hut together with them on Saturday, spend a few hours hanging out around the hut, and later in the afternoon part ways with the group and continue along our way towards Mt Bradley and Mt Herbert. We would spend the second night camping in one of several suitable camp spots in that area, and on the third day, walk down to Diamond Harbour and take the ferry to Lyttelton, and from there drive back home to Christchurch.

Both the first and especially the third day were definitely going to be some of the biggest walking that Loki had ever done, and I pointed that out to Loki many times. He had explicitly requested this big trip, but I wanted to make sure he really knew what he was getting himself into. He made it clear that he knew it was going to be a challenge, but was keen to do it anyway, and on top of that decided tha
t he wanted to walk across both Mt Bradley and Mt Herbert on the third day, as well as put in a stint of real bush bashing on the first day. Finally, he was really looking forward to spending some time at the beloved Pack Horse Hut again, as well as Read the rest of this entry →

Wild Weather Walks: Rain Training With Your Children

March 7, 2014 in Strategy, Tips and Tricks by Matthias

Living in New Zealand always holds the possibility for some sudden adventure knocking on your door.

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last few years, you have most likely heard of mother earth’s antics here in Christchurch in the form of earthquakes that have shaken things up more than just a little, but the city is well under way into a new future, with the rebuild going at full throttle, and it’s a very interesting place to live and whitness half a city being built as fast as a time lapse film.

More recently, you may also have heard that we had the most severe rainfall here since some time in the seventies a few days ago. Lots of damage, heaps of main roads entirely unpassable – some even for four wheel drives, which are becoming increasingly more popular here, wonder why – and life coming to a near stand still for a day or so.

A few kayakers who used the opportunity to go for a paddle in what normally are streets reminded me of something we have done a few times in the past, and I thought it’s worth sharing with you!

Next time you are sitting at home while the weather really does not play nice, my suggestion would be Read the rest of this entry →

The Trailbabies Network is now on Youtube!

February 16, 2014 in Coaching, Gear, Strategy, Tips and Tricks, Trips by Matthias

You may have stumbled upon it already over at Youtube while looking for more information about hiking with children, but just in case you haven’t, I want to make sure that you know about the Trailbabies Network’s brand new Youtube channel.

There is only a handful of videos there right now, but I think you will enjoy them, it’s really worth to hop over there and check them out.

It will take me some time to work through my video archives, pick the best clips for you, and then upload them to Youtube, but I have made a start. See it as an “easter egg” type thing; there will be a new video at the Youtube channel probably every week or so.

If you have any video clips that you would like to add, let me know!

Enjoy the videos!


To new horizons…

January 15, 2014 in Tips and Tricks by Matthias

When you are reading this, I have decided that the Trailbabies Network is ready to be unleashed on the whole wide world of the interwebs, and this is the first post I am making in the blog.

By now we have enjoyed over five amazing years on the trails here in New Zealand, we have found a great bunch of other families who we go on little and not so little hikes with all the time, and we have learned a whole lot, and had lots of fun along the way.

In a way, launching this Trailbabies Network makes me feel similar to how I felt five years ago when I started to look for other like minded tramping families here in Christchurch. I was absolutely unsure if anyone was going to respond to the flyers we left at trail heads, and sometimes it felt like we were the only family in the universe who wanted to go hiking together.

However, people started to come out of the woodworks, and soon enough we were enjoying lots of trips together, which has led to the very cool group of people that the Christchurch Trailbabies are today. Thanks for everything, guys!

Now, I’m staring down a very similar rabbit hole. This time, it’s on the web, because I have decided to find out how many more fledgling or experienced trail families are out there somewhere on this planet, and to see what may come from finding each other.

Just like the first time round, I have a very strong feeling that there may be many more of us than you and I may dare to hope, and that getting to know each other could have really fantastic effects for all of us.

So whether you are an experienced wilderness family already, or you are at the very beginning and trying to figure out how you can best start to make this dream of doing real hiking trips with your children a reality: Show yourself! Make contact!

I don’t know where this ship may be sailing, but it could be quite an adventurous trip, and I wholeheartedly invite you to join us.

Wherever you are: Welcome on board!


Love The Outdoors? Take Your Children! I’ll Show You How.

July 15, 2013 in Coaching, Gear, Strategy, Tips and Tricks, Trips by Matthias

Are you an outdoorsy person? Do you have children? Would you like to take them with you on small and big adventures? Wherever you are and whatever your favourite outdoor activity is: Join the global Trailbabies Network, learn how to do wilderness trips together with your children, and lay a solid foundation for a fantastic outdoor family life! Awesome pictures of your bunch guaranteed.

No matter where you live, what age your children are, what time of year it is, how much money you have, or how much time you can free up for outdoor activities at the moment – start today! There is a lot you can do right now to put yourself and your children on a path to enjoy many years of shared outdoor adventures, and become a great team as a far reaching side effect that spills over into everyday life.

I’m so confident that I can help you because I know from years of first hand experience on the trails how hiking with children really works. I also know how hard it can be to find reliable information about how to do that, let alone a mentor who actually has experience in tramping with children.

Wherever you are: Get in touch! I am a real person with a real passion to show you trail tested tips, tricks, and strategies so you can enjoy top quality time out there sooner, easier and safer – together.

Scroll down and browse through my blog, and have a look around this web page. If you like what you see, grab your Free Family Hiking Toolkit now and become part of the global family tramping tribe!

You will be glad you did.

Happy trails!


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