Protected: Pics Pack Horse Hut April 2015

April 24, 2015 in Trips by Matthias

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Autumn At Pack Horse Hut

April 24, 2015 in Trips by Matthias

Here’s a little trip report of one of the recent trips of the Christchurch branch of the Trailbabies – we had an awesome little outing to our beloved Pack Horse Hut again!





Pretty early on right as we started climbing the trail, we walked right into a low cloud that was covering most of the ridge that the hut is on. There was no wind at all and it was quite warm; walking in the mist like that was a very atmospheric experience.



When we came to the first little creek crossing, Loki stopped the whole group and gave us a little safety speech, explaining that it is better to walk straight through the water instead of trying to balance over rocks, because you can slip or trip when trying to do the latter, and that can lead to serious accidents. About two minutes later, Sarah did a demonstration for us of how true that is, resulting in a half tennis ball sized bruise on her forehead and clothes that were considerably wetter than they would have got from just walking through the stream. Luckily her head seems to be as robust as her sense of humour, and we were able to continue with our hike, although we kept a careful eye on her for the rest of the day in case of any signs of concussion. No rocks were harmed during this exercise.



After around three and a half hours we all reached the hut, made ourselves comfortable, chopped some firewood and started the log burner. With thirteen people we pretty much maxed out the capacity of the hut this time. We all found a bunk to sleep, but another dad with his two ten and twelve year old sons who also happened to be at the hut the same night ended up sleeping in the common room – it was no problem though, and everyone enjoyed each other’s company.







When the sun came out in the late afternoon, a few of us decided to go on a little stroll to check on our recently placed geocache up there, and we enjoyed a nice sunny evening for an hour or so before getting back to the hut to start cooking our dinner.






I was too lazy to light the alcohol stove and decided to cook on the log burner instead. That is good for simmering, but not fast enough to boil water to cook with. Since I have a stainless steel pot, I decided to put it right into the embers of the log burner fire, which brought the water to a boil in a crazy short time. Later on I found out that if I actually close the log burner door with the pot in the fire, that gets even faster, and boiled a litre of water from the cistern outside in under two minutes! I was blown away and will cook like that every time we have a fire from now on, in a log burner or otherwise. There’s just no reason to start a cooker when you have a 8 kilowatt (or so) fire going! Just don’t try that with an aluminium pot, you’ll melt it into a clump in moments.


Despite outside temperatures near zero we had a very cosy night in the hut, thanks to a few good people who kept the fire going through the night.

The next morning was sunny and the wind had changed to a northerly, which meant that after a good breakfast, we walked down the Kaituna Valley with a nice little tail wind. After a little mistunderstanding with a bull that was standing on the trail as we walked around a corner, we came to the first creek again. I saw Loki glance back to check on Sarah, and then nod with satisfaction when he saw that she had obviously learned something the previous day, and was plodding right through the water this time. Although I really don’t mean to pick on Sarah, as there were a few other people as well who took the more risky dry route across the rocks, although without falling. Be careful, people, Sarah can tell you why keeping your shoes dry is not really that important…

We reached the cars without any further incidents and played ball for a while before heading home. We have seen some amazing walking again this weekend especially from our little ones – notably, Alice did some great walking as usual, Connor did really well as well, and Abby walked the entire way back down on her own feet on day two! That’s some pretty amazing work for someone who is significantly less than half as tall as me. The older children did a great job again to keep an eye on the little ones and to make up lots of games along the way and around the hut. Also, of course, great work of all the adults with creating a relaxed no pressure atmosphere and allowing the kids to set their own pace. That’s how you grow strong tramping children – every step they take today out of their own motivation means three more steps they take tomorrow.

This was a great trip again, already looking forward to the next one!

If you are a member of the Christchurch branch of the Trailbabies, click here to see all pictures of this trip!

A Babywearing Outdoor Adventure

September 19, 2014 in Coaching, Trips by Matthias

Join us on this walk for an introduction to the magic of babywearing and the fine art of hiking with babies and children of all ages!



As a mum or dad, have you ever wondered…

…if there is a way that allows you to free your arms from constantly holding your child, so you are able to do the many things that you need to do every day?

…how you can do all those things at home or out and about while still keeping the close connection with your baby that is so vital for so many reasons?

…how you can save your passion for the outdoors from a personal twenty year long ice age without being limited to just doing little walks in Christchurch’s city parks?

…how to do real tramping trips with your children safely and enjoyably, so you can have amazing adventures together for many years to come?

If you said “yes” to any of the above, and especially if you live in Christchurch, make sure to read the whole story about this event!

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 →

Keas love adrenaline too!

March 7, 2014 in Trips by Matthias

During a trip to the West Coast, we came across this friendly kea who once again proves how popular adrenaline sports are in this country of ours – even the birds are hooked on the stuff!



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!


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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