Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter tent

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby emma_melbourne » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 6:49 pm

Gadgetgeek - A harnessed gear trailer - goodness. Cute! I can tell from your chosen name that your into the tech-y solutions. Which I am to to a degree. And is why I was looking at getting my weight down dramatically to offset some of the baby weight, by possibly with a cuban fibre tent such as a Zpacks Duplex. (Which works with trekking poles.) Cuban fibre stuff sacks, and so on. I hadn't considered a gear trailer, nor do I have any experience with one, but it's an interesting proposal.

Mark F - The reason I'm not counting on being able to do it later isn't that I'm afraid of hiking in old age. But rather I'm worried that my melanoma cancer could return in metastatic form and kill me. Morbid I know. As per my earlier posts, it was only diagnosed when I insisted a mole was removed, against several doctor's advice who all thought it was normal - and it came back melanoma. For 7 years I had been showing doctors, and for 7 years they told me it was normal. I've been told I have a 95% 5 year survival prognosis. (So a 1 in 20 chance I'll be dead within 5 years). But there was evidence of regression, that my body fought it back, and that it may have got deeper than apparent on the pathology. If it got down deep enough to reach my lymph system, it will likely return and kill me, is the reality. I lost my father to a rare cancer (a pleomorphic rhabdoymosarcoma) and he was a perfectly fit marathon runner and yachtsman who ate well, didn't smoke, and no apparent risk factors. I lost my grandparents to cancer. I lost my aunts and uncles to cancer.
So I'm hopeful that I'll be fine, and that I will be able to do the Overland Track when my daughter is over 8 years old. But I'm also realistic that I can't count on it. I really miss my Dad, and he died far too young.

Best,

Emma
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Tortoise » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 7:31 pm

Hey there, Emma.
Great to see you asking for ideas, and taking on board some thoughts. I admire your determination, and your desire to do such a great thing with your daughter. My 2c worth:

Despite >35years' experience of alpine walking, and being on the cautious side, I still have had 2 brushes with hypothermia in the last year. I had all the gear. I knew what I was doing. But I over-estimated the speed I'd be able to walk at on that particular morning, on those particular conditions, and got significant hypothermic symptoms before I even felt very cold. The main concern I have in you being the only adult with a toddler doing the OLT is the speed at which things can go pear-shaped if anything goes wrong - like a badly twisted ankle or worse in blizzard conditions. They can occur with little warning. The may be nobody else around. No helicopter would be able to get in to get you out, even if you set off your PLB. You may not have the capacity to get your tent out and pitch it, let alone be able to care for a rapidly cooling toddler. (I was amazed at how quickly I became incapacitated.) I've been on walks with folks very experienced in Tassie, and not one of us has stayed dry in the relentless rain and wind, no matter how good the rain gear is. It wicks down the arms, blows in the face hole, wicks down. That's a risk I wouldn't want to put my child in.

So, I would agree that a shorter, non-alpine option, or where there is a quicker retreat (like the Walls of Jerusalem) would make the risk much more reasonable.

The other way is to go with other people. Son of a Beach has made you an offer. He's a great chap! There may be others if he can't in the end. It's not limited to your Hike-a-Baby group. I reckon it'd be far more appropriate to hook up with someone with Tasmanian experience, especially of the track you end up choosing. That would have the added bonus of having somebody to do shoot more videos of you both on the trip. That would be a fantastic thing for your daughter to look back on, whether in the best or the worst circumstances. Not sure if there's a reason you're only considering a commercial guide ($$$), rather than finding someone who might join you for fun. I've met some very wonderful people through this forum!

Re going light-weight:
That's a journey I've been on for the past 3 years or so, and have dropped my pack weight from about 23 kg for a week, to about 14 kgs for 10 days. I'll see if I can get the headspace to look at more details, but it sounds like you've got some good info. I've managed to get my food down to about 390gm/day. I don't go hungry. I only rehydrate - bring to the boil and let my pot cosy/windbreak/pot lifter do the rest. So, with coffee in the morning, and a hut meal at night, my tiny gas cylinder now lasts >10 days.

It does concern me to wink away used the nappy issue, though. :( If you have one or 2 other adults, you could probably manage that bit a lot better.

I admire your determination, your high aims, and preparedness to do the hard yards to achieve your dream. I look forward to hearing more of your story.

Cheers
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 8:52 pm

Emma: Obviously I don't know the details of your melanoma, in staging as well as other pathological and treatment parameters. But it should be noted and be reminded that the treatment of melanoma has been turned from one of delaying tactics in my training days to curative aim now. The current generation of biologic chemo compounds truly has made a paradigm shift to this condition. Fully aware of the cancer history in your family but maybe you should be a little more positive in the outlook as advancements in this new class of chemo agent is still continuing rapidly. Whilst it's great to have goals and be able to bring your baby to the outdoors, maybe it need not be so urgent and extreme. Maybe the time together and safe enjoyment is more important than the location. Years down the track, maybe that's what your little baby will think. Your love to her need not be proven by your hard work. I'm sure she will appreciate it all.
Just move it!
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby andrewa » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 9:23 pm

Emma, good on you for pushing the boundaries a bit.

All the negatives have been said.

Z packs duplex looks fine - I have a hexamid twin, which would fit an adult and kid in, but gets a bit breezy, as the cuben doesn't go down to the ground. I recently bought a second hand terra nova laser competition 1, which is not much heavier, but seems more weather proof - yet to try it. Much cheaper option. Quilt sounds perfect - enough for both of you. Sleeping mats sound heavy - whilst I haven't been out to weigh mine recently, I thought my exped U/L down one or equivalent was about 400g, and I'm sure "the kid" would be fine sleeping on a few layers of "portable concrete...aka closed cell foam" - it's plenty warm, just not so comfy. Think about getting a food drier for DIY food. I suspect sanitation/nappies/etc will be the biggest chore, as will it be ensuring child stays dry in bad weather whilst walking, AND when trying to pack up everything.

Good luck

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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Hisham » Tue 20 Jun, 2017 10:03 pm

Thanks Emma. Our little guy is keeping his head pretty steady so it's just about time to go baby carrier shopping and I will look into the WE Wildchild.

whatever you do, I'd take a plb. I know it's extra weight but that is what could save you if something does happen against all good planning.

I'd be keen to hear any advice on taking babies on overnight hikes. Our fella has done some day walks and camping but not hiking.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby north-north-west » Wed 21 Jun, 2017 10:31 am

Trailer would be a bit awkward on the Overland - there are a lot of steps, including some rougher ones.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Azza » Wed 21 Jun, 2017 12:31 pm

Have you also considered your daughters capabilities to cope with the trip?

She might be fine now but she is of the age group where things are developing fast, going from a baby and turning into a rampaging toddler.
My twins are a few months older than your daughter and developing at different rates, with completely different traits and personalities.
it all start happening about now.....

A few months ago my kids would have been happy to spend all day in the backpack.
Now they're fiercely independent, they hate being couped up, want to do everything themselves and one is throwing massive tantrums if he doesn't get his own way.

I could not envisage an overnight walk now, a couple of months ago I would have considered it.
Things change quickly, so I've got no idea how it'll be in a few weeks or months time.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby taswegian » Wed 21 Jun, 2017 1:02 pm

Emma I admire your dedication to this.
I endorse other comments, particularly about the weather.
Tasmania, yet alone the central mountainous areas, are known for 4 seasons in one day. And that's not a myth.

You may well find yourself starting the day in blissful sunshine only to find it turns to sleet and wind driven rain and suddenly the temperature can plummet and your beautiful daughter has to cope with this and though you can succesfuly cover her I wonder how at that age she would cope with being engulfed with wet weather protection and all that entails.
That's when she can get a little contrary and then it rubs off on mum.

As Azza says she's at an age when development is fast and she will be thrust into the great expanse of isolation from mod cons. There will be a lot happening and mum will need to be a really special mum for this to succeed and not drag both down.

I've taken twins out at a young age and though great advances have been made in many gear areas the basics are the same.
(Azza you no doubt have learnt some tricks to keep things ticking along succesfuly. They can be a big bundle of fun.. And more...)
I found it more pleasurable when our second youngest started walks with me from around 4 to 5 years old. She adapted and never looked back.

Aware of your medical concerns, and how real they are, but past experiences don't have to be your experiences.

I reckon us dads and mums here see things through a differing perspective to you and in all honesty I can't imagine your thoughts and emotions in planning your future, yet alone to receive what appears to be negativity to your planned undertakings.

On the supply issue, I'd suggest some of those warming packs from chemist etc in case of an emergency when a bit of extra temporary warmth could alleviate a very cold and miserable little girls suffering.
Yes, extra weight, but they're pretty light for the benefits given.

Chose carefully and enjoy. All the best in every area.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Nuts » Wed 21 Jun, 2017 2:28 pm

(Not related to any particular comment) I don't personally see negatives here. We can call them that, but isn't the sharing of concerns a positive?

Emma seems pretty robust, which appears to be the limiting factor in how far, in good grace, these threads go.. that and the energy levels of the OP when their questions seem over-serviced :)

There are some great responses, from those far more experienced in this than me.

But iv'e seen, in one of those odd/etched 'slo-mo' moments a near catastrophe with a child carrier on Marions lookout (it's on the Overland Track day 1, right after the climbing section, where the chain is..). Everyone looks up, on approaching the expanding view, it was just unfortunate that dad caught his toe on a rock at that moment, stumbled forward and fell hard. This incident comes straight to mind, some get hard to shake.

I did a quick google search to see how common reported accidents are, and they don't appear to be.. which wasn't really what I was expecting, looking at the carriers. On that first day, to WFV, I can recall a bunch of falls, from otherwise capable people, with very light packs. Some straight back up, some breaks and sprains. Not 'common', maybe one a year, a few one year, none the next. I didn't mention the near miss I saw earlier, as i'm not sure how to mitigate it/ wasn't a question asked etc, but maybe it's worth doing so for a topic involving the choice to climb steep terrain or negotiate rough tracks with a child carrier. Maybe it's a positive to ask whether incidents have happened? (I found a thread about skiing with them in which the posters were Far more 'negative' than anything you'll get here, if the input 'don't do it, your an idiot' is of no value.. granted, I didn't have the inclination to search further). For giggles (mostly) we would practice falling, on to our packs, to avoid broken wrists.. That's not going to work for these child carriers, but surprising how just having thought it through has helped in the moment. Is there a technique or some advice that would help?, an 'approved' or best model back-woods carrier? I have seen them with included protection bars up top, they seem an improvement?

Don't want to hijack the thread take them as rhetorical (to get something from or dismiss), or for future reference. Intent still positive from here :)
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 22 Jun, 2017 10:49 am

Thanks everyone for your feedback and thoughts.

Just to say, I've decided not to do the Overland Track, taking on board all of your feedback. It's an accumulation of factors - of the heavy weight load I'd be carrying, the remoteness of the trail in terms of access or escape if anything did go badly - such as injury, terrible weather etc, and I have on very rare occasions in my life had an allergic reaction unexpectedly to a plant and broke out in very bad hives.

It's only happened a couple of times, once in Paris when sitting outside a cafe (not hiking!) next to a pot plant similar to privet which brushed against me. And it's happened a second time in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, where I had a reaction to some kind of plant - to this day do not know what plant caused the reaction, and I broke out in terrible hives, and ended up needing steroids and strong antihistamines and it was very miserable for 3 days. I of course have antihistamine in my First Aid bag, and steroids, just in case, but nonetheless it wouldn't be fun to get a massive outbreak of hives on a long hike in the Wilderness carrying a baby.

I've never had any hiking accident or fall. I've never in my life broken any bones, hiking or otherwise. And I've never yet misjudged or made an error in respect of the weather, or got lost, or been ill prepared for anything. I'm quite a careful person, and quite a coordinated person.

In fact on previous outings, it's been my companions who have had falls, or got sick, or been ill prepared in some way, and I've ended up looking after them. I'm the one that goes out with the good first aid kit, and compass.

But I take on board all your points regards the complications of being with a baby, and alone. That if anything was to happen to me, if I were to trip or fall, and I'm by myself, it would be potentially very difficult or disastrous with a baby.

And I do think it's an awful lot of weight to be carrying, now that I've done the calculations of all the equipment, clothing, nappies and food that I need, both in weight but also volume.

And realistically I would end up needing to do a lot of equipment upgrades to get my weight down sufficiently. To upgrade to a very expensive tent (US $600 + shipping for Zpacks Duplex) to save weight (as it weighs just 600 grams), and upgrade to a lighter mat that also takes up less bulk volume in my pack (such as the Thermarest NeoAir or the Nemo Tensor, to get down to around 420 grams for mat - around AUS $200). And there's a few other pieces I need to upgrade to lighter, such as my existing Marmot Guides down jacket is too heavy at 510 grams and I probably need to buy a Ghost Whisperer or Patagonia Ultralight down jacket, or similar, to cut 200-300 grams off the down jacket weight and also the bulk in my pack, another US $200. And I need to get some extra drybags to be able to section of clothing, and other items, to keep potentially wet clothing away from dry, etc. And ensure my quilt stays dry I want to double-up with a second drybag as it came in a drawstring dry bag and I prefer to put it in a second drybag to be on the safe side.

As every 100 grams is precious weight, and every cubic cm in my pack is precious volume. Given I only have 38 Litres to play with. And I am already carrying so much weight with my daughter and the weight of the WE Wildchild infant carrier pack which is around 3 kg with the compartments added on. Then carrying around so much food.

And there's already cost involved in flying to Tasmania, hiring a car of getting a bus, paying the fees for entrance onto the trail, etc.

My daughter is a toddler now, and she does like doing a lot of walking and playing around. She likes being in the backpack for hikes, loves being up high and we talk and sing together, but we haven't been doing massively long hikes in terms of distance, nor very strenuous terrain.

And I agree I don't know exactly how she will be in 6 months time as to whether she'll still love being in the backpack for long hikes.

I think it's prudent to instead set up camp somewhere fabulous, and do dayhikes out.

That would mean:
a) MORE PLEASANT / FUN / ENJOYABLE TRIP FOR BABY

b) MUCH SAFER / MUCH LESS RISK

c) REDUCED SPENDING
I could get a cheap 1.2 kg tent such as Naturehike Taga at US $117 or Naturehike Cloud Up 2 at US $119, rather than spending US $600 plus freight for a Cuban fibre tent such as Zpacks Duplex. Or, if I'm not needing to walk far with the pack weight, I may even be able to get away with my existing tent which is a Naturehike Star River 2 tent and is 2 kg, and is freestanding and has been a really good little tent for us, and packs pretty small.

I've looked at some of the different places you all mentioned, not being familiar with Tasmania.

Emotionally, the place which appealed to me most was Pine Valley.

Looks like we would go to Hobart, then bus or rental car, and then ferry across Lake St Clair to Narcissus Hut. Stay there, potentially for 2 nights. Then do the walk to Pine Valley. Do some short local walks from Pine Valley that are not too treacherous or difficult, and weather-dependent. Potentially if there's people there who we might be able to do the short walks with, I should welcome that opportunity for company and socializing, and the added safety enabled by the company.

And return to Narcissus hut, back across the lake, and back to Hobart.

Does that all sound more realistic to you experienced hikers and parents?

Best,

Emma
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 22 Jun, 2017 10:52 am

Oh and I would add to that, go in late January or February.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 22 Jun, 2017 12:34 pm

Pine Valley round trip would definitely be more doable if you really desire an experience of at least a part of OLT. It'll still be a slog for the weight you'll be carrying but the overall elevation change is only around 110m or so. Then you can drive around to the other end of OLT to Cradle Mtn and do whatever day walks you care to do. Maybe that'll satisfy your desire for the OLT with balance the realities of caring a baby/toddler. Still, I suspect those saturated nappies will be the major burden for you unless there's a special arrangement for their disposal or carriage.
Just move it!
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Overlandman » Thu 22 Jun, 2017 4:44 pm

Hi Emma
Pine Valley is the only place on the Overland Track I have seen a youngster, I think who was around 2 years of age.
I never thought I would be sharing the hut with Teletubbies.

There was a wonderful lady that walked the Overland Track around Christmas each year back in the 1990's with her daughter. The daughter was 5 or 6 on the first trip, they would spend 2 nights at each hut. I remember she carried a small back pack.

Not sure if extreme UV has been mentioned as another issue. People sun burn quickly on the track so keep an eye out for that.

Regards OLM
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby emma_melbourne » Thu 22 Jun, 2017 10:23 pm

Thanks GSPGuided and OLM for your thoughts.

What's the shortest amount of time I could spend do you think, to limit food and nappies required. 3 days, 2 nights?

Am I right in thinking we could tent camp near the hut? (I do worry that it'd be disruptive having a baby in the hut, for others.

Yep tellytubby's right. Her dada thinks she looks like a little ewok now she's walking with that characteristic toddler style.

Best,

Emma
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby CasualNerd » Thu 22 Jun, 2017 10:40 pm

north-north-west wrote:Trailer would be a bit awkward on the Overland - there are a lot of steps, including some rougher ones.

I saw the trailer at lake Vera, he must have take it over some steps to get there :lol:

There are tent spots close to the hut at Pine valley. Every time I've been at huts where kids are staying, everyone's been totally fine with it.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 23 Jun, 2017 11:12 am

emma_melbourne wrote:Am I right in thinking we could tent camp near the hut? (I do worry that it'd be disruptive having a baby in the hut, for others.


There are a few spots you could camp. But don't camp near the creek (just before you reach the hut). If you look carefully, there is a second bank to the creek, to your left, while the creek is on your right. The wide flat area in between is a flood plain. I've seen it underwater after rain. I've seen people camped on it at other times.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Jayps68 » Fri 23 Jun, 2017 12:45 pm

Its a brave objective, and one I've thought about. (I have a 3yr old and a 1 yr old boy). For mine, I wouldnt take them anywhere where there is a significant risk of exposure and/or hypothermia. IF, and yes its a big if, given experience and planning, If you get caught in a blizzard/2 day storm, wet, cold and gear damaged. You risk the absolute worst thing you can think of... because even if you set off the PLB, help may be two days away or more.
It's all the same to me where i begin, for to there I shall return...
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Neo » Fri 23 Jun, 2017 9:12 pm

Walk everywhere with your bub as training, then add the lightest gear you can. Enjoy, there is no time limit.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby MrWalker » Sat 24 Jun, 2017 2:54 pm

emma_melbourne wrote:Oh and I would add to that, go in late January or February.


If you are going to Pine Valley, then your original plan should be OK, of going in November, before you child gets too big to carry. Although Pine valley has all the great aspects of being a long way from civilization, you can walk out to the ferry in about 3 hrs. The concern about snow,etc, would apply on the Overland Track where you could easily be more than a day's walk from any help and a huge pack to carry. Because you can park your heavy gear at Pine Valley you only need a small day pack (plus child carrier) to explore for a couple of days and you can make short or long days walks depending on the weather, your daughter, etc.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby MishMash » Tue 04 Jul, 2017 9:05 pm

I am in a unique position to comment, having completed the Overland with our Son (17 months old, 11kg) over the new year period. Multi-day hiking has actually been more accessible than we imagined it would be, but just requires far greater planning and takes a little to work out what gear is necessary. We have done multiple trips- Freycinet peninsula circuit, OLT, Scott-Kilvert Hut, Kepler, Humpridge and more, with new things learnt on each track. We have kept our son warm and toasty in sub-zero conditions, driving wind and rain. The biggest challenge now (he is almost 2) is trying to convince him into the pack- he just wants to walk everywhere, reducing our pace to well under a km/hr. We have used combinations of my wife or I carrying the baby carrier depending on pack weights.

Start with an overnight walk, then packs for 4-6 days are actually not that much heavier. If they are out of nappies all the better, wet nappies compromise the weight loss from eating food!

I am more than happy to offer insight into specific challenges if you want- he absolutely loves being outside and I think it has been a fantastic learning experience for him (and us!)
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby emma_melbourne » Wed 05 Jul, 2017 7:13 pm

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and contributions, as always.

To MishMash, I would love to hear your thoughts.

I had been put off by the Overland by the comments that the majority of contributors made about taking a baby.

However one of the women in my HikeABaby group has done the it with a 19 month old. Today in my local hiking equipment store, one of the most experienced there who knows me personally and has two children aged 4 years old and 2 months old also thinks I can and should do it. (He knows my personality too, in that I'm cautious and sensible in respect of weather warnings, planning my trail, equipment, knows I would call off the hike if the weather wasn't looking ideal, etc.)

So although I'd been put off the idea, and resigned myself to a much shorter hike to Pine Valley, it's interesting to hear these kind of examples - and I'm adding yours to it.

I also received a personal message from someone suggesting an experienced Tasmanian guide who could also carry some weight for me. Which would help both in terms of his experience, know-how, knowledge of local conditions, strength, and it's safer of course having 2 adults in the unlikely event of a fall or anything else.

So I'm keeping all this in mind. Meanwhile though, with it being Winter at present, I'm looking at doing a hike up North somewhere warmer - to get out of Melbourne into warmer weather.

Best,

Emma
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Nuts » Wed 05 Jul, 2017 7:43 pm

emma_melbourne wrote: I also received a personal message from someone suggesting an experienced Tasmanian guide who could also carry some weight for me.


Whaa? Look, i'd advise you (and them) to be really careful with this. There's a reason they subvert public scrutiny.

The previous advice you have been given has been pretty consistent (and good), even assuming you are outstandingly capable.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby emma_melbourne » Wed 05 Jul, 2017 8:14 pm

Nuts - I am still looking at the Pine Valley plan, however WITH the local and very experienced Tasmanian guide who can also carry some of the extra weight for me (food etc). He has a very good reputation within the industry - I've made some inquiries and everyone speaks highly. And it would give me greater confidence, as well as alleviate the weight concern in respect of carrying baby with such a heavy load in addition.

It seems though that people who are parents themselves of young ones, and are hikers, seem to think it's more realistic doing long hikes, overnights and multi-day hikes - than others who don't have young children themselves.

Emblematic of the kind of over-protectiveness that people can steep into when it comes to babies, I had half a glass of red wine during my whole pregnancy, where I ordered it at an Italian restaurant, and poured half the glass into my friend's glass. We were celebrating. I didn't want to have more than half a glass because I was pregnant. I proceeded to sip at my half glass of red wine, while eating my pizza. A man at a neighbouring table came over and proceeded to chastise me for drinking while pregnant.

Perspective - half a glass of red wine, with food.
Perspective - my body.
Perspective - no-one has ever gotten alcohol fetal syndrome from half a glass of red wine.

I looked at him and smiled, and told him that his concern was very sweet, but I was a grown adult educated about the risks of alcohol while pregnant, and choosing to have on this special festive occasion a half a glass of red wine with my meal. And I returned to enjoying it, the conversation and my pizza.

The Overland Track is a completely different proposition, and at the moment I am not pursuing the full Overland Track. But I will be doing lots of hikes with my baby, and with suitable preparation, clothing and equipment, and safety precautions, regardless that people might think I'm mad. She enjoys being in the carrier and in nature, and talking to me. I enjoy it, the scenery, the fresh air, the challenge, the feeling alive.

I appreciate there are people who would rather car camp, and forget any decent hiking for the next five years. They regard it as too hard, or too heavy, or both. I don't feel that way.

I am though focused on well-formed tracks, not bush wacking or really difficult terrain. And planning and preparing well for each hike in advance.


Best,

Emma
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Nuts » Wed 05 Jul, 2017 9:04 pm

emma_melbourne wrote:Nuts - I am still looking at the Pine Valley plan, however WITH the local and very experienced Tasmanian guide who can also carry some of the extra weight for me (food etc). He has a very good reputation within the industry - I've made some inquiries and everyone speaks highly. And it would give me greater confidence, as well as alleviate the weight concern in respect of carrying baby with such a heavy load in addition.


Understood. And I really have no opinion on your choice of where to walk or with whom. I sincerely wish you the best.

Please understand this isn't hard cheese or much about the money; by definition, any 'very experienced guide' in Tassie will be working with a concession to do so or under a company concession. Even with this there are very few with a personal permit/ having gone through the risk assessment process and expense to take anyone solo, especially off the main established tracks (such as Overland or the access to PV hut). None as far as i'm aware.

If they take payment for doing so they are acting against regulation and undermining the guiding industry. We could all offer the cowboy thing. They could, of course, do so freely (which if you ar going anyway would be ideal) or they could arrange a sneaky payment, or some such thing. Uninsured, 'illegal' but i'm sure some can find a way to justify doing so, with a few mates to endorse.

I was tempted to arrange a free, full-carried place for you on a guided tour (as we've done several times from here) just to help out, but decided it would be at odds with the integrity of doing so given the risk (I envisage). Happy to help out, for a quick solo 'experience' or later if that is possible for you, we do set minimum ages.


Going with another person is obviously a good option.
All the best.

PS. You'll probably work out the other risks from Pine Valley. You need to be a bit careful in The Labyrinth with navigation especially if a fog rolls in, and the track back down from Acropolis is steep in places /can get pretty slippery with rain.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby HighPlaces » Wed 15 Nov, 2017 7:59 pm

Wondering how this went for Emma? Overland Track or Pine Valley or elsewhere?
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Warin » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 1:41 pm

I too would be interested to 'see' the outcome.
I did find a mention of a firm prepared to do a food drop at Pelion Hut,
probably a walk in through Arm Rv track. Pricey at ~$1k IIRC.

I'm looking at 'doing the overland'. But I'd like to take it slow.
4 days at cradle Mt doing the day walks, crest Mt Cradle, take some photos.
10 days down the Overland, with side trips except for pine valley
Then back into Pine Valley and explore, up to 10 days.

This would give me some time to sit and watch rather than just walk walk walk.

After that, a couple of days back in Launceston. Then 10 days for Walls of Jerusalem including Mt Pillinger.
That is a bit rushed, I think, but I'm still planing.
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby zorro » Mon 02 Jul, 2018 6:50 pm

Very foolish and inconsiderate. I wouldn't expect you will make a lot of friends with a baby that screams allnight.
What do you intend you do with the dirty nappies? Dump them down the toilet?
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Overlandman » Mon 02 Jul, 2018 7:09 pm

285FB48D-F74F-4BAD-823C-FE8019184393.png


Now in every loo along the track. :lol:
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Re: Overland track with an 11 kg baby - food drops, lighter

Postby Zzoe » Tue 03 Jul, 2018 2:34 pm

Hi All

I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to chime in with support for mums who are keen on hiking with their kids. Obviously each situation is unique and should be treated as such.

It's so lovely to read the advice on this thread which offers practical, well informed insight, and concern based on understanding specific challenges. I agree that a solo hike of this distance with a baby is probably not feasible; but I think Emma made clear that she understands this, and had adjusted her plans accordingly.

Women have been carrying babes in arms across all sorts of landscapes and environments for thousands of years. Not always comfortably, or with the type of photogenic dignity that modern day, outdoor product marketing would deem necessary; and not always safely. But it has happened.

Given adequate planning, I don't see any reason for a baby to be the cause of more inconvenience to other hikers than any other type of walker.

We hiked with both our kids in Slovakia, New Zealand and here in WA from a few months old (cloth nappies and all, multi-day hikes) and we are still doing it now they're 12 and 8 (thankfully they were out of nappies at a very early age!!). We've taught them from a very early age about how to be respectful of both wilderness and other people's experiences of it. They have made less noise on the track than just about any group of teenagers or young adults that I've ever encountered. In summer this year I walked the exquisite section of the Bibbulmun Track between Peaceful Bay and Walpole (four days) alone with them. My husband wasn't able to join us, as he had to go back to work. We managed the whole thing together safely, sensibly and enjoyably. In September we're ditching school for a month and walking from Dwellingup to Northcliffe on the Bibbulmun.

Because of hiking, our kids feel a very close affinity with nature that will ensure- I believe- a commitment to love and to care for it into the future. This has got to be a genuine reason to encourage kids to hike; and the earlier the better, I think.

Good on you, Emma; I hope you and your little one have many happy and safe days of hiking. It is a beautiful way to bond with your child.
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