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Preparing for our first overnight family hike

We have reached a new milestone as a family – we are preparing to embark on our first overnight hike as a whole family.

I am very excited about this – we are going to do the Pinnacles Walk and spend the night in the hut.

At the time of writing our children are 11, 9 and 7 years old. Our eldest daughter did her first multi-day hike (Tongariro Northern Circuit) last summer with her dad and her best friend. The younger girls have done plenty of day hikes in their life … but this feels very special to do as a whole family.

How am I preparing them?

Physically – started doing some 1.5-2 hour hikes round Waiheke. I am also getting them on bikes more to get leg fit.


  • about what we will pack (one pair of hiking clothes, clean t-shirt to sleep in not PJ’s,)
  • about the food we will eat – agreeing on meals together, talking about how you might not get exactly what you like the most but everyone has to just eat what we have.
  • about which parts of the walk we will do each day

On a good day this feels very achievable but on a day where my kids do nothing but whinge and fight I wonder how tortuous this experience might be for us all … especially for me as inevitably the tired, grumbly child/ren want to be with mum.

Although it is only one night my husband and I will be carry a lot of gear. My eldest can carry about 7kg, we will get our 9 year old to carry her own water, snacks and raincoat, and our youngest won’t carry anything. Sleeping bags, cooking gear, food and extra water will all be carried by my husband and I.

We will then spend 3 nights camping in the Kauaeranga Valley with our new (Christmas presents) tents. Gone is the mega family tent featured HERE … we now own a lightweight 2 man (so we can go on some hiking/camping adventues later on) and a 4 man. We also bought a shelter for food prep which we have never had before.

Fingers crossed for good weather!


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