Our Gear for Abel Tasman.

After a lot of people asking about what food and gear we took with to the Abel Tasman with our kids, I thought I would put it all in a blog post.

I hope this is helpful for others looking to do this tramp with kids.


You can read our full blog on the walk here - Abel Tasman with the kids


Firstly Food:

With this been our first multi day tamp with the kids I am not going to lie I was worried about taking enough food. We also have the added stress of our son been autistic and along with that he has quite a few food sensory issues, which definitely added to the challenge of what to take.

So I chatted to some friends who tramp with kids, read a few blogs online and even asked a few question on a Facebook group for tramping with kids

This is what I came up with;


Day one's food;



Lunch;

Pre-made wraps with chicken and salad.


Dinner;

Frozen sausages (not in picture), instant mashed potatoes (Cinderella brand), dehydrated peas (Pams Brand) and gravy.


Snacks;

Annies fruit leather, bag of lollies each, bag of trail mix each, also milo and coffee.







Thoughts on day one's food:

We ate our wraps on the beach at Totaranui after our boat trip up before heading off to start walking, so we did not have to carry that weight but even if you did not do this fresh wraps on the first day would be great. You could keep them safe from squashing at the top of your pack.

A lot of people had recommend taking frozen meat for the first days dinner so you get one fresh (kind of) meal, this was a great idea!! We took frozen venison sausages and by the time we got to our camp site that night they were for the most part defrosted.

For dinner we had the sausages, instant mashed potato's the Cinderella brand which I can highly recommend over other brands as it is less salty. We also had dehydrated peas, Pam's brand which personally were not very nice I will try another brand next time to see if they are any better, We also had gravy with us as well.

For snacks we had a wee bag of lollies each and also a wee bag of homemade trail mix.

I also took coffee, tea and hot chocolate to have at night which went down a real treat.

All in all day one's food was a successes.


Day two's food;


Breakfast;

Pitta Bread toast, spreads and hot drinks.


Lunch;

Wraps with Salami and Cheese (not pictured).


Dinner;

Back Country meal's; Creamy Carbonara and Roast Lamb and Potatoes.


Snacks;

Annies fruit leather, bag of lollies each, bag of trail mix each, muesli bar, also hot drinks and raro.




Thoughts on day two's food:

We had a few people recommend taking Pita bread for breakfast or lunch, so we thought we would give it a go and although there is a bit more weight I highly recommend it!! We had them breakfast just cut in half and toasted on our gas cooker in a mini frypan we had, it was delicious !! My sister in law also took some for her lunch, put tuna and cheese inside them which was also a huge hit! definitely worth the extra weight, my only suggestion is buying a more expensive brand not a cheap one as the cheap brand seemed to crumble and fall apart.

For lunch we had wraps with salami and cheese in it, which was great just a wee tip to keep your wraps at the top of your pack some where that they don't get squashed.

For dinner we had the two Back Country meals, these were ok the Roast Lamb one was nice the Carbonara was ok but not great. I am not a huge fan of dehydrated meals and our son with his sensory issues struggles with them. I think we will do some trying of different brands and meals to see what ones taste a bit better. I would buy the roast ones again they were nice and the kids liked them.

Snacks once again was the Annies fruit leather, each packet has two strips in it so we just broke it in half for the four of us just enough for a wee treat. We had a wee bag of lollies and home made trail mix again, We also have two muesli bars which we did not end up eating but were good to have just incase we needed extra food.


Day threes food;



Breakfast;

Porridge and hot drinks


Lunch;

Noddle's and tuna.


Dinner;

Back Country meal's; Honey soy chicken and spaghetti bolognaise


Snacks;

Annies fruit leather, bag of lollies each, bag of trail mix each, muesli bar, also hot drinks and raro.




Thoughts on day three's food:

Ok so not going to lie the kids loved the noodles and tuna for lunch, us adults not so much. It was actually a real pain to stop and get out the cooker and cook the noodles. I really wish we had some thing easy just to grab and eat with our the hassle of cooking. I think what would have been nicer was just some tuna, crackers and cheese, it was also really hot on day 3 so I really did not feel like hot food for lunch.

Dinner was ok, not really my favourite meals but it was ok, the kids did not like it at all.


Day four's food:


Breakfast;

Porridge and hot drinks


Lunch;

Instant pasta.


Snacks;

Annies fruit leather, bag of lollies each, bag of trail mix each, muesli bar, also hot drinks and raro.








Thoughts on day four's food:

Porridge again was good, I was worried we might have got a bit sick of it but not at all it was great. Lunch again not good!!! it was a scorching hot day which we had not expected so hot food was not great. The pasta was ok to good a bit messy but I think with some peas and salami added to it, it would have been a great dinner instead of a lunch. Since it was our last day we just cooked it up on the beach eat it and headed out, would not recommend for a lunch.


All in all the food situation was ok, we had some hits and some misses. The biggest thing I learnt is the kids like the simple foods, porridge, noodles, Back Country roast meals and lots of lollies and milos. The fresh (frozen) meat and fresh wraps on the first day was great and I would definitely do that again.

Pita bread for lunch and toast on the first few days was also well worth the weight, as long as you buy a good brand and keep them safe at the top of your pack, having them with tuna or salami and cheese for lunch was awesome.

I definitely want to try a few other dehydrated food brands or even try make my own as Back Country is a bit hit and miss but there is a few nice flavours that would be ok.

Oh and Raro!! lots of raro its light and a hit with the kids !! the lemon iced tea ones were a huge hit!!

It was definitely a wee learning experience for our first multi day with kids but I am pretty happy with how it all went. One major opps moment we had was we realised we had not packed any spare food!! Lucky the Abel Tasman is a very popular tramp so if something had happened we would have been ok but we definitely need to make sure we pack a days spare food for other tamps.


Clothing:

Clothing was a big juggle for us, normally it easy we just take one set of clothes and a hut set but we definitely needed more for this tramp but wanted to keep the weight down. We also knew we would be experiencing a range of weather due to the time of year (Sep).

So here is a break down of what we took;

Kids Clothes:

- Two sets of thermals (long pants and tops)

- Two Convertible pants (the ones that zip off to shorts)

- One pair of shorts

- Two t-shirts

- One long sleeve top

- One long sleeved merino zip top

- One pair of fleece pants and jersey

- A rain jacket

- A puffer jacket

- Five sets of socks

- Five sets of undies

- One set of togs

- Pair of scuffs for around the camp site

- Sun hat and Bennie


Each kid carried all their own clothes listed above, we used everything we took with us. The only thing I would likely leave out next time is the spare shorts and maybe the long sleeve top, Even thought the kids wore them they could have managed with out them as well.

They wore the same set of clothes for two days, and they kept one set of the thermals as just night time PJ's only which worked well.

Having a set of fleece gear and some scuffs to put on around the camp site was fantastic, kept them warm on the cool nights and on one of the nights when it was a a bit colder they slept in the fleece gear as well.

On top of the kids clothes they also each carried there own sleeping bag and sleeping mat.


Adults clothes:

We took the same as the kids, expect instead of convertible pants, my husband took two pairs of shorts and I took two pairs of tights and one pair of shorts.

I was happy with my gear, again I could have dropped one the long sleeve as I could have just worn my thermal top instead if needed.


Other Gear:

Below is a photo of our gear we took laid out;


- Tent (each adult carried a 2 man tents each)

- Sleeping bag (kids carried there own)

- Sleeping mat each (kids carried there own)

- Inflatable pillow (kids carried there own)

- Sawyer water filter

- Rapid Boil and pot

- Spare gas cannister and gas cooker

- First aid kit

- Plastic bowls, Cups and knife and fork sets

- Grab bag with sunblock, insect repellent, chap sick and spare inhalers



Bags and bag weights:

We all have Macpac Torlesse bags,

The kids both have the 30L Torlesse Junior Hiking bag,

I have the 65L Torlesse Womens hiking pack and my husband has an older version of the men's 65L Torlesse pack. We have no issues and are very happy with our packs, they are simple and functional and I would recommend them to any one.


Kids bags each weighed about 5kg - just below quarter of there body weight (each kid is about 25-28kgs)

Adults bags were about 18-20kgs each, sitting just on or below quarter of our body weights which is the average recommend weight to carry. I know a lot of people like to keep their pack weight down as much as possible but when tramping with kids extra weight is unavoidable.


One important thing I have learnt along the way is don't get to caught up on gear brands - buy the best thing you can with in your budget. For example we have two Katmandu Bora 2 tents, we carry one each and tent with a child each. These weigh about 2.88kgs and only cost $300, yes we could go for a better brand like MSR which only weighs 1.6kg but at the cost of $999 per tent!

This is just not affordable for us, we purchased two tents for less than the price on one MSR tent and they do us very well. Do not get to caught up on brand just buy within your means.


I hope that this blog helped you a little bit with your gear questions, please feel free to email us with any questions. Just remember that this is just our personal experience and what we have learnt so far, we always welcome some feed back and love to hear other peoples tips and tricks.


Happy tramping xoxoxo




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