I am possibly the only person in Auckland who would take a PLB on a one-hour walk in the Waitakeres. I don’t consider myself risk-averse – I like to assess and mitigate certain issues before they ever occur.
I guess some people wouldn’t take their little girl out in the rain in the first place – but that seems to only deprive her of something that, as it turns out, she really enjoys!
I had decided it was long overdue for me to head out for a wander – I hadn’t managed to get out for a bit, and more importantly, I hadn’t been for a walk with the (now bigger) little girl.
So, I figured a short wander around the Waitakeres was in order, packed the bag and headed off. All this time, the sky was getting greyer and greyer. The weather report suggested rain, and sure enough, by the time we were at the trailhead, a light drizzle had started coming down.
However, I had, of course, packed rain jackets, and I had the waterproof cover for the Macpac Vamoose in the bottom of the pack, so I wrapped the both of us up, put the girl in the pack and headed off.
The little girl is starting to form some words and certainly can let you know if something is good or not – so I just checked in with her regularly to ensure she wasn’t too cold, cramped, or claustrophobic! She was quite content for most of the walk-in – but let me know at one point that she was keen to get down and make her own way for a bit.
She is getting more comfortable on her feet now – but still slightly challenged by uneven terrain. However, she would take my hand from some of the trickier (by her standards) sections and then let go and happily stomp along unaided where she could.
The track ended up at a road end with beach access, and the little one happily made a beeline straight for the sea.
Footprints in the sand
After wandering around on the foreshore for a bit, we spotted a couple of bird tracks and a dog track, which Claudia followed for a bit before getting distracted by a shell or two in the sand.
She, as she often does, was not overly impressed with me suggesting ((by that, I mean picking her up and walking)) that we needed to start heading back to the truck. Still, I was aware her feet were soaked by now, and though it wasn’t cold, I had also realised she was in cotton socks ((and my risk management brain kicked in)), so I figured we should probably start wandering back while she was still happy and warm. The Keen shoes are proving great for her walking and traction – but they aren’t waterproof (which is fine) – but I did register a mental note to get her some decent socks for future trips.
While she never got ‘cold’ down the back of her neck (my general point to check), her hand certainly got a bit of a chill. It will be interesting to see what kind of cold resistance she has inherited. While I sleep really warm, I do tend to get cold feet and hands – so I am a little wary of her until she can communicate her level of comfort with me. However, she didn’t grizzle, which at the moment seems to be the main method of indicating such things.
Back at the truck, I took the wet shoes and socks off and checked her feet – not freezing, but certainly not warm – so we wrapped her up in the Macpac Supernova, gave her a snack and headed back home. She was happy and likely would have been comfortable staying out in the rain for a bit more – but this was a good opportunity to gauge her reaction and check some kit.
The next day, we headed off to Macpac and picked up a couple of pairs of acrylic and Merino socks (the smallest option is still a little large) and a lightweight packable jacket. While the fleece top she had stayed dry on the inside (and kept her plenty warm) – I thought a light waterproof jacket would provide a good option.
So, it was a good opportunity to head out again and learn some things. The little one now has a snazzy jacket for her next trip, and the Macpac Vermose stayed nice and dry under its rain cover! A good afternoon spent!