If you’ve loved hiking before there’s no need to stop now that you have a baby.
If you’ve never hiked in your life, it might be time to start.
Going Hiking with your baby is a great way to get out, see some new sites, and get baby, and yourself, some fresh air.
Steve, Andrew and I often go hiking up in Oklahoma near where we live in Texas. We love going to the Wichita Mountains and exploring around, looking at Buffalo and the landscape. If you’re in the area, check out our hiking club to join one of our outings.
If you’re not local to us (and not many people are), search Facebook for some groups close to you, or just check out where others head out.
We’ve put together some tips that we’ve learned while futon the trail with Andrew. He’s been hiking since he was a few months old and we first got our hiking carrier. But more on that later.
Here’s our tips for hiking with a baby
1. Test it out
Before heading out into the wilderness, try out your gear near home. Go on a walk around your neighborhood to make sure you can handle the weight for a good amount of time. Make sure your baby is comfortable, happy, and interested in being in the carrier. Nothing is worse than hiking for 20 minutes only for your baby to refuse to get back in the carrier and you have to hike 20 minutes back.
2. Choose a trail
Check out the trails ahead of time. Either search online forums to see what other hikers have said, or scout it out without kids first. You don’t want to get out there, realize you’re massively underprepared or are on a very difficult trail and either get stuck or have to turn around and cut the day short.
3. Plan the best time
Going too early in the day might make it cold, later might be right at prime nap time and your baby won’t cooperate. Even later and it might be hard to find any shade. Find the best time for your climate and your baby’s schedule. When Andrew was younger he would easily sleep in his carrier, now, not so much, so we make sure he either sleeps before we leave or in the car on the way. That way we don’t have a cranky kid on the trail.
4. Schedule in breaks
Andrew is so good in his carrier for a long time. He loves moving, he loves seeing the sights on the trail, and he’s generally always happy. But, like anyone, after 2 hours of being cooped up with no wiggle room, he gets restless. Even on short hikes we bring a thin blanket we can see up along the way to give Andrew some play time.
5. Organize Your Gear
Make sure you have:
- Comfortable clothes
- A shade or sun hat
- Snacks and drinks
- Plastic Bags- for diapers and garbage
- Extra diapers and wipes
- A good carrier
- Extra clothes
6. Invest in a quality carrier
I mentioned getting this before in the gear section but it deserves mentioning again. We have the Kelty Journey 2.0 and we love it. It’s easy and comfortable to carry. It has a good amount of breathability on the straps and back panel, and helps support and spread out Andrew’s weight. Andrew is also comfortable in it, with an added sun shade. For longer hikes we have a pouch for a water bladder as well as pockets for plenty of gear so that the one not carrying Andrew isn’t stuck carrying everything else.
Gear We Are has some great reviews on hiking carriers so you can find one that fits your needs.
7. Make it Fun
Heading outside should be fun. It should be a way to stretch your legs, get some fun exercise, and visit a new (or old favorite) place. If you stress about it, put too much pressure on yourself or let your fussy kid get you down, it’s obviously not going to be fun. Just try to go with the flow.
Are you thinking of heading out onto the trail? Let us know in the comments where you love to hike!
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