Congratulations — you’ve recently become a parent! Having children opens your world up to so many wonderful new things, but can also make you feel like you have to leave your pre-parenting life behind. Fortunately, that’s just not the case! With the right planning, you can still jog with your baby , hit up music festivals with the kids and, yes, even bring your baby to the bar (Sweet Home Alabama notwithstanding). The same goes for outdoor adventuring.
Hiking is totally doable with a baby, especially when you equip yourself with the correct gear and the right attitude. We chatted with Walkabout Outfitter’s manager Wyatt Lifsey to get the scoop on the best and safest way to hike with a baby without stress.
1. Hike on off-days. Lifsey reminds us that weekends are the busiest times for popular hikes, so if you can squeeze in a few miles on a Wednesday afternoon, it may make the trip less stressful for you, your baby and your fellow hikers.
2. Choose easy terrain. “Make sure that the terrain is something that you are comfortable hiking and that you are experienced in that type of environment,” Lifsey suggests. Hikes that were once easy for you will probably seem more difficult with a baby strapped to your back, so start off easy and work your way up (literally!).
3. Invest in a kid-carrying backpack. The most essential piece of equipment for you to have when you’re hiking with a baby is a “very durable, comfortable backpack with adjustable straps so anyone can carry the child safely.” Lifsey recommends the Osprey Poco as a popular and reliable option.
4. Gear up. As you already well know, traveling anywhere with a baby can be a bit of a production. Hiking with one is no different, though you can definitely be smart about what you pack. Lifsey suggests a few trash bags for things like diapers and food waste, as well as a blanket that you can use for naps, as a changing pad or for a comfortable place to lounge once you reach a destination. He also says to “make sure to carry extra water, food, medication and clothing.”
5. Be prepared for your baby to still be a baby. Meaning, “everything that happens with a baby at home is going to happen in the backcountry — such as dirty diapers, crying, hunger, naptime. So be prepared for all of those happenings,” says Lifsey. Allow for unscheduled breaks and prepare to head home earlier than expected.
Do you have any plans to go hiking with your baby this summer? Tag us @BritandCo on Instagram and show us your trip!
(Photos via Getty)