In honor of National Trail Day, Ezra and I decided to climb our very first mountain! Joined by my sister, her daughter, and handsome dog Rex, we had an awesome outdoor experience! That being said, here’s my top five tips to have a smooth hike with a little one.
1. Know the Trail
We took off on a trail I’d hiked countless times before, so there wasn’t any time spent fussing with maps or getting lost. Knowing your trail beforehand is important so you can mentally map out stops and know exactly how to get back to your starting point, nothing spells disaster more like being lost in the woods with a cranky baby!
2. Baby Carriers are Life.
Be sure if you plan to hike with a little one that you choose your baby carrier wisely. We were lucky enough to borrow my sisters solid stand alone backpack carrier, because Ezra’s just big enough that his fabric carrier would’ve been uncomfortable for both of us. Be sure to take into consideration how long your hike will take when deciding just how you’re going to carry or push your little one on the trail. Some trails and paths are stroller friendly, but if your taking on a mountain, a baby carrier would be ideal.
This goes without saying, but be sure to not only pack water for your little, but yourself aswell. Be sure to bring ample water and hydrate as needed to avoid not only a monster headache, but heat exhaustion and a potential emergency situation.
4. Bugspray and Sunscreen for Everyone!
Bugs and sun are a huge part of the hiking experience, be sure to protect yourself and your little from both! Hats and sunglasses are great ways to up your SPF and bug deterant, but bug spray and sunscreen are also very important! We used babyganics sunscreen and California Baby Bug Repellent, and they worked really well on everyone.
5. Pack Lightly.
When hiking with a toddler, your not only carrying the child, but also the plethora of things that they need. Don’t overload yourself, be realistic and bring only what you need! We made sure to bring up plenty of water, baby snacks, and a few diapers, but decided not to go wild with packing and I’m glad we did! By the way down little mans 23 pound body was weighing heavily on my tired legs, and I’m beyond grateful we packed light.
Hiking with a toddler combines a certain amount of planning and preperation, but when done properly is really an awesome activity to introduce little ones to the great outdoors! We hiked Wachusett Mountain, but look forward to taking on more trails and mountains as the summer progresses, what are your favorite kid friendly hiking spots? Let me know in the comments!