Here are a few more tips to get you out there with a frame carrier:
1. SHORT HIKES – Start with small hikes in local parks so your baby can get used to the different carrier and not being close to your body. Remember also, if you are carrying them in a frame carrier, they will get much colder so add extra layers because they aren’t moving, you are.
2. ADJUST AT HOME – Make sure to do all of your adjustments in the warmth of your home so you aren’t adjusting on trail or as you get going on a hike. There are heaps of adjustments to make frame packs comfortable. Older models can be uncomfortable because the technology has changed a lot. Make sure you really try before you buy.
3. BRING A SOFT CARRIER – Mason is a small baby and so I think, if we could go in as early as he did, most babies around 6-8 months would be fine in a frame carrier. We always carried the soft carrier on every hike as well, so we could switch him back and forth.
4. RAIN – Do not skimp and skip the rain cover. For our pack (Osprey Pocco) this was the best investment ($29). We just got the mid-range pack instead of the high range and the rain cover. We use the rain cover a lot!
5. WORK UP THE MILES – If you are new to carrying with a carrier, make sure you really take it easy and work your way up in miles. You might feel sore spots on your shoulders and hips when you first hike. This adjusts over time if you keep using the carrier. The packs take a little getting used to. If you have ever backpacked with a load, you know it’s not an instant thing.
6. TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED – Don’t load the carrier down (it’s tempting with all of that space) with a million things. Pare your supplies, like diapers, wipes, and creams, down to only what you need. At the same time, make sure to bring ample water, food, and extra layers for you and baby.
7. CARRY A MIRROR – If you are nervous about not being able to see your little one, get a mirror and clip it on so you can look behind you. This is also a fun toy when you are hiking and might halt a crying baby!
8. LET BABY OUT! – Remember to take your baby out of the frame carrier every so often, if on a long hike. He/she needs to move around a bit, especially if it’s a long cold hike. Every 20-30 minutes stop and do a quick check of baby’s hands too!
Hike it Baby Founder Shanti Hodges is amazed she can actually carry her 23 pound son as many miles as she does every week. She’s decided it’s all about practice and wearing them as much as you can on trail! Got more questions for us about frame carriers? Email Joe@hikeitbaby.com or email@example.com!