Heading out on to the trail? Wondering what to bring? Here’s a quick guide to what I take out there.
Snacks and drinks
If there’s something we always over pack it’s water and snacks. I never want to be caught deep out on a trail without water. This is super important even if it’s heavy. This is even more important when you have children with you. Children can get dehydrated even if they’re only passengers and aren’t doing the hard work that you are doing.
Our rule for water is a bottle for every person hiking for every mile hiked. And that rule changes to a bottle and a half for every mile hiked if we know there’s a very steep assent awaiting, which you’d know based on the elevation gain listed information for any particular hike. Get the baby used to drinking out of a Camelbak type bladder so that he/she can use your water. Have a Camelbak, and carry two water bottles on either side of the pack for long hikes.
For snacks our simple go to are the organic baby food pouches (Happy Family is one great brand that a lot of babies really like and they come out to a lot of Hike it Baby events). Also easy quick things like Amy’s Cheddar Bunnies, raisins, Puffs, and if you have tried peanut butter, little peanut butter and banana sandwiches cut up into quarters so you can serve a little bit at a time.
Pack a small compass, a GPS (phones have one built in and if you’re using any trekking app, it gets activated automatically), flashlight, emergency blanket, rain poncho or jacket, whistle, lightweight first-aid kit, water purification device (for example Life Straw or Steripen), knife, pepper spray, small trash bag, sunscreen, insect repellent, change of clothes – especially for the baby, diapers and wet wipes, a fully-charged cell phone in case of an emergency – although more often than not there’s no cellular coverage in the woods, reason why you need to be as prepared as possible.
And now that the fall is upon us and with that lots of rain, don’t forget to pack a good cover up. Some examples are an umbrella (yes on the trail), something like a Mamababy poncho
from Together Gear or even just one of those super small cheap-o emergency rain ponchos that are more or less a big plastic bag with armholes.
Your time on the trail can be a fine adventure, but overachieving can lead to over-tiredness, which can become quite an adversary on a day hike. Infants in carriers are self-regulating; they sleep when they’re tired. But toddlers are another story: If they get tired, bored, or grumpy, it might be time to head for home. Be realistic with your expectations and know that sometimes the hike may not always go as planned.
Be flexible, have fun and remember to enjoy the fresh air, the beautiful nature and lastly but not least the unforgettable bonding experience you’re having with your baby.
Want to get a discounted Together Gear
poncho? This poncho protects mom and baby from rain! For front wearing only, but as baby grows you can remove the hood and put it on that toddler who refuses to wear a jacket but will happily do a super hero cape. www.togethergear.com TYPE IN CODE: HIKEITBABY for $10 off
Anka is a full-time Portland, OR working mom that treasures the most the special moments spent outdoors with her husband and 16-month old son, Apollo. In weekends you will always find her hiking or biking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and later blog about their son’s adventures on their personal blog.