Hiking has always been near and dear to my heart. For me, it helps me slow down and focus on what is important, it is a way that I heal, and it is also where I find adventure. When I had B, I was so excited to get her out into the wild with me! As a mother, I feel it will help her learn respect and develop a sense of responsibility.
Now that B can actually carry her own (for the most part) on hikes, it is extremely apparent how beneficial being outdoors is for her. Hiking is helping her motor skills, enriching her sensory learning, and teaching her gentleness. She can touch, learn, and play but we leave everything now it was.
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Hiking with kids does not have to be hard. I found that it actually made my experience much more enjoyable. So here are my 5 Tips for Hiking with Kids, to make hiking a fun family adventure.
- Choose your carrier wisely.
If you are hitting a paved trail, strollers are great! But if you have plans of hitting different terrain, or in my case, have a child who hates the stroller, you will want to a carrier. I feel like I tried every carrier under the sun. The only one B liked was her LilleBaby. It was honestly, the most comfortable and versatile carrier I tried. I was able to start hiking when she was a fresh baby due to my carrier!
Important Carrier Details
- Comfort of the carrier – the LilleBaby had all the right adjustments to custom fit to me and it came with a lumbar support pad. My back and body never felt the strain of carrying.
- Comfort for the Little – I wanted to make sure B was comfortable! This covered everything from body position to body heat! With the LilleBaby, B is ergonomically seated in all positions. I have the 6-in-1 All Seasons Carrier, so I can unzip the pocket, exposing mesh backing to help with airflow (or zip up to trap heat) and it also has the canopy hood to help shield sun and rain. If your little is uncomfortable, it will result in a cranky little and a shirt or REALLY long trek.
- Easy to assemble – Whether I am front, side, or back carrying, I want it to be easy to get my girl hooked up. I hike solo a lot, so it is important that you can safely and easily be able to get your little set up in the carrier.
- Pockets – I need a pocket on my carrier. I put my keys, ID, and a spare diaper in it!
- Versatility – I want the ability to front, side, and back carry! As your kiddo grows, they will want to experience the hike differently. Also, when you hit different terrains, having multiple ways to carry helps to make your trek easier!
2. Pick the right trail
When I first had B, I was pumped to get her out. I am glad I attempted walking through my neighborhood first though. I wasn’t at my prime after having B. I had taken a few months off. She also didn’t have a threshold for long hikes in the beginning.
Stick close to home at first or choose short trails. Work your way up to further out and longer. When you ease into it to, you become more prepared for those longer treks.
Now that B is hiking on her own, I love to find trails that have inclines, roots, and rocks. She is perfecting her balance and learning situational awareness.
3. Pack plenty of water and snacks
Whether it is just you needing the water or the whole family, do not forget this. It helps to keep your stamina up. For breastfeeding Momma’s, it makes sure that supply stays steady. You are moving and grooving and sweating, so stay hydrated!
I always keep snacks for just in case. I love the Simply Balanced Fruit Leathers and Lara Bars from Target! They are lightweight and healthy. Especially on longer hikes, it keeps your energy going and can prevent meltdowns.
4. Stop and smell the flowers
Take time to let your kids explore. Look at this world through their eyes. They experience nature in a raw form, seeing every color, touching alien textures, hearing all the sounds, and smelling the wild.
We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle and find ourselves disconnected with technology. ESCAPE! This is your chance to help your child grow and bond with them. It is your chance to experience the beauty of nature!
5. Be Patient
Hiking has taught me patience. When I am hiking, I am going nowhere fast. This touches on slowing down but trust me – this is a different ballpark. When hiking with a newborn, you are going to stop and feed, stop and change a diaper, stop and calm the baby. Just breathe. They want to be out there with you!
When the babies get bigger, they stop and eat dirt, grass, sticks…then it turns into picking flowers, hoarding rocks, and petting trees! Kids move slow and sometimes we want to just keep going. Those emergency hike bathroom needs are a great learning experience for both you and your kid. Not rushing them through the hike helps you to recenter and refocus.
I’d love to hear back on how these tips helped you! You can also let me know what your favorite hiking tips are.
If you are looking for a community of like-minded Momma’s who want to reconnect with their body and breath, get outdoors with the Littles, and embrace motherhood, join Momma Camping’s Facebook Group.
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