If you would love to know how to go hiking with a baby, or are curious to know how to bush walk with a baby, you have come to the right blog. Our family loves hiking and bushwalking. We have hiked all over different parts of the world, always searching for great views, historical sights and new adventures.
Naturally, we want to continue with our passtime and keep up our active lifestyle, even now we have a baby (our Tiny Wayfarer). It’s actually not that much harder than hiking on your own if you are prepared and have the right mindset. Let me explain and show you how.
Wander into the great outdoors with our tried and tested tips.
Last year, we hiked to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, an easy one-day walk. Read my post about it here.
Rule #1: Thou shalt be prepared
I’m going to paint you a picture of what it looks like to not be prepared….
You’ve just arrived at the carpark of a beautiful scenic park. There’s a short hike to a lovely waterfall, and you are going to attempt to hike with your baby in the baby carrier. You set off, patting yourself on the back for being such new-age-adventurous parents. “This isn’t so bad?!” You think to yourself.
Suddenly, as you’re reading an information sign about the local flora, you hear that bubbling sound: Bubs is going number two. “Oh no”, you think. “Please don’t let this be an explosion!!” Your prayers aren’t answered as the warm sweet smell ascends to your nostrils out of the carrier. You stop to assess the situation. As you pull Bubs out, you see the tell-tale yellowish wet stain up the back. It’s a No. 4 stage blow-out. You’re devastated, not just because this is already ruining your hike, but you have just realised it has just ruined your day too…you’ve got shit on your shirt.
With no change of clothes for you or Bub, and after 30 minutes in the park’s freezing open-air public bathroom, you head home: Defeated, smelly and sticky.
Let’s be real. Blow-outs and baby-mess happen to everyone, and they can happen anywhere. To enjoy your hike, and to actually want to do it again and again, you have to ensure potential catastrophes are actually just small inconveniences. In order to do this, and never get stuck in a brown-spot, take a backpack carrying the following:
Hiking Backpack Contents:
- 3 x Disposable nappies
- Disposable wipes
- Reusable wet bag
- Snaplock bag with a full change of clothes (snaplock can be used to seal any soiled items)
- Small tub of barrier cream
- Muslin cloth/plain white cloth nappy (as a change pad/breastfeeding cover/or to wipe up mess)
- Dummy (this is optional)
- Baby sunscreen
- Hand sanitiser
Currently our baby is four-months old and hasn’t started solids yet (He is breastfed). Once he does we will most likely carry pouches of pre-pureed vegetables (Like Raferty’s Garden) and snap lock bags with biscuits and cut up fruit and veg.
If we were formula feeding, I would take a small thermos of warm water, a bottle, and a container with pre-portioned formula. Easy peasy.
- Snacks for a breastfeeding Mummy and an always-hungry Daddy
- Spare shirt
- 2 x Water bottles
- First-aid kit
- Head torch
- Pocket knife
Rule #2 Thou shalt not attempt too-much-too-soon
This one is pretty simple. If you try and hike a difficult track before you or your baby are ready, then you will probably not enjoy it, and be put off for future trips. Slow and steady wins the race. Build up to longer treks by being successful at shorter ones. This will build your confidence as a parent-hiker and it will help guide and prepare you for bigger and better adventures.
Rule #3 Thou shalt use a comfortable baby carrier
Our four-month old is close to 8kg and he is only going to get heavier as time goes on. Not only that, but he is WAY off walking, so carrying him it is. We have an Ergobaby 360 and so far we love it. The main feature that you want to look for is a weight supporting belt around the hips. That way all the weight is carried around your hips, not your shoulders and neck. It also has a sun/weather cover that goes over his head, and a very handy pocket in the front which I love.
Rule #4 Thou shalt check the weather and dress appropriately
With such accurate forecasts these day, this is an essential step, and valuable information you should not ignore. Dressing for the conditions will dramatically improve your trips and help you have more fun. Nothing worse than wanting to enjoy a great place, but you are cold or wet!
Rule #5 Thou shalt be flexible
Ideally, to make it easy on yourself, flexibility is key. Maybe your baby needs to be changed on a picnic rug, and maybe you need to feed her in a public space. Keeping an open mind, and being flexible, are fundamental to going with the flow and enjoying your trip.
Rule #6 Thou shalt have tremendous fun
Hiking and getting out in the great outdoors is a fabulous family pastime and will inspire your children to become little wayfaring citizens in the future. We live in such a beautiful country and sometimes we are completely guilty of taking it for granted. Enjoy, and please let me know if I have missed any great tips that help you and your family on your adventures! Or let me know where you love to go and share your favourite walking tracks with us!
Remember to share this post with your friends and fellow hiking buddies!