Best Hiking Baby Carriers

Best Hiking Baby Carriers

August 26, 2016

Best Hiking Baby Carriers

As a new parent, you deserve an outing where you can relax and exercise: and a nice hike is a solid baby-friendly choice. Here’s our tips on how to pick your baby carrier, what to pack, and how to have fun.Best Hiking Baby Carriers

A nice hike is a solid baby-friendly family outing, and a hiking backpack for baby can make it even more enjoyable.

Do you need a separate specialized baby carrier for hiking? Not necessarily. Your regular carrier might work just fine. The main concern is that regular baby carriers don’t provide the back support that parents need for a long hike, and it doesn’t give the baby a great view of the woods either.

Hiking backpacks are designed to let you comfortably carry a large amount of weight (baby + gear) for a long time. One parent remarked, “With our other carriers we were getting sore after an hour. With the hiking bag we hiked for over four hours and we were still good to go.” But compared to regular carriers, hiking backpacks can be quite large.

Key Considerations

  • Make sure the baby hiking backpack is going to fit your torso length really well, otherwise you won’t be comfortable. The ideal backpack has adjustable straps with a wide range.
  • What’s your trade-off for weight vs. features? The ones with more features will be a little heavier.
  • How much space do you need for gear? If you’re hiking with baby solo, you’ll want lots of room for diapers and snakcs. Or if most gear will be in a separate backpack, that might not be necessary.

Lightweight with Extras

This lightweight aluminum-frame baby hiking backpack is a fantastic value for its convenience and durability. It has an extra-large back pocket for diapers and the lumbar-padded straps are extremely comfortable.

Simple & Breathable

This one doesn’t include gear space, but your back won’t get as hot and sweaty, and maybe your hiking partner can carry the gear. Also the chair can adjust in three different positions according to your baby’s age. One woman even used this one around the house because her baby loved being able to see everything from up high on her back.

Pricey, But Awesome

Although pricier and weightier, it has the snazziest features. You can unsnap the side to load your kid, instead of threading him through the top. There are separate pockets for snacks and diapers, a waterproof cell phone holding area on the front belt, and a little mirror so you can see the baby behind you.

Planning Your Hike

Now that you’ve decided how to carry baby, it’s time to plan your hike! Reading about the trail in advance can help you determine whether it’s a good choice for your family: this Sierra club trails database is a great resource. Remember, you won’t be able to go as far with kids as you did on your own, so flexibility is key.

The Wild Time app is specifically designed for young children and it gives you wilderness adventure missions to complete. The missions tend to be very simple, like “collect the smells you come across” or “shadow watching,” which makes “mission accomplished” satisfyingly easy. There are also a lot of field guide apps out there. Since animals don’t stay in one place (and that can be frustrating for little ones) the plant field guide Leafsnap may be your most relaxing choice.

Prepare your child to have a safe hike

Use only child-safe sunscreen and bug sprays, and minimize the amount of sunscreen you have to use by using clothing with good coverage. Long cotton pants, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a wide-brimmed hat is a good outfit for covering your baby’s skin against the sun and mosquitos without causing overheating.

Hiking with Baby Gear Checklist

This checklist will help you be prepared, but not overburdened.

Necessary
  • Diapers

  • Wipes

  • Diaper disposal bags

  • Spare baby outfit

  • Bug spray & Sunscreen (depending on weather)

  • Bottles & milk, or snacks & sippy cup (depending on age)

  • Plenty of water

  • Fully charged phone

  • First aid kit

Optional
  • External battery power pack for your phone

  • Burp cloth

  • Changing pad/cloth

  • Nursing cover

  • Cloth to sit on

  • Picnic lunch

  • Baby jacket or raincoat (depending on weather)

Packing Perfect Snacks

Many parents save the best snacks for hikes as a way of positively conditioning their children to like hiking. One parent said, “My friend Teresa’s kids call their favourite treats ‘hiking worms’ because they only get gummy worms on the trail.”

Happy Hiking

The most common advice for hiking with babies and toddlers is “Be prepared to change your plans at the drop of a hat.” Enjoy your time in the fresh air and sunshine! You deserve it.

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