What to Bring Hiking With a Child
- Over shoulder front sling (Newborn to six months)
- Front carrier, such as Baby Bjorn™ (Six weeks to six months, or until your child can comfortably hold his/her head up)
- Backpack, preferably one with detachable cover for rain or sun protection.
- Wide brimmed hats for both of you
- Rain gear
- Bug Repellent (check with your pediatrician)
- Tecnu (for poison oak, can be applied before hiking as a preventative)
- Wet Wipes
- Mini first aid kit
- Drinks (Bottle of breast milk, formula or water)
- Small plastic trash bags
- Handheld mirror (to keep an eye on the little one on your back)
- Emergency whistle
- Map of the area being hiked
- Guide to local flora
- Pocket knife
- Thin blanket or sheet to sprawl out on
- String to tie toys, water bottles, etc. onto packs
- Lastly, an open mind!
What to Wear Hiking With a Child
- Sturdy boots that fit comfortably and initially broken in, the single most important item!
- Good hiking socks, to help prevent blisters
- Light waterproof poncho/jacket
- Fleece jacket
- Wide brimmed hat
- Be smart, dress in layers
- Long cotton pants (sun protection)
- Long sleeved t-shirt
- Wide brimmed hat
- Sneakers or boots
- Layers here too!
Safety Tips: Hiking With a Child
- Exposure: Number one concern in the backcountry. Be prepared in your clothing choice, sunscreen protection, abundant intake of fluids, etc.
- Fatigue: Rest, relax, sip (not gulp) some water and visualize finishing the hike as planned.
- Hunger/Thirst: Plan what you would expect to eat on a hike of the anticipated duration and then pack 30% more. Better to have too much then not enough. Best tip I ever read was to stick a air- tight bag of dog food in your backpack. You know you will never eat it unless it is a dire emergency but rest assured, you CAN eat it if necessary and benefit enough from Fido's treat to finish your hike.
- Backpack Safety: If you have little experience fitting your child into a backpack PLEASE allow an experienced individual to adjust the fit perfectly for your comfort and the little one’s safety. This is critical as we have had two instances in the last three years where a small child almost fell through a leg hole in the pack.
- Losing your little one: Plain and simple, stay with them at all times. Tying a bell onto them won't hurt and might even amuse them. Also, have them wear a whistle around their necks to blow just in case.
- Injuries: Remain calm, comfort the injured one and consult your first aid kit's pamphlet and do as stated. Beyond the basics, seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible.
- Avoiding boredom: Sing, play, tell stories as you walk, let them touch and feel the leaves as you pass by. Be creative and look at the world through their little eyes, you may just rediscover your natural surroundings all over again.