The Only Gear You Will Need to Enjoy a Long Hike with your Baby
hen I had my baby boy nine months ago, I knew intuitively that I wanted to keeping hiking outside like I always had. Hiking in the great outdoors has always been such a key part of my life that I knew if I did not continue, I would, well, go crazy.
Plus, hiking in nature is such a simple but impactful way to savor the simple moments with your child.
Now, I am not a fan of having a lot of gear — but I am a fan of having just the right gear.
In fact, a few key pieces of lightweight gear has been the key to my husband and I backpacking into super sneaky secluded spots over the years, because we can go the extra mile with lighter packs.
So I set out on a mission to find just the right gear for long day hikes with my kiddo (around six to eight miles and a lunch stop).
There are three key pieces of gear that I have used repeatedly, over the last 10 months, for long day hikes.
Here are the three pieces of gear you will need:
Each piece is simple, very functional, and lightweight, which will make your long day hikes (and backpacking trips) with your young baby enjoyable.
1. Onya Baby Outback Baby Carrier
Brought to you by our friends in Santa Cruz, this is the best baby carrier for parents who like to get outside and explore with kid in tow. We have used this carrier almost every single day since Spencer was born.
Both my husband and I use this carrier, and it is super comfortable for both of us. This is key if you want to go on a long day hike, as you won’t have any fun if you are not comfortable.
In addition, this carrier is great for walking through trees and shrubs as it has very strong material that will protect baby and will not rip. It is also a great wind, fog, and bad weather protector for baby.
2. Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair
Made in my town of San Fran, this chair is pure awesomeness. We actually had this chair before I was pregnant and it’s great not only for long day hikes but also for making backpacking just a little more comfy (chair on a lake, anyone?). We also use it for an easy beach or park picnic. The chair folds up very small and is super light.
This is a key piece of gear for hiking with a baby as it allows you to have a place to sit —and support your back — while holding a napping baby or breast feeding along the trail.
3. KidCo Peapod Plus Travel Bed
First off, I definitely hesitated on this purchase as it seemed like an extravagance. But I now have used it multiple times, and I feel that having guaranteed shade and a place for baby to sleep while we eat lunch on the trail is simply amazing. There is padding on the bottom which means you can put this on a rock next to the river and baby is still super comfortable. And again, it is super light to carry.
This is a great piece to have if you are going to hike in areas with limited shade, as your little one can be protected from the glaring sun and have a nice place to take an extended nap.
There you have it. These are the key pieces of gear that I would recommend having for long hikes with a baby. Of course, every family is different so think about what would work best for you.
We have done numerous hikes — from the Desolation Wilderness to Mt. Tamalpais — and these have all served us well.
I do hope this simple list helps you feel inspired to get outside and into nature while your baby is young. It’s not only possible, it is necessary for your wellbeing and health. Plus, it’s simply a lot of fun! .