Hiking with babies is relatively easy. “Only” what you have to do is carry baby in the sling. Yes, it can uncomfortable, often babies are heavy, but the good side is that they would usually fall asleep. Then, you can enjoy the views, peace and quiet and you can simply walk where you want. We were using fabric baby wrap, you can find link here or on the picture below. We have tried few other slings, even those specially made for hiking. But we found this sling the most comfortable. And what is most important, it grows with baby, you can position baby facing forward or backwords! Moreover, it is breast feeding friendly.
Overall, I found hiking with babies easier that with older children. At the time when mine were babies I thought this is very hard. I was mad that I had to carry rucksack full of nappies and baby wipes. The fact that I had tto take separate food for them was also annoying. Feeding them was relatively easy as I fed my both kids myself. But, I cannot imagine what bottle feeding families must go through when they plan their holidays. Respect for them! Nonetheless, I thought when the kids grow up it will be easier to travel or hike… Oh how wrong I was!
Terrible toddlers! Or really?
For me, personally it was the most enjoyable travel time. Children were old enough to interact with us and could express (vaguely) what they like or not. They could walk by themselves, for short distances. When they had enough of walking we were usually just placing the on the shoulders and that was that! They were quiet and happy. Of course, they had their moments, melt downs and paddies. But it was relatively easy to calm them down. In example, bribe them with an chocolate biscuit. This usually did the trick… But not for long!
School age… “Are we there yet?”
Children are growing up fast! This is not a secret. While hiking with them can be extremely enjoyable, the fact that they older and more aware can be very tiring. Children have short focus time, and obviously are weaker than us, adults. I have to admit, that this is what we sometimes forget when we take the for hike. However, they are very good at reminding us about it… I think the patience is the key! Yes, it is difficult! Especially, when you have heard the “are we there yet” question for the twentieth time within one hour.
Beware! They are on the loose!
I love the fact they are very curious, ask a lot of questions and want to check everything out. Nonetheless, I often get moments when my heart rate suddenly jumps to a dangerous levels and my forehead covers with cold sweat. This is usually when they get sudden energy strike and think that they can run on the edge of the cliff, jump into thick muddy puddle or start wrestling on the path next to giant waterfall! My imagination has no limits then! Especially all after all those years working as a nurse. I feel the urge of tying them to myself tightly so I can prevent them from slipping, falling and been carried away by strong river current!
Hiking with autistic child.
Our Froggy is the master of giving me tachycardia! He is curious autistic boy who wants to explore! He often wants to pace back and forth, this is the way his brain rests. But he does not have much sense of danger. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful with him. Often he does not realise consequences of certain actions. Trust me! It is extremely time consuming to explain him what can happen if he is not careful. Luckily, we have YouTube, and Google. If he struggles with understanding the consequences we usually play him short video, show pictures or do role play with toys so he can understand the situation. Also, very important thing is to give him a lot of time to absorb the information and constant reassurance. On the other hand, each time it gets easier.
Our hiking kit recommendation:
Please note that some of the design of the clothes we recommend are slightly different than to those you see on the picture. We simply have “last season” versions.