Having a child is truly a blessing, every mom knows that perfectly. The undescribed joy when you hear the first word, watching as your little one grows up. These moments are unforgettable. Still, sitting all day long at home will surely make you tired in time. Moms also need some time for themselves. With a little effort, you can easily start exploring the world with your kid! And I don’t have your backyard in mind. Hitting the trail may be the perfect way to show the wonders of the world to your kid and having fun yourself. Hiking is, in my opinion, one of the best solutions for parenting stress. It sounds like fun (and indeed it is), but you need to take care of a few things before hitting the trail or the whole thing will give you a bad headache at best.
The first thing to do is finding a kid-friendly trail. How to find one? Use the knowledge of other experienced parents who already been on a few trips. Start with asking your friends or relatives, but it’s the internet where you’ll find the most valuable information. Check some parenting forums or Facebook groups, you will find plenty of support there. You can (and you should) remember it’s still hiking, so a traditional mountain hiking guide will surely come in handy. When you have decided on a particular destination, it’s time to make the preparations. Still, remember that what’s perfect for one parent may not actually be perfect for you and your kid, but any trip may be really fun if approached correctly.
Making a test run without your kid will be a good idea. This way you will get to know the terrain, the distance, the altitude and familiarize yourself with the place. You can search for restaurants or restrooms along the way or find some special spots to show your kid. Just remember, if the trail seems too hard for you, there’s no sense in getting there with your kid, both of you will end up unhappy – and we’re here to have fun. Always pick a trail with a distance and altitude your kid may handle.
Start early. You want to have all the power you can and the same goes for your kid. Assuming you’re one hour drive away from your destination, it will be a good idea to leave at 8 a.m., so you could hit the trail at around 9. This way you will be able to do a good workout and grab the energy from the sun and get back home in the early afternoon, a perfect time for your kid to take a nap.
Plan some rests. Whether your kid will walk on its own or you will carry your toddler, both of you need to take a rest once or twice. If you have made the test run, you will perfectly know the spots where you can refill yourself with water or some snacks and simply catch a breath. Hiking with a kid is fun, but both of you may get tired after a while.
There’s a possibility your kid will simply get bored, don’t expect your little one to be amazed and engaged by the views in the same way you will be. Prepare some fun activities like singing or telling stories. This way the trip will be more enjoyable and keep your little one busy all the time.
I’ll assume your toddler is somewhere between 6 months and 4 years old. You will probably carry him, so you’ll need just the best baby carrier for hiking. Picking the right one isn’t easy, while it’s one of the most important accessories for hiking with your baby. Read some reviews before deciding to pick one, there are a lot around there and surely will help you. A good carrier will make the trip very enjoyable, safe and comfy both for you and your kid.
Remember about checking the weather and pick the right clothing both for you and your kid. It’s usually a bit colder in the wood areas. There are also some dangers you should be prepared for (but don’t be scared, it’s nothing big) – mosquitos for example. You can get a bug repellent, but still, some long sleeve t-shirt will be a better choice. Take a small first-aid kit and remember about charging your smartphone’s battery just in case you’d need to call for help. A power bank also will be useful. But don’t be scared, be prepared! 🙂
Last, but not least: attitude. The right approach is probably the most important thing. Don’t make the trips (especially the first few ones) too long. Toddlers tend to get grumpy and bored, and singing may just not be enough. A short trip will also be a great one, there’s absolutely no need to push yourself, and it’s not alpinism. Simply enjoy the great experience, bonding you with your little one even more.
Visit babygeartested.com for more tips.