Are you wondering how to approach backpacking with baby? If so, read on. We have found ourselves in this predicament ourselves, so we thought we’d put together the ultimate guide for exploring the world with a young child in tow.
Babies can be very demanding, and you may find that things you used to take for granted are much more difficult once you have brought a new life into the world. However, this doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your favourite hobbies and activities completely, it often just means you have to reshape the way you go about things.
We have split the next section into two categories – what you should do and what you shouldn’t do.
By following these steps, you can hopefully ensure your experience is a magical and unforgettable once that’s helped you create memories you’ll be able to cherish forever as opposed to a fussy, negative one that you won’t ever want to repeat.
Whether you’re heading out locally or backpacking miles away from home or even abroad, these tips should hopefully serve you well.
This guide will offer tips on :
Packing clothes for your adventure
Keeping you and your baby hydrated
Preparing for backpacking
Keeping baby happy and more
What You Should Do
Let’s take a look at some of things you definitely should do when it comes to backpacking with baby.
Spend as much money as you can on a quality baby carrier. The less you spend, the more likely it is that baby won’t get the support and comfort they need, which means things will be uncomfortable for you too. Chances are you’ll be carrying baby around for significant periods of time so look for something ergonomic from a quality brand you can trust. If you have a larger baby, a structured back carrying pack could be right for you.
Pack as many clothes for the baby as you need to, and then pack more. Babies have a habit of soiling their clothes on a regular basis, so it’s always best to pack more than you need rather than less. Be prepared for temperature drops and make sure they have all the insulation they need for when things get cooler. Make sure they have the right clothing available in the event of showers.
Be prepared to feed baby more often that you normally would. If you’re travelling through the hills, chances are you’ll be taking on high altitudes, which means altitude sickness could become a problem. Dehydration is a major cause of this, so be prepared to stop regularly to ensure baby doesn’t start to feel ill or overly-hungry.
Don’t forget about your own health – make sure you have access to all the water and snacks you’re likely to require throughout your adventure. If you’ve been breastfeeding, remember that you’re vastly more likely to become dehydrated than a new mother who hasn’t been, so bear this in mind when packing drinks.
If you’re heading out on a lengthy trip, it could be wise to embark on some shorter journeys so you can get a feel for what more serious backpacking with baby could be like. Heading out for 30 minutes to an hour a few times in advance of your big trek will get you and your baby used to exploring the vast terrain. What’s more is that it will give you a better idea of what you need to take, how much you need to take and how much you should pack.
It’s wise to explore close to home during your first few trips and then become more adventurous as your experience builds up and your confidence grows. Make sure you take a physical map in case you don’t have an internet connection and take an extra battery or two for your phone.
Make sure you interact with your baby even if you can’t see their face. Talking or singing to them will keep them stimulated and engrossed in your adventure. Babies tend to crave interaction so it is important that they know you haven’t forgotten about their presence. Your voice will hopefully calm them as you make your way through the hills.
Use hiking poles. Hiking poles can come in very handy when you have a growing baby on your back. They can make the process of backpacking with baby much smoother, and if you’re happy and comfortable, chances are your little one will be too.
Sort camping out before you begin your adventure. Don’t come unstuck and find yourself in dire need of accommodation during your trip. If you think there is a chance you will need somewhere to stay whilst you’re exploring the open air, it’s best to book accommodation rather than coming to regret it later after things have taken much longer than you envisaged, night has fallen and your home or hotel is miles away. If you think there is a chance you will need somewhere to camp, book something in advance to avoid being left cold and stranded in the darkness.
What You Should Avoid
Now, let’s examine some of the things you definitely should avoid doing when backpacking with baby.
Overdo . Babies can get tired and grumpy easily, you should expect to get fewer miles in than you would have done before becoming a parent. You should focus on the fact that you’re finally experiencing the open air with your baby rather than trying to clock up as many miles or kilometres as you possibly can.
Take masses of toys. Bring too many toys along for the ride and it’s likely to weigh you down unnecessarily. Chances are that your baby will be way too tired for toys once your trek comes to and end anyway, which means they won’t even get the chance to play with them. The scenery your baby is presented with is likely to give them all the stimulation they need and keep them happy as your trip progresses.
Worry. The more uptight, the more upset baby is likely to become. Try to keep smiling even if you do become tired and are faced with baby tears. You will be able to tell your baby all about their adventure in future – take pictures if you can so you can reminisce about their trip with them when they are old enough to understand.
Forget to bring bedtime clothes for baby. Even if you do intend to stay at home or in a hotel, you may find yourself needing to camp after all, so ensure you’re fully equipped should you need to sleep somewhere you weren’t planning on sleeping.
Forget to tell others . Inform others where you are going so they can take action if they don’t hear from you by a certain point.
Did you enjoy the tutorial? If so, let us know below. We designed this guide to prepare you for your first backpacking experiences with baby and to ensure your fully-equipped for anything that might happen during the adventure.
Hopefully this tutorial has been of use to you and has helped you feel more confident in advance of your outdoor experience. Please remember to share this article if you did like it.