Many people think they’ll have to put their outdoor adventures on hold when their babies are born, but that’s simply not the case. Backpacking with babies requires a bit of extra planning, but it’s absolutely doable, and it’s a lot of fun.
So, why would you want to backpack with your baby? After all, they’re too little to remember the experience. First, you are going to enjoy and remember the sight of your little one taking it all in, and that alone is reason enough. And, one day you’ll be able to show your child photos and share memories of their first backpacking adventure. What could be more special than that?
Here’s everything you need to know about backpacking with babies so you can plan your trip with confidence!
When it comes to diapers and wipes, you have a few different options, depending on how long you’ll be on the trail, what might be available along the way, and how much you want to carry.
The Deuter Kid Comfort 2 is a fantastic option for little ones from 22 – 48 pounds. It’s a baby carrier/backpack hybrid that allows you to carry all of your gear and your baby comfortably at the same time. Awesome features include flexible footrests, a sunshade, a removable headrest, and a hip belt for comfortable carrying.
For smaller babies, you could opt to carry your baby in a front carrier and wear a standard backpack on your back. Don’t forget to plan for rain and bugs on the trail. Whatever option you choose, be sure it has a rain cover and a mosquito net for the baby’s comfort.
Here are a few things to consider when packing food for babies on the trail.
When it comes to choosing baby’s clothes for backpacking, the first thing to remember is to avoid cotton. Cotton holds moisture and can actually suck heat away from your little one’s body if it gets the least bit damp. Wool, polyester, and fleece are much better options. Pack clothing that can be layered depending on the weather, and don’t forget to bring a sunhat to protect the baby's eyes and face from the sun. One-piece, zippered baby rain suits can also be a lifesaver on rainy days.
Sleeping comfortably with a baby on the trail requires a little advanced planning. If mom will need to breastfeed during the night, having the baby sleep between mom and dad is probably the most convenient option. If your sleeping pads are wide enough, you won’t have to bring an extra pad. If not, look for a multi-person sleeping pad to keep everyone comfortable.
If mom won’t need to breastfeed during the night, you put the baby at the head of the tent on a small sleeping pad. If the nights will be cool, fleece pajamas and a warm hat will keep the baby warm. If it’s going to be cold, snuggle your baby in close for extra warmth.
You will probably find that your little one is so enchanted with all the sights and sounds, keeping him or her entertained won’t be a problem. However, it might be nice to have some small toys for entertainment when you set up camp for the night.
You might also want to bring a small baby tent that your little one can hang out in at camp. They’re made primarily for the beach, but it’s nice to have a place to put the baby down while you’re setting up camp and making dinner. Look for one that includes a bug net or bring your own to throw over it.
The primary concern when backpacking with babies is safety. Make sure you have a good first aid kit and at least one person in your group should be trained in infant CPR. And don’t forget to bring a camera so you can document your baby’s first backpacking adventure!