My first thought when I decided to take Sophie out for her first hike was, what do I need to pack and what if I forget something and were out in the middle of nowhere. I quickly remembered that she’s a baby. Eat, Sleep, Play. As long as I had food and a change of clothes she will be set. So I naturally over packed. 16 diapers, a full bag of wipes, doggy bags for dirty diapers, two sleepers, two onesies, a sunhat, a toque, two pairs of mitts, two pairs of socks, bug spray, 2 swaddles, a blanket – you name it, I packed two. What did she wear? The same thing I dressed her in to leave the house. How many diapers did I change? One. Needless to say, I packed like we were going backcountry camping for a month!
Over the last three months, 12 summits and 10 fishing trips I have learned you do not need to pack that much. Especially for the hike itself. I always have extra of everything in the diaper bag in the car but what to put in your pack you only need one of something, not everything. So I have generated a list of items I have found to be helpful on the trails.
- Diapers 1-2
- Ziplock of a few wipes
- Baby bug spray
- One pair of mittens
- A swaddle/blanket to be used if they’re cold and double as a changing pad
- An extra sleeper (wee woolies if possible!)
- Camera (because they’re only small once)
- A “dirty bag” (to put diapers in or any soiled clothing in case of an accident)
- If you are formula feeding, a premixed bottle so you do not have to worry about how long its been sitting for
And that my friends, is it. Of course, you need the regular items you take to hike normally… water, food, sunscreen, first aid kit, bear spray, etc.
The second thing I would like to discuss is specific products that I have found to be worth the purchase.
- SPOT X two-way communications device– This has beyond put my mind at ease when it comes to hiking where there is no cell service. The two-way system allows me to check in with my family so they knows we are safe, as well as send any emergency messages if need be. Also, I have extended my subscription to include roadside assistance. This allows me to have access to a tow truck if my vehicle breaks down, I lose my keys, my battery dies in the wintertime! It is terrifying to think about what we would do if we lost the keys skiing one day and there was no one else around. So 100% SPOT you are a game-changer Find Me Spot.com
- Wee Woollies– Canadian designed and manufactured merino wool line has been amazing for Sophie. Although sleepers work fine, the baby base layers allow her to stay warmer and dry quicker. The reality is, if baby is in a front carrier there is no barrier between you and them, so if your sweating – they’re getting covered in it. Feeling very guilty about this, someone suggested trying the wee woollies because of there ability to dry so fast. I would take her out of the carrier every couple hours and let her dry off for 10 minutes or so and you could even tell she was wet. Before I had these, I would be changing her into a new sleeper each time. Not to mention the super fun bright colours look great on the mountainside! Wee Woollies.ca
- Ergo baby 360– Thanks to Snuggle Bugz.ca for letting me in on this fantastic carrier. Offering 4 different positions to carry baby in, although we are still in position one, the infant insert has allowed me to comfortably carry Sophie around. I originally started out with just the carrier and had to prop a blanket underneath to help hold her up. But the infant insert is just a little bum seat that allows her to comfortably sit in the carrier, with excellent head and neck support. The added rain cover has also been extremely handy, as we all know that when the mountains call for a blue sky day, your likely going to see some sort of wild winds or precipitation! ERGObaby 360 – Snuggle Bugz.ca
- Draussen Company Day Pack– Although there are many packs out there, this has to be my favourite one so far. Why? The mesh frame back. When having someone stuck to your front, it’s a little suffocating to have something stuck to your back as well! The back frame allows for a more breathable fit so everything isn’t so stuck to you! As well as the hydration bladder is a lifesaver! You think hiking was hard before, try having an extra 30lbs on you! You will want to have all the water you can. Draussen Company 3500 Day Pack
Overall I was very nervous the first time I hiked, I would be concerned if you weren’t. But if this is something you are used to doing, then I say go for it. I was comfortable again after about a half an hour of walking and the more I went the easier it was for me. The truth is she loves it. She’s being carried around all day with me and getting some good fresh air. I always recommend, especially at the beginning, choosing trails you have already done. So you are comfortable with the terrain and can limit any surprises. I choose trails with lots of tree coverage and popular trails where I know there would be other hikers in passing, just to be cautious. Remember to be bear smart and aware and you will be just fine! Let me know how it goes 🙂
Written by: Leah Szucki