My husband, Chad, and I love to get outdoors and explore just as much as our 2-year-old Thomas does. A hike that we’ve done several times is to the top of Seneca Rocks. Last week was the first time we attempted it with Thomas, outside of the womb. The last time we hiked it I was 7-months pregnant.
If you’re planning to go hiking with a toddler, here are some things I recommend based on my limited experience hiking with a toddler.
- Get a great toddler carrier. We knew before hand that we wanted to do some hiking this summer so we researched and found this Deluxe Red Baby Toddler Backpack . We love it! It has space at the bottom to carry whatever extras you need such as: diapers, wipes, baggies (for dirty diapers), snacks, toys, water, extra clothes, sunscreen, bug spray, keys, etc. I also like how it has a smaller backpack that you can zip off the back and either use it separately like we did to carry water bottles so the pack with Thomas wasn’t too heavy or it’s also the perfect size for Thomas to carry his own stuff in. The pack also comes with a canopy for when we are out and about in the sun and a rain cover. The pack fit Chad and I both comfortably and seemed to be a comfy ride for Thomas. We took turns carrying Thomas, although Chad probably carried him 70% of the way up and down the trail.
- Dress appropriately and in layers. It was a warm evening so we all had shorts on and short sleeve tops. However, we made sure we brought a light jacket along for Thomas since the sun was going down and our trail was in the shade. He didn’t need it but I would have felt bad if he had gotten chilly. Usually Thomas has sandals on but he is known to slide out of them. Chad wore boots which was the best option. I wore tennis shoes and the next day my toes were hurting from coming down the mountain.
- Take snacks and water. Once we made it to the top of trail we sat and enjoyed a beautiful sunset while eating some gummies and crackers.
- Allow your toddler to explore, but cover some ground when they’re in the pack. We had the top of the mountain in mind for our destination so we needed to high tail it when we could. Chad and I allowed Thomas to walk a good bit of the trail when it was flat. It was a pretty slow moving pace while he was walking on his own. It seemed like he was trying to remove every rock from the trail. But he really enjoyed it. As soon as we convinced him to get in the pack, Chad and I took off and went as far was we could until Thomas became too antsy for the pack. To keep him entertained while in the pack he kept looking for big bucks to shoot with his nerf gun. We never did see any deer, but we did see squirrels which he settled for.
- Set expectations for your toddler. The trail we hiked was very steep in places and can be dangerous for a little tike. We reminded Thomas to stay away from the edge of the trail and we kept a watchful eye on him.
We have some more trails for hiking in mind and hopefully we will be able to share those experiences in the future.
**I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.