My perfect day would include my husband, toddler and I waking up to crispy spring air, all snuggled in our tent. We would take our time peeling the blankets off, letting ourselves slowly adjust to the cold morning air. My husband would start the camp stove and cook up some bacon and pancakes, while B and I look at rocks and bugs and sticks. We would smell like smoke and dirt, but all we would smell is bacon, maple syrup and pine trees. We would spend the day hiking and exploring, returning to our cozy tent later in the day to rest our tired bodies.
Everyone's perfect day looks different. To the outdoorsy family, maybe your perfect day looks something like mine. Or maybe you have the desire to take your family outdoors, but you don't know how? Here are a few tips to have a fun, safe time in nature! The 10 Essentials
: Whether you are going for a small hike or camping in the backcountry, don't leave the house without your 10 essentials
! You never know what could happen on the trail, or even on a simple camping trip. While you plan your outing, think about the worst possible conditions you could encounter, then pack accordingly. It is important to always be prepared! The 10 essentials
- Extra Clothing (Think insulation)
- First-Aid Supplies
- Fire (waterproof matches, lighter, fire starter)
- Extra Food & Water
- Emergency Shelter
Other items to include would be:
Pack Your Babies In
- Repair kit/tools (if you're mountain biking)
- Extra fuel
- Extra socks
- Gloves/Knit hat
- Bear Spray
- I always carry bear spray as a protection from animals, and humans.
: If you are wanting to hike a few miles at a time, wearing your baby or toddler will help you do that! Younger babies can be carried comfortably in something like the Ergobaby
. Heavier children and toddlers would be more comfortable in a pack, especially while traveling longer distances. Many packs available have adequate storage for your 10 essentials and any extras you need to bring (diapers, wipes, etc). Higher end packs usually feature a sunshade, which also helps with bugs! It is also a great idea to bring yourErgobaby
or pack just in case one of your little ones gets tired of walking or needs a nap! If your child has never been worn or strapped in the pack, try it out at home, or in your backyard, before setting out on an adventure. This will let your baby discover what it's like while in a familiar environment (and not on the trailhead).
Join Your Local Hike It Baby
: Hike It Baby
is a nationwide group supporting families in the outdoors. Hike it Baby
has over 300 branches in the US with nearly 600 ambassadors who lead hikes, nature walks and provide a knowledgeable, safe way for families to get outside! Often, there are monthly and even weekly events free of charge! Join your local Hike It Baby
to meet other like-minded families!
Wherever you go, always tell at least one person where you are going as well as an itinerary with your estimated time of departure and arrival. Give them specific instructions on when to call the authorities if they haven't heard from you. Always be self aware of your abilities versus the difficulty of the trail. Always be prepared, and have a great time!
To learn more about adventuring in the outdoors with your children, check out this blog post!