Backpacking with Baby

10:20 p.m. on June 16, 2009 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Backpacking with Baby"

Taking a baby along on wilderness excursions can be both safe and enjoyable. Parents will need to make adjustments, but the result is a child who is comfortable in the outdoors, strong, and self-confident. And a family that can engage in its favorite activity together.

Full article at

11:25 a.m. on June 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Nice article ad spot on too... We have three kids, oldest 4 youngest 6 months... All of them have done both day hikes and overnights starting around 4-5 months old. It seemed the younger they were the easier it was. As they got older and more mobile and wanted to explore more and would stumble more as they were learning to walk. (though they still stumbled in the backyard too) But at this point the oldest is as keen on going hiking and/or camping as I am. (which would be weekend or more if time off work permitted.) We too have heard friends say "your so brave to take them out" or some other line but we never really saw it as such rather a nice family getaway.
Personally I think if your used to hiking or camping and a parent, it not really that much more work. Yes there is more weight, yes you have another person to keep track of and care for but if you got to a local playground your doing a lot of the same things. Carrying, keeping warm, cleaning, feeding etc are the same activities as you would do at the local playground.
For hiking and camping.. Carrying our kids, they all started in a BabyBjorn and the moved up into a baby backpack which was like them growing out of a car seat. Keeping warm... same layering you'd potential do taking them to a park. Cleaning... The difference here is the trash can maybe a bit further and you need to carry the diapers out (same as you would with other hiking trash). Feeding... Breast feeding where no one is staring at you.. My wife usually like it that way and there is no real difference if they are on a bottle or solid food... Shelter... The small dome tent worked for us for a long until we had the third child. Now I just get kicked out to sleep in my hammock at night...

So to those who say "it's ridiculous" or "your so brave"... I say your're missing out on a great family experience...

9:11 p.m. on May 28, 2010 (EDT)
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We are packing up for a weekend trip with our five month old, and the biggest challenge we are looking at (in advance of the trip) is how to pack all of OUR stuff - the baby backpack has enough room for our son and most of his clothing/diapers, but does that mean my husband gets to carry everything for the two of us adults?


8:45 p.m. on May 29, 2010 (EDT)
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My parents took me camping when I was 6 months old in June of 1956. I was born in January and they camped that summer in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. My mother says she woke up not to find me beside her and looked and found me rolled out side the big canvas tent they used back then.

2:31 p.m. on June 11, 2010 (EDT)
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Welcome (rather belatedly) to Trailspace, vivace72! It's always great to hear from more outdoor families.

I'm sure you've already come and gone on your weekend backoacking trip, so please report back on how it went.

To answer your original question in short: yes, one adult will have to carry a whole bunch of gear and the other parent will have to carry the baby and everything they can fit in the kid carrier. I know personally that that is easier said than done.

Nothing made us start stripping down our gear as light and small as possible, as having kids.

Please tell us how it worked out for you and your husband and baby.

4:10 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
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thanks Alicia! I didin't have anything alerting me to responses- apologies! Spo a VERY late response to your welcome!

Everything went really well- now our 9 month old has been out backpacking and in a tent in the Olympic Natl Park (think that was the trip you were talking about), backpacking multiple times in Denali Natl Park, backpacking in the North Cascades and in Glacier Natl Park. He truly is never so happy as when he is outside!

My husband carried an enormous pack and I had the baby (getting more enormous by the day...) Learning a lot about what hear works and what gear doesn't. So we are definitely amending length of trips (though for day hikes Sam hangs in there all day mostly with stops for snacks and play time...we did twelve miles one day in Denali last month!)

I'm trying to remember to blog about this and would LOVE to include stories/lessons/ideas from anyone else willing to share on the blog!

4:12 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Another comment actually: on the diapers, for those camping in bear country (pretty much all we do), you need to plan to bring an extra bear can for diapers, too! And don't forget the hand sanitizer...

June 25, 2018
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