Hiking and babies don’t exactly seem like two things that go well together. Babies need to be held and be showered with attention, while hiking requires focus and the use of your entire body. How is one expected to trek down a rocky incline while also holding a baby?
While that sounds laughable, there are actually a bunch of products out there that make it totally possible. With the right gear, you can definitely take your baby on a hike—even a long one. Even better? Your baby will probably love it. They get to be outside, they stay close to you, and there’s so much for them to do and experience.
The following products make hiking a realistic and comfortable experience for the whole family—even the tiniest members.
Baby Carrier: Ergobaby Omni 360
A great baby carrier is an essential if you plan on hiking with your baby. Strollers or wagons aren’t going to cut it (unless the path is clear and incline-free), and you can’t safely hike while holding baby in your arms. A carrier keeps baby snug against your body, holds them safely, and frees up your arms so that you have full mobility.
The Ergobaby Omni 360 is one of the best options out there because it’s comfortable and really versatile. It offers all carry positions, whether you want them inward, forward facing, on your back, or on your hip, and it grows with your baby from seven pounds to 45 pounds.
The mesh is really breathable and soft so that baby doesn’t overheat in there, and the shoulder straps are padded nicely to feel good on you. The padded lumbar back support is also great and very supportive. I love how easy it is to get baby in and out, and it even has a little hood feature to hide baby if want to cover their head. I’ve worn this while hiking with my daughter, and we were both comfortable and happy the entire time.
Ergobaby Carrier, Omni 360 All Carry Positions Baby Carrier with Cool Air Mesh, Carbon Grey
The Ergobaby is versatile and comfortable for everyone.
Hiking Carrier: Osprey Poco Child Carrier
The Ergobaby or a similar carrier is sufficient to use if you only hike once in a while, but if you’re a serious hiker doing some intense treks, you might want to invest in a more heavy-duty carrier. The Osprey Poco Child Carrier is pricey, but is made with hiking in mind, and is ideal for seasoned hikers.
This one has baby riding on your back and offers a ton of features. There’s a built-in sunshade for UV protection, a drool pad that can be removed and washed, a Double Halo child harness so that you both feel really secure, mesh pockets and loops to store toys and pacifiers that your child can access (so you don’t have to), and adjustable and removable stirrups. The aluminum frame makes it really secure. There are also tons of pockets on this thing for ample storage—you won’t need to bring a bag with you.
Osprey Poco Child Carrier, Starry Black, O/S
Serious hikers need a carrier this intense.
Sun Hat: I Play By Green Sprouts Sun Hat
If the carrier you’re using doesn’t have a sun shade (or your little one just doesn’t like when it’s up), you definitely need to put a sun hat on their head for protection. Personally, I’m a big fan of this I Play by Green Sprouts Sun Hat. It’s really lightweight and comfortable for baby to wear, so they won’t constantly be pulling at it.
The neck flap is perfect for extra coverage, especially as their neck may be exposed while walking around. The tie strap helps it stay put, and the little charm in the back keeps it from flying off their head in the wind.
i play. Baby Flap Sun Protection Swim Hat, Navy, 9-18 Months
This lightweight hat protects from harmful UV rays.
Diaper Bags: Sassy Baby Disposable Diaper Sacks
Going on a long hike? Chances are good that you’ll end up changing baby’s diaper somewhere, and there probably won’t be a garbage pail around to throw away the dirty diaper. Instead of littering, keep these Sassy Baby Disposable Diaper Sacks on hand.
These have built in ties to seal in wetness and odor, so you can stick the dirty diaper in there, then shove it in your pack to toss it away when you find a pail. They have a fresh scent as well to mask anything less than desirable.
Sassy Baby Disposable Diaper Sacks, 200 Count, Packaging may vary
Instead of littering, use these bags.
Wet Bag: Bumkins Waterproof Wet Bag
Babies have accidents all the time, whether their diaper leaks through to their clothes, they spill food or water on themselves, or they wander into some water when you’re taking a break. Bringing a wet bag along is a great way to store any of their clothes that get wet and dirty while you’re hiking so that you can stow it away safely.
This Bumkins Waterproof Wet Bag comes in a bunch of cute designs and has a waterproof coating and heat-sealed seams so everything stays in there. Use it to store other items as well (even if they’re dry).
Bumkins Waterproof Wet Bag, Washable, Reusable for Travel, Beach, Pool, Stroller, Diapers, Dirty Gym Clothes, Wet Swimsuits, Toiletries, 12x14 – Cactus
This is perfect for baby spills.
Bug Spray: Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellant
You definitely want to keep baby safe from annoying bugs and painful bites, but you also want to be careful about the ingredients in the bug spray you might use. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellant is a great option.
Permethrin is an insecticide that is safe for babies to use because it doesn’t include any DEET. It’s best when applied to outdoor gear material, as it bonds to fabric fibers and kills ticks, mosquitos, and other insects that come into contact with it. So, you don’t even need to apply this directly to baby’s skin. (Actually, when applied directly to skin, it breaks down within about 15 minutes, so it’s actually better on other items.) You can spray this on their carrier and clothing instead. It’s odorless after drying, and can last on fabric for up to six weeks.
Sawyer Products SP657 Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, Gear & Tents, Trigger Spray, 24-Ounce
This is safe for little ones with no DEET.
First Aid Kit: American Red Cross Deluxe Health and Grooming Kit
Having a first aid kit on hand is just smart no matter what age you are, but especially if you’re bringing a baby along. You can easily make your own with what you think you might need, but this American Red Cross Deluxe Health and Grooming Kit covers the basics, too.
It comes with a nasal aspirator, digital thermometer with a case, medicine dropper, and comfort tip medicine spoon, as well as a brush, comb, scissors, nail clippers, toddler toothbrush, and a mirror. It’s also not a bad idea to add bandages and infant Tylenol to the bag as well.