Tips on Backpacking With Your Baby

These helpful tips on backpacking with your baby will ensure you have a successful trip, includes planning the trip, important baby supplies, food suggestions, baby clothing ideas and baby proofing the campsite.

| July/August 1982

  • Backpacking with a toddler
    While one set of diapers dries en route, Nate gaily balance his treasured tiger cup on Becky's head.

  • Backpacking with a toddler

By using these helpful tips on backpacking with your baby you can prepare to go backpacking with your baby at almost any age. 

"I love to go a-wandering, a baby on my back" was not the way "The Happy Wanderer" began his famous hiking song . . . and no wonder! At first thought, the idea of lugging—and coping with—an infant or toddler (along with all one's gear) on a backpacking trip would seem to be enough to discourage any wilderness traveler from joyously singing "Valderee! Valderaa!"

However, if you're the parent of a young child, love the outdoors, and are willing to be pretty darned adaptable, you and yours can have a very pleasurable walking adventure when backpacking with your baby. In fact, my wife Becky and I carted our 18month-old toddler Nathan (also known as "Nate", "Naterbug", "Buggie", or simply "The Bug") on a four-day hike last year . . . and found that—diapers and all—it was one of the most rewarding family experiences we'd ever had!


We planned a short 21-mile hike—in North Carolina's Shining Rock Wilderness—which would allow us to have a leisurely experience and not force us to push ourselves. (The ground rule was to put our energy into being there, not into getting there.) Becky and I also decided to set out during the warm, sunny days of late spring and plotted our route to go up a steep hollow, all the way around its perimeter, and then back down the same center trail . . . guaranteeing that, if worst came to worst, we'd never be more than a few miles away from our car.

However, as we first set out along the banks of Shining Creek, we were a bit nervous that The Bug might turn out to be an unhappy traveling companion. And sure enough, Nate didn't take to the woods right off. He soon got restless in his Gerry child carrier, and showed no interest in sampling our lightweight trail food.

Furthermore, in spite of the beautiful wooded surroundings, his mom and dad weren't any too happy, either. You see, we'd tried to equalize our two loads by tying several pounds of gear onto the child carrier . . . but soon discovered that hauling a squirming 30-pound youngster was hard enough without strapping any extra weight to his pack! Becky and I found we had to switch loads frequently, and take a lot of breaks, while negotiating the 2,400-foot climb.

4/18/2014 7:06:32 AM

It is measure headache for many parents when they go out side for a long journey with their baby. Pacing baby products and baby is really difficult. Parents should know the trick behind it. Thank for sharing such a useful blog. Taking care of baby is the most important and primary responsibility of all parents. We can't avoid this. is a good symptom of good parents.


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