Hiking with Baby: 12 Items You’ll Need

At the top of Tunnel Mountain in the Deuter Kid Comfort III. Photo Meghan J. Ward collection.

At the top of Tunnel Mountain in the Deuter Kid Comfort III. Photo Meghan J. Ward collection.

Pre-parenthood I could pack fairly last-minute for a hike. All that changed when the baby came along. Normally accustomed to just packing for myself, I now have to consider what my daughter will need out on the trail.

To make it easier to get out the door, I now have a kit prepared for when I’m bringing the bambino. Just before I leave I add water, food and other essentials. The kit comes along with me no matter what I’m doing outdoors with the baby, whether it’s camping or playtime in the park. So, what’s in it?

Hiking with Baby: 12 Items You’ll Need

Keep in mind these items are in addition to what you would normally bring along for yourself (extra layers, first aid kit, etc.)

1. Baby Sunhat: A brimmed hat is best to provide additional sun protection. Check out the Sunday Afternoons Playhat, which also provides a bit of shade for the neck.

2. Baby Sunscreen: The best option is to keep baby’s skin covered. When you can’t, you can protect it with baby-friendly sunscreen. I like ThinkBaby, which offers great protection and safe ingredients for baby’s delicate skin. I also bring a Substance Baby Suncare Stick for quick application.

3. Baby Bug Spray: It’s hard to keep the bugs off your babe, especially if he or she is riding on your back. Try a product like Baby Bug Stopper, a chemical-free spray made from essential oils (safe for babies under one year).

4. Baby Sunglasses: If I’m finding it hard to shade baby’s eyes or I’m hiking around lots of water (where sunlight can be reflected upwards), I’m sure to pop on a pair of BabyBanz. There are a lot of other brands out there, but I like the strap on these.

My choice for products that keep my mountain munchkin sun- and bug- free.

My choice for products that keep my mountain munchkin safe from sun and bugs.

5. Warm Layers: Up here in the Rockies, you never know what kind of weather you’ll get. Wherever you are, be sure you’re prepared to keep baby warm. I always bring along a warm sweater and hat.

6. Diaper Kit: Bring a small kit with diapers, wipes, bum cream and a plastic bag. I keep my supplies in a Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag, which doubles as a dirty laundry bag.

7. Change of Clothes: I recommend bringing two changes of clothes. One mountaintop ‘explosion’ was enough to convince me you can never have too many…

8. A Receiving Blanket: This is a multipurpose item. Nursing mothers may want to use it, but it also provides an impromptu play mat for baby along the trail, as well as additional protection from the sun and the elements.

Items I Grab Last Minute…

9. Toy: Yep, sometimes the scenery isn’t enough to keep baby entertained. Our little Sophie the Giraffe goes a long way, especially when my baby needs some soothing from teething pain.

10. Baby Carrier: You’ll need something to carry your baby in. My personal pick is the Boba Carrier, and now that my daughter is big enough, I’m giving a Deuter Kid Comfort III a try (see top photo).

11. Rain Cover or Rain Jacket: If it looks like rain is in the forecast, you’ll need a way to keep you and your baby dry. Make sure you have a rain cover that is compatible with your baby carrier, or at least a rain jacket you can throw on if need be.

12. Food and Water: Whatever your system for feeding your baby, don’t forget to pack it! If you’re nursing on the trail, you’ll need to stay extra hydrated and well nourished.

Did I forget anything? What would you add to the list?

Check out these popular posts:

10 Tips for Camping with a Baby

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21 responses to “Hiking with Baby: 12 Items You’ll Need

    • That’s a great tip, Melissa. Mine always falls asleep with her head wedged between the front pillow rest and the side of the pack. She’s still too small to use a neck pillow, but I will definitely keep it in mind!

      • Thanks for the valuable tips about baby hiking backpack. I am looking the same tips for long time. Baby backpack is really need when anybody want to go
        out for hiking. I am use baby hiking backpack for hiking. I am waiting your next post.

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  9. Thanks for the valuable tips and resources. I am a new hiker and I enjoyed going out with my family. Right now, I have started to go on short and easy trails and increasing the difficulty level.

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  11. Helpful article! I’ve only gone hiking once with my 4 month old, so I’m no expert by any means! I carried my daughter in a “sleepy wrap” (like a Boba), so when she was asleep I tucked her head into the carrier (and a sunhat would not fit). Good thing I had an umbrella for sun protection! I’d also add light colored clothing to make it easy to check for tics and a diaper changing pad.

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