How The Baby Backpack Changed Our Hiking Game

II think it’s obvious we’re an outdoor family. We weren’t always - in fact the most “outdoorsy” thing I’ve done in my adult life before this was the time I got a sunburn at Oak Street Beach in Chicago as a police officer wrote my 21 year old friends and I tickets for having open glass containers at the beach.. Oops!

But as the years went by at our cozy apartment in Chicago and we had more kids who desired to be outside more and more, we realize maybe city life wasn’t always for us. 

So off we went on our adventure… only to realize we were wildly unprepared. 

I could write a book on our unpreparedness, but right now I’ll just focus on the baby backpack. 

In Chicago, this was never an issue. We had our fancy double stroller we’d pop the kids in during our morning coffee walks along the beach trail in Chicago. So when we rolled up to our first hike in Colorado, we strapped our kids into their stroller and off we went. For about 2 minutes. Colorado doesn’t have trails made for fancy double strollers. Colorado has trails for hikers. 

Our solution was that we’d put our stroller away and see how long we could go with our 2.5 year old. Our thought was that she’s been cooped up in a Chicago apartment her whole life, she’ll be thrilled to get outside and she’ll want to explore.

Nope! 

We made it about a quarter mile before our 2.5 year old started saying she was tired and wanted “uppies.” Discouraged, we turned around and went home. We thought we’d try again the next day. I told my husband I thought that she was just crabby because it was close to her bedtime. 

So we tried again. The same thing happened. My husband and I began to think there was no point to traveling if we could only get .25 miles up a trail before we had to turn around. 

But then… I discovered the hiking backpack.

Both my husband, who 8 inches taller than me, and I can use it

‍Now, I’ve had fancy baby wraps before but was unaware of this whole new world of baby carriers. We did a ton of research and decided on the Deuter Kid Comfort Active Child Carrier. Literally everything changed.

I love this carrier because I can barely feel my 30 pound child on my back. The backpack is adjustable so it can fit both my husband and I and we can easily switch in the middle of a hike if needed. 

Our toddler absolutely loves it. She likes being so tall and being able to see the leaves on the trees so close up. It’s completely changed the game for us. 

Views we only got to see because our daughter in the carrier

What I’ve learned since purchasing the backpack is that you *must* wear sturdy boots when hiking with a baby on your back. Your center of gravity is thrown off and you’re not as stable as you are with no baby on your back. I tried hiking with her on my back wearing running shoes and it was not a success - we ended up turning back early because my shoes were too slippery. 

If you’re looking for hiking boots, I recommend Sorel boots for women. 

Now that we have the baby backpack, we feel like there’s an entire class of hikes that suddenly became available to us. 

And now we get to be extra cool

I recommend purchasing one if you’re on the fence. We love our Deuter and it’s available at REI and Backcountry.com (my favorite site for outdoor gear).

Happy hiking!

-T