Saturday, January 28, 2012

Putting on gear during a day hike with kids

Once you arrive at the hiking area, you’ll want to strap on your own gear – and that’s not so easy to do when you’re also trying to watch little ones and making sure they don’t discard clothing or gear you just make sure they had.

Double check so you haven’t left something valuable in the vehicle that needs to be taken on the trail, such as maps you used to reach the site, your mobile phone, your wallet, and trail mix your kids talked you into munching on early. Once you’ve done that, get your gear on.

When putting on the backpack, tighten the waist belt snug, then shift the pack as high on your shoulders as you can and tighten the belt again. This will provide better stability when walking and keep most of the weight on your hips rather than your shoulders, which would be tiring.

If you have a baby carrier, put on your fanny pack first, then situate and buckle up the child in the carrier. Next, put on the carrier, grab the trekking pole, and gather the kids around to go over safety rules (more about that in an upcoming blog entry!).

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.