Monday, April 23, 2012

Is a child carrier really worth it on a hike?

A child carrier is very useful when bringing small children on hikes.
If a baby carrier sounds like a lot of work, consider this: a full pack to go in the backcountry usually weighs about 45 pounds. Your child won’t weigh 45 until he’s in his fours. An infant weighing under 20 pounds is nothing to carry on one’s back, even if you add the four or five pounds of the carrier to it.

Most infants and toddlers like to be in baby carriers. They can see the world from a higher vantage point and can make direct eye contact with others.

Some casual day hikers will want to use strollers rather than baby carriers. This is fine in paved urban areas but will be nearly impossible on wild trails. The surface will be too rough, eating up the strollers’ plastic wheels. Other surfaces will be sandy or rocky, making pushing a stroller difficult at best.

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