Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When to stop using a child carrier on hikes

You’ll need to stop using the child carrier when one of two milestones are reached: Your children outgrow it (in either weight or height), which for average-size kids happens sometime during their third year, or when your children becomes too heavy for you to comfortably carry them.

You’ll then need to start having your child walk. That most likely will mean cutting back on the distance you can traverse. When my son was two, we’d peakbag mountains on six-mile hikes with him in the carrier the whole way, but by the time he was four, we were limited to two-mile, fairly flat trails.

The good news is as children age they can go a little farther every year.

Just because the child can walk doesn’t mean you should quit wearing a baby carrier, though. Notes arent Sara F., of Lebanon, N.H.: “By about the middle of my son’s third year, he could scramble over any terrain and weighed 40 pounds, so I had him walk; fortunately, he wanted to be on the ground so he could explore the fascinating world around him; I still took the carrier along with me, just in case he tired out or was injured in some way, necessitating that I carry him out.”

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.