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#1 of 13 Old 04-02-2013, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As the weather warms up, I'm looking forward to some hikes with my newly-3 year old.  Theoretically, I'd like to be able to do some longer, more ambitious hikes with her this year, but I'm not sure how to handle the logistics.  In the past, I've packed my Ergo in a backpack so she could walk some and ride some.  It never worked that well, though, because it was hard to carry the backpack while I had her in the Ergo, and I wasn't sure how else to carry all our gear.  Nowadays, her legs are so long that she's not very comfortable in the Ergo, and I'm wondering if there's a better way to carry her for parts of the hike while still having room for all our gear.  I DO have a Kelty carrier, but I kind of hate it and was hoping there might be some less bulky solution to the problem.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Or should I just try to keep the hikes at her walking level and get my big hikes in on my own time?

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#2 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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I was contemplating this recently too. We have the other carrier for hiking, the German one, I forgot its name. But DS usually wants to walk/run around, and I'm not supposed to carry him anyway. I'm thinking I'll be taking a lot of kid friendly hikes. I won't be able to take longer ones since DH works weekends, but at least I'll be building up DS's endurance.

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#3 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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Three is a hard year. Kids get heavier but still cant always be depended on to walk far and/or at a regular pace. (they seem to either run or move at a snail's pace).

I used a Kelty with my oldest but found the weight of the kid, carrier and gear too much (35kid+10pack +5 gear) 50lb is a serious pack.

I've turned to biking for more distance and just do shorter hikes

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#4 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 10:46 AM
 
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My hikes are only about 1-2 hours, so not much in the way of equiptment is needed. This is the first year I will be using our Oh Snap in back carry. My son is 3 yrs, 38 inches and about 34 pounds. Last year we signed up for the park system's 'Toddler Hike' group and was able to get away with a ring sling and hip carry, very easy to pop him in/out of. That worked well, so I wonder how the Oh Snap will do. I am not accustomed to back carry.

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#5 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

Three is a hard year. Kids get heavier but still cant always be depended on to walk far and/or at a regular pace. (they seem to either run or move at a snail's pace).

Oh, this reminded me of something else. On hikes I'm going to try to see more through DS's eyes rather than think about how far we can go/how difficult a hike/what is at the end. Kind of an "enjoy the journey" kind of mindset. Hiking seems to be an appropriate place for learning to slow down myself

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#6 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it seems like shortening the hikes is the way to go, at least for now.  I think I'm just feeling some major wanderlust and having these grand visions of DD and I at amazing waterfalls and peaks covered in scrub-pine.  This may not be the year for it.  I was just hoping that someone had some magical toddler-carrier that would fit in a good-sized fanny pack :) 

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#7 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 05:33 PM
 
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We use a Deuter Kid Comfort II for our almost-2 year old. I think it is similar to the Kelty, in that it is a big structured external frame pack. I would recommend that you give it a try again! We always used our Ergo around town for running errands, the Deuter was much to bulky and awkward. However, it is fantastic for hiking - that is what is was made for, and it does it well. The Ergo would make me way too sweaty, and my daughter doesn't like being mashed so close to me any more either, she squirms and screams to get out. Our carroer has a big zippered pocket so I can also bring lunch, diapers, a sweater, a toy, and so forth. We will be taking it on some longer backpacking trips this year. I'm sure I'll also let her down to walk some since she doesn't want to sit for long periods of time, but she sits up high enough in it that she can see over my shoulder while we walk and that keeps her pretty content for a while. 

Another thing I like about this pack is that back is very easy and quick to adjust for different people, so both my husband and I can use it comfortably. and he is nearly a foot taller than I am. The Deuter is kind of ridiculously expensive, I never would have bought it but my mom insisted it would be better for hiking than the Ergo and she bought it for us, and I think she was right!

 

 

You could also try car camping as a way to get outdoors! You can find some pretty beautiful, remote places and enjoy nature a lot. Toddlers have a lot to look at and explore close to camp, there might be a trailhead or a lake or river nearby, and other fun things to see nearby. If you want to get outdoors with your kiddo you can make it happen somehow, so don't give up!

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#8 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 05:38 PM
 
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Oh and another random thing to consider. I saw some parents with older kids with this at the zoo the other day and it blew my mind

http://piggybackrider.com/

The kids were hopping off to run around, then just jumping back on to catch a ride. The kids and parents seemed happy with it. I have no idea how far ya could make it with a 3 year old because they are getting pretty heavy, but just an idea. 

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#9 of 13 Old 04-03-2013, 07:14 PM
 
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Not sure what equipment you're needing to carry but my DH uses a carabiner-type clip to carry DD1's water bottle when they are out an about. We use camelbacks and he just hooks it onto his belt.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#10 of 13 Old 04-04-2013, 07:55 PM
 
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We went to Hawaii and did tons of hiking with our 20 month old and almost 4 year old. We brought an Ergo and a Kindercarry. The Kindercarry held my 20 month old better than the Ergo, as he tended to lean back a lot. We had the little Ergo back pack thing that can attach to the Ergo carrier. It worked ok. Our almost 4 year old did 75% of the hiking himself. But we did carry him in the Ergo sometimes. We put food and sunscreen and diapers and stuff in the backpack and put our water attached by caribeaners to the front or side of the baby carriers. We brought lots of snacks, and even candy, which the kids got excited about. We hiked for hours each day while on the trip with not that much hiking experience with the whole fam. We definitely could not have done it if the little one walked because he moves so slow, but the older one kept up fine.

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#11 of 13 Old 04-06-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, didn't see some of these responses!  Thank you for the encouragement. 

 

I wish we could afford a different carrier, but that's just not in the cards at the moment.  I really like that piggyback thing, but, man, it's pricey for a stick with straps!

I may indeed give the Kelty another try.  It doesn't have a backpack, but I could lash some stuff to it pretty easily. 

 

I think I will also look more into preschool friendly hiking places where the location is neat and remote enough to make me feel adventurous even though the hikes themselves are shorter and easier.  We do generally go for a camping trip each year, too, but we always fight over the ocean vs. the mountains :)  (Guess which one I prefer....)  My DD does really like climbing rocks, so she stays engaged on that type of difficult hike.  Long and steep...not so much. 

 

I'd love to hear any other tips or stories from people who have hiked with little ones.  Any indispensable items to bring along?

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#12 of 13 Old 04-07-2013, 09:44 AM
 
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We had a lot of luck hiking at state parks recently with our 18-month-old. We have the Deuter carrier with a sunshade that she rides in on my husband's back for real hikes. We point out birds, animals & streams we see along the way. We try to do a few shorter trails in a day, in between we check out some of the kid-friendly features (shady feild for a picnic & play, nature viewing hut to see wild turkeys, fossil digging pits etc). These parks usually have a nature trail that is short & easy but take you to a stream or cool veiwpoint geared towards kids, we let her walk these with us. If she's not into it we can pick her up & are 1/4 from the trailhead/parking lot, if its going well we can follow on a loop and enjoy more time on the trails.
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#13 of 13 Old 04-08-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oread View Post

We use a Deuter Kid Comfort II for our almost-2 year old. I think it is similar to the Kelty, in that it is a big structured external frame pack. I would recommend that you give it a try again! We always used our Ergo around town for running errands, the Deuter was much to bulky and awkward. However, it is fantastic for hiking - that is what is was made for, and it does it well. The Ergo would make me way too sweaty, and my daughter doesn't like being mashed so close to me any more either, she squirms and screams to get out. Our carroer has a big zippered pocket so I can also bring lunch, diapers, a sweater, a toy, and so forth. We will be taking it on some longer backpacking trips this year. I'm sure I'll also let her down to walk some since she doesn't want to sit for long periods of time, but she sits up high enough in it that she can see over my shoulder while we walk and that keeps her pretty content for a while. 
Another thing I like about this pack is that back is very easy and quick to adjust for different people, so both my husband and I can use it comfortably. and he is nearly a foot taller than I am. The Deuter is kind of ridiculously expensive, I never would have bought it but my mom insisted it would be better for hiking than the Ergo and she bought it for us, and I think she was right!


You could also try car camping as a way to get outdoors! You can find some pretty beautiful, remote places and enjoy nature a lot. Toddlers have a lot to look at and explore close to camp, there might be a trailhead or a lake or river nearby, and other fun things to see nearby. If you want to get outdoors with your kiddo you can make it happen somehow, so don't give up!

Yeah, that's the one we have! I agree it's ridiculously expensive, but so worth it. We saved up for ours and then bought it at REI at the same time we bought the REI membership thing so we got a little money back from the purchase. I've also heard that some people find them used.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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