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April 23, 2012 / mommy brain

Baby hikes

One of the reasons I love living in Albuquerque is the great access to trails. I am, after all, a hard-core survival expert and outdoor enthusiast, so I really enjoy trail-running and hiking. I am exaggerating a bit…but not about the hard-core part! Seriously, though, the hubby and I enjoy getting down with nature, and we’ve gone on some great hikes over the years. Here we are at the top of a 14-er, that’s hard-core talk for big-ass mountain in Colorado, the summer before I got preggs:

And I’ve been doing this sort of thing since I was a kid because my mom and dad dragged me and my sister on all sorts of hikes. We even hiked that same 14-er above, Mount Sneffels in Southwestern Colorado, when my sister was about 10 years old. I’m not sure we appreciated it enough at the time, but I have some awesome memories as a result. Here I am with my dad at the top of Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks:

And here we are near the top of Mount Washington, highest mountain East of the Mississippi, home to occasional hurricane level winds, which we encountered on this hike and wound up sleeping on the tables at this cabin because pitching the tent became impossible, but that’s a story for another time. The second shot is on the way down.

        

The hubby and I spent a bunch of time at REI trying on various baby backpacks before T even got here, and we bought one with our 20% off member coupon soon after he was born. We went with the Kelty (I should do a full product review later), and we’ve been quite happy with it. T loves riding up high, and he’s fallen asleep in there several times. I highly recommend hiking with your baby once he or she is able to hold his or her head up because it’s a great way to spend a lot of time outside and most babies love being up high in the backpack with a new view of the world. Don’t hike with a Bjorn or similar carrier unless it’s a pretty mellow hike or more of a walk. I’ll post about that another time. Those are good for nature walks when your bambino is still quite little, but once they’re old enough to hold up their head and you head for the hills, go with a baby backpack. Better for your back and way more fun for baby! You can fit a condensed version of the supplies you’d normally pack in your diaper back into the backpack: diapers, wipes, small changing pad, change of outfit, bottles, snacks; and be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, a good sunhat that stays on your baby’s head, and some layers in case it gets chillier. When you stop to change a diaper, which you can do on the trail, or feed the bambino, be sure to let him or her crawl (or just sit or lay on his or her tummy) in the dirt and check out the plants and rocks and various other things to look at.

What I’m thinking about right now is how hard-core of a hike can we pull off with a 10-month old in the backpack? We’ve done some pretty good hikes with him already –>

   

Here I am doing my part in case you’re worried that the hubby does more of the heavy-lifting! –>

But we clearly won’t be doing anything like this with him at least for a little while –>

I’m thinking about something in the middle, like the La Luz trail right here in abq. It’s an 8 miles hike to the top of Sandia Crest with 3,775 ft of elevation gain and a grade of 12%. It’s not Mount Everest but it’s not a walk in the park either… It has a huge added bonus in that you can take the tram (sort of like a gondola) down once you reach the top, and you can even have a beer in the restaurant at the top before hopping on the tram if that floats your boat. You may have noticed in the pics above that it’s the hubby carrying the healthy-size baby in the backpack, not me, so I have to make sure he’s cool with carrying the chubster up 8 miles… Is this too hardcore for a 10 month old, or should I drag him out and see how it goes??

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