How to backpack with a toddler?
Having a toddler is a huge blessing, but the new member of your family will require you to make certain adjustments to your life. Fortunately, one of the habits you do not have to give up is backpacking.
There is no reason why you wouldn’t take your toddler to the trip. The preparation and the journey itself will be different than what you may be used to, but be sure that you are in for a real adventure!
Additionally, backpacking with your child will give you a chance to create lifetime memories right away, and you can’t put a price on that. Now, let’s discuss things that you should do before you go on the trip and while you are backpacking.
Adjust your expectations
While you were traveling alone, you might have had a goal of covering as many miles as possible. Sorry to disappoint you, but that won’t be an option now. Bringing a toddler with you will mean that you take things slow, so forget about the hardcore mode.
Furthermore, you may even consider going on the trip with your vehicle. That gives you a way to get back home if anything goes wrong. Additionally, you can pack a universal roof rack that will allow you to bring anything your toddler may need during the trip. You can also use the vehicle to move from one location to another, and stop only when you want to hike or reach your destination.
Pack everything the child might need
Did you know that there are backpacks with a child seat? You are not the first one that had the idea of backpacking with kids. These backpacks are designed so that your child can feel comfortable regardless of how long you are hiking.
When it comes to your comfort, you should be aware of the fact that kids can be heavy. If your child has more than 20 pounds, we suggest packing lighter and leaving as many things as you can in the car.
However, make sure to bring everything your kid might need, such as sunscreen rain cover, as well as plenty of water and snacks.
Pack things that will make your trip easier
You want to ensure that you have everything that can make your life easier. For example, you may need a camp kitchen to prepare food, but how about using plastic utensils that you can throw away? Also, don’t forget to bring enough storage and garbage bags with you.
Vehicle awnings can also be an excellent addition to your equipment. These can easily be installed, and they are perfect for getting some privacy when you need to change diapers. Additionally, they can protect against mosquitoes and serve as a tent.
Be ready to return earlier
Children are unpredictable, and they may love the trip. However, they may also be uncomfortable being out for a long time or be nervous for a different reason. Either way, you should be ready to return from your trip at any moment if you assess that is the best way to go.
Additionally, you may want to consider starting slow. You may have years of experience in backpacking, but it is your first trip with a toddler. That is why you shouldn’t plan for longer than a night. That way, you can see the number of diapers to bring, and how to prepare better for a trip that will last longer.
A toddler can sense your feelings, and that often influences their emotions, too. For example, if you are nervous around your child, then chances are they will soon start crying.
That is why you should act cheerful and excited during the entire travel. You want to smile and engage them, which is why chatting all the time is a recommended thing to do. If you don’t know what to talk about, simply discuss what you see around you.
Make sure to eat healthily
Even when you are outdoors, you need to ensure your toddler eats properly. You are probably familiar with the rules of healthy nutrition, but it doesn’t hurt to mention that the recommended number of calories for a toddler is around 1,200 per day. You will eat twice as much, so make sure that you always have enough food.
You should always have your toddler’s favorite food with you, even if that means their favorite snacks. In case they refuse the food offered, that snack can be your secret weapon.
No risky grounds
During the entire travel, you should apply the rule safety first. You want both you and your toddler to remain safe at all times. You will have to rely on common sense a bit, but the general idea is to steer clear of risky grounds.
It may be wise to choose a destination you already visited and know well. You also want to avoid steep terrain, cliffs, and any other terrain that may cause you trouble.
Always check up on your toddler
A toddler needs to have fun during the travel. That will probably mean frequently stopping to play with them. You can consider placing a blanket on the grass and even allow them to explore the surroundings.
During the breaks, don’t forget to check up on them. Make sure that they are not cold, but then consider that they are not hot either.
Finally, keep in mind to stay hydrated, and that applies to both the kids and you. If mom is breastfeeding, you should take special care of her, too.
The bottom line
Ultimately, the key to backpacking with a toddler is optimal preparation. That means you should predict anything that could potentially go wrong and develop a detailed plan. The primary thing to ensure is that you have enough food for both you and the toddler.
Additionally, you should bring a lot of children clothes for any weather, including heat waves and sudden rains. Diapers and wipes are a must, and you should think about where you will sleep.
As long as you bring everything you may need, and understand that the toddler is a priority even during backpacking, you will be in for a great time!
Rebecca has been closely studying the travel industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current travel trends and also likes to write about food and beverages, particularly wine.