When your baby upgrades from the soft-structured carrier, to the hiking backpack child carrier, all of a sudden, you feel like you can concur some mountains! You put them in their carrier all cozy and safe, you pack everything you need for the endeavour (probably some hiking poles included), you put on their shade cover, and away you go to take on some hard-rated hikes. You crush some elevation in great time, all while giving yourself an extra pat on the back, because…you carried an extra up to 40+ pounds on your back! Then the day comes when your toddler says, “No thanks, I don’t want to go in the carrier. I want to hike this trail myself!” likely in way less words, of course.

So, what do you do?

The answer is, you embrace it! Or at least that was what my answer was.

Embrace It

You may have to change your mindset on these now toddler-paced hikes, because it will not look like what it did before, but that’s okay – this is a season. A season to embrace the fact that your child wants to hike, and explore, and check out every rock, and touch every fallen leaf! If you can try to not rush them through that, you may also see the adventure through their eyes, and you may even appreciate the trail a little bit more!!

Make It Toddler-Friendly

Every family may differ on this. For myself, I’ve chosen to put my focus on hikes that are easy-rated (and go with friends that are up for this kind of adventure), so the hikes can be toddler-friendly. The whole experience is so enjoyable when I can let my daughter explore freely, rather than having to hold her hand (and have her feel like I’m holding her back) constantly over the roots and rocks. That being said, you know your child’s age and abilities, but choosing a hike that they are capable of doing, even if it feels too short and easy for you, will probably result in a wonderful adventure!

Pack the Carrier

Right now, I’m at the stage where I’m still packing the carrier, just in case. Just in case, she gets tired. Just in case, she needs to sleep. Just in case, it gets a little dangerous. Just in case, she wants mama to do some of the heavy lifting! There’s no harm in using the carrier as your hiking pack “just in case.”

These kinds of tips, and so many more, are shared over at Kids Who Explore, so make sure to check out our Explorer Blog and Podcast.

Happy Exploring!