Being outdoors and hiking is important to me and always relives my stress, inspires me and helps remind me what to focus on in life. In a world where we are so connected to the internet and social media, it’s always a great escape for a few hours. I don’t know if we will live in Seattle forever but I plan to take advantage of this gorgeous place and all the beauty only a few hours away while we can.
Hiking with a toddler and baby is not easy. It takes a lot more prep and patience. I am not a kid’s hiking guro but I do learn a little more about what we need and don’t need each hike we take. The list is always evolving.
Last weekend, we did our first hike as a family of four. We drove a little over an hour north to hike the Heather Lake Trail. When I am researching hikes, I always use the Washington Trails website and the WTA app. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, it’s so awesome. It’s easy to save the hikes you are interested in and you can read people’s up-to-date reviews on the trail conditions.
Overall, the Heather Lake Trail was the perfect half day hike for us. We hiked a little over four miles roundtrip and it was the perfect challenge for carrying packs and babies. It took us three hours to complete. We maintained a pretty consistent pace to the lake and took breaks only to shed layers as we worked up quite the sweat hiking the uphill terrain. It took us an hour to make it to the lake and we spent an hour exploring, eating and taking in views. The hour hike downhill was much easier on the way back but I was really careful with my footing since I was carrying Mason Hawke. My biggest piece of advice for hiking with kids this young is to have patience. There might be meltdowns and extra stops for feedings but remember to enjoy being out in nature. Nothing made me more happy than to keep hearing Logan say “oh woooooowwww” the entire hike. He loves mountains and it makes my heart so happy to see his appreciation for nature.
Our Hiking Checklist (our list is always evolving!)
- Osprey Pack – Ryan carries Logan on our hikes in this pack. We really like it and it has great storage. We packed our small cooler with lunch food in it for this hike.
- K’tan Carrier – I really like this cloth carrier. It packs easily and you can configure it to help give your baby support until they have complete head control.
- Daypack/Diaper bag – We have some storage in the Osprey but with kids this young we always bring along another backpack.
- Water – Always take lots of water!! We didn’t on this hike but it’s a good idea to take something to filter your water just in case. You never know what will happen out in nature.
- Food – We packed a lunch for Heather Lake but some of our favorite snacks to take on hikes include: KIND bars, Pressed by KIND, KIND fruit bites, energy balls and fruit.
- Diapers & Wipes – We only bring one diaper for each of the kids and a few wipes if they hike is only a few hours.
- First Aid Kit
- Hand Sanitizer
- Be Patient & Focus
- Be prepared with water and food!
- Take photos – It’s harder to take my Nikon camera with us these days but I make sure to have my iPhone out a few times to help us remember the memories. All these photos from this day were iPhone photos.
- Enjoy the memories!! Take a few minutes every so often to stop, relax and take in being out in nature.
SHOP THE POST
I always dress in layers when hiking but since I am nursing, I think even more about what to wear. I wanted you to see a better shot of what I wore hiking. Nursing bras make life so much easier and I can’t say enough good things about this one from XOThree. It has hidden zippers and magnets to make access to breastfeeding as easy as it can be. It’s also a bra that I will end up wearing past the days of nursing because it’s so stylish and doesn’t scream nursing bra. There is nothing on the market like this and this brand is going to make a lot of noise in the maternity and postpartum clothing market in the coming years!!