Top 8 Important Hiking Gear for Babies

If there’s one thing that new parents quickly learn is that you can take your baby hiking with you. I’ve also learned that you can take your baby at any age on hikes within reason and common sense.

As a parent, you want to ensure your baby is safe and comfortable while hiking. But what baby gear do you need? All sorts of baby hiking gear can make the experience easier and more fun for both you and your little one.

Below I’ve curated a list of things or “essentials” that I think are important for you to bring before you go on a hike with your baby.

We learned the hard way that regardless of the difficulty level of the hike, we still brought all of the essentials. You just never know what kind of scenario you will run into in the outdoors.

Table of Contents

Recommended baby hiking gear includes a comfortable baby hiking carrier to ensure hands-free mobility and baby security during the hike. Additionally, it’s important to bring a bottle of milk and water as it can prevent dehydration and offer nourishment when required.

The last thing recommended is to select appropriate outdoor clothing and weather-suitable shoes for your baby based on climate and terrain, contributing to overall comfort.

Why Use a Baby Hiking Carrier?

You want to use a baby hiking carrier because it helps keep your hands free while your baby stays close. There are many types of carriers, like soft slings and strong frame carriers. No matter how strong you are, always consider bringing a baby carrier when you hike or travel.

Think about comfort for you and your baby when choosing a carrier. Carrying your baby for hours means you need a soft, adjustable carrier. Also, think about the trails you’ll hike. Light carriers work best for flat trails, but sturdy frame carriers are better for rough trails.

We hiked Torrey Pines in San Diego when our baby was four months old. I used an Ergo baby carrier, and my girlfriend used a lighter Baby K’tan. Our daughter slept comfortably during the 1.5-hour hike. The K’tan may not be for hiking, but it worked for our easy trail.

Remember that some carriers have extra space for snacks and supplies, as well as sunshades and rain covers. These features are great for longer hikes.

Why Bring a Bottle?

You want to bring a bottle for hiking because it’s important to keep your baby hydrated. Store a bottle of milk in a small cooler inside your carrier, along with a thermal for hot water. This helps you feed your baby cold or warm milk as needed. Dehydration can happen on any hike, regardless of difficulty or temperature. So, ensure your baby has enough fluids, even if they’re not walking.

We started giving our baby water at six months old. Also, remember to carry water bottles for parents too.

The best bottles for milk are Comotomo Baby, Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Original Bottle, Lansinoh Breastfeeding Bottles, and Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles. These bottles are great for hiking because they have unique features that make them reliable and convenient.

Comotomo Baby bottles have a soft, skin-like silicone material, making them easy to grip and comfortable for your baby to hold. 

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Original Bottle has a vent system that helps reduce air bubbles and allows for easy feeding. 

Lansinoh Breastfeeding Bottles are designed to be compatible with Lansinoh breast pumps, making it convenient for mothers who pump their milk.

Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles have a wide, breast-shaped nipple that promotes a natural latch, making it easy for your baby to switch between bottle and breast.

These bottles are ideal for hiking because they ensure a smooth, comfortable feeding experience for your baby, while also being durable and easy to carry.

For water bottles, these are the best brands for toddlers: Yeti Rambler Jr. Kids, Nuby, Hydro Flask, and Klean. They are the top choices for hiking because of their durability, design, and convenience.

Yeti Rambler Jr. Kids bottles are designed with double-wall vacuum insulation, ensuring that the water stays cold throughout the hike. The handle makes it easy for little hands to hold and carry.

Nuby water bottles have a flip-top straw, which makes drinking easier for toddlers. The non-slip grip and leak-proof design ensure that there are no spills during your hike.

Hydro Flask bottles are known for their durability and temperature retention. The wide mouth design allows for easy filling, and the attached lid prevents losing the cap. The silicone sleeve provides an extra layer of protection and better grip.

Klean bottles have a stainless steel construction that is lightweight and durable. The easy-to-use sports cap ensures that your toddler can drink without spills. The loop on the cap also makes it easy to attach the bottle to a backpack or stroller.

What Outdoor Clothing is Best for The Baby?

The best outdoor clothing for a baby is determined by the weather and climate. Always dress your baby in layers, allowing for easy adjustments as temperatures change. When hiking in cold weather, use thermal underwear as a base layer, followed by fleece or wool for insulation and a waterproof outer layer. Thermal underwear is a type of close-fitting clothing worn as a base layer to help retain body heat and wick away moisture. It is used as a base layer because it provides warmth, comfort, and moisture control, making it an effective choice for outdoor activities in cold weather.

Thermal underwear can significantly help a baby when outdoors on a hike by providing warmth, comfort, and moisture control. Here’s how it works:

  1. Warmth: Thermal underwear is made of materials designed to trap and retain body heat. This is particularly important for babies, as they have a larger surface area to volume ratio compared to adults, making them lose body heat more quickly. Wearing thermal underwear as a base layer helps maintain a baby’s core temperature, keeping them warm and comfortable during cold weather hikes.
  1. Comfort: The close-fitting nature of thermal underwear ensures a snug fit, preventing drafts and cold air from reaching the baby’s skin. This snug fit also helps to maintain the baby’s body heat, adding to their overall comfort during outdoor activities.
  1. Moisture control: When hiking, a baby may become sweaty, especially if they are bundled up in layers. Thermal underwear is made of moisture-wicking materials that draw sweat away from the baby’s skin, keeping them dry and preventing chills. This is important for maintaining a comfortable temperature and preventing skin irritation.

Waterproof boots and mittens are necessary for protecting a baby’s extremities during outdoor activities, especially on a hike. The main reasons for this are to keep the baby’s hands and feet dry, warm, and shielded from potential hazards. Here’s how these items offer protection:

  1. Dryness: Waterproof boots and mittens prevent moisture from rain, snow, or wet ground from seeping through, keeping the baby’s hands and feet dry. This is important because dampness can lead to discomfort, chills, and even skin irritation.
  1. Warmth: In cold weather, waterproof boots and mittens help retain body heat in the baby’s hands and feet. Babies can maintain a comfortable overall body temperature during the hike by keeping their extremities warm.
  1. Protection from hazards: Hiking trails often have rough terrain, rocks, or plants that can cause injuries. Waterproof boots provide a barrier between the baby’s feet and these hazards, while mittens protect their hands from scratches or scrapes.

For example, imagine you’re taking your baby on a hike through a forest trail after a rainstorm. The ground is wet and muddy, and there are puddles and slippery rocks along the way. Without waterproof boots, your baby’s feet would become soaked and cold, leading to discomfort and possible blisters. Mittens would protect their hands from any sharp branches or plants they might accidentally touch. By using waterproof boots and mittens, you can ensure that your baby’s extremities remain dry, warm, and safe from potential hazards during the hike.

Rain protection, such as a raincoat and a carrier cover, is considered great outdoor clothing for a baby, especially during hiking adventures. These items provide a layer of defense against wet conditions, ensuring your baby stays dry, comfortable, and protected.

Here’s how rain protection benefits your baby during a hike:

  1. Dryness: A raincoat and carrier cover work together to keep your baby dry during unexpected rain showers or wet conditions. By preventing rain from soaking through clothing, these items help maintain a comfortable temperature and avoid chills or skin irritation.
  1. Comfort: Hiking with a wet and uncomfortable baby can be challenging for both the parent and the child. Rain protection items provide a barrier against wetness, ensuring your baby remains comfortable during the hike, even in damp conditions.
  1. Temperature regulation: Besides keeping your baby dry, a raincoat can also help regulate their body temperature. During cooler or windy conditions, the raincoat serves as an extra layer, trapping heat and maintaining a comfortable body temperature for your baby.
  1. Carrier protection: A carrier cover not only keeps your baby dry but also protects the baby carrier from getting soaked. This helps maintain stability and comfort for both the parent and the baby during the hike.

In warm weather, choose a lightweight base layer, such as cotton, with short-sleeved shirts and shorts or tank tops and skirts. Pack a light jacket or windbreaker for cooler evenings. Closed-toe shoes are important for foot protection, with sturdy sneakers or hiking boots for rocky terrain.

For hot conditions, use special baby clothing to keep your little one comfortable. Key items include:

  • A light, breathable hat for sun protection
  • Sunglasses to shield their eyes
  • A long-sleeve shirt or onesie made of light, airy materials like linen or cotton
  • Shorts or a skirt
  • Light, comfortable shoes with good traction

Which Shoes Are Weather Appropriate for Babies?

Weather-appropriate shoes are crucial when you take your baby on a hike. If it’s cold outside, ensure your baby’s feet are protected from the elements. In addition, if it is wet or muddy, be sure to choose shoes that will keep the baby’s feet dry and comfortable.

You may not need any shoes if it’s hot outside, but it’s up to you to judge that. If it’s hot, you may want to consider packing a pair of shoes just in case the weather worsens while you’re out.

What Additional Baby Gear Accessories Are Useful?

Why Carry a Sun Hat?

A sun hat is another important item to pack when taking your baby on a hike. Sun hats provide a ton of sun protection, especially if they are wide-brim hats. Choose a hat that fits snugly and has a brim to shade their eyes.

What’s the Purpose of Baby Sunglasses?

Sunglasses are not only stylish, but they also help protect your baby’s eyes from the sun. Choose a pair that has 100% UV protection and is comfortable to wear. Some babies may not like wearing sunglasses, so this may take a bit of work and patience. However, it may help if you wear sunglasses as well since your baby is likely to copy you.

Why Have a Dirty Diaper Bag?

You’ll definitely need to pack a dirty diaper bag when taking your baby on a hike. This is where you’ll store all of your baby’s soiled diapers and wipes. Be sure to choose a large diaper bag to hold everything, but not too big or bulky. You don’t want to be lugging around a heavy diaper bag on your hike.

We’ve been lucky that we never had to store dirty diapers because an accident would usually happen before the hike for our baby.

Why Pack a Mat or Blanket?

A mat or blanket is another essential baby hiking gear. This will provide a comfortable place for your baby to sit or lie down when taking a break. It’s also great for picnics or snacks along the way. You can also use it to place on the ground when changing your baby’s diaper. However, make sure it’s a mat or blanket that is lightweight and easy to carry.

What’s Included in a Baby First Aid Kit?

You should always be prepared for the worst when taking your baby on a hike. That’s why it’s essential to pack a first aid kit. This should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relief medication. You can purchase a first aid kit specifically for babies or put one together yourself. Just be sure that it has everything you need to take care of your baby in an emergency.

Why is Sunscreen Important?

We actually researched and read that sunscreens aren’t ideal for infants. It’s better to apply sunscreen on older babies, and it’s best to keep your newborn cool with the right clothing.

What are the Final Takeaways?

Taking your baby on a hike can be a great experience for both of you. Just pack all the essential items, such as weather-appropriate shoes, a sun hat, sunglasses, a dirty diaper bag, and a first aid kit. You’ll be prepared for anything with these items, and your baby will be comfortable on your hike.

I’m a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I’m a brand new father who can’t wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

I'm a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I'm a brand new father who can't wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

Leave a Comment