Adventures in Babywearing: Family Hiking and Backpacking

By Nichole on September 5th 2012
  Hiking and backpacking as a family is great way to get into varied terrain and wild places that are protected from life's modern day trappings. Look for destinations that have natural features that appeal to you. I choose trails that weave along lakes and streams. My husband looks for routes with elevation gain. Wherever you decide on, pick a route that fits your abilities so that you enjoy yourselves. Remember to wear good fitting shoes and to bring water and snacks for both the adults and kids. If you have a toddler like we do, this is the age to see if using your Boba's removable foot straps will make your child's ride even more comfortable. Each Boba carrier includes two coordinating foot straps that are fully adjustable and that snap on and off with ease. I would like to introduce you to some wonderful Boba Families who have shared their outdoor adventures with us. Get ready to be inspired by these incredible families and beautiful locations. And now it is your turn to join in the fun, so lace up your shoes, grab your Boba and head for the hills!   "This photo was taken in May 2010 on our first family holiday. We borrowed a friends VW camper van and headed to the lake district for a week. The weather could not have been better despite it raining none stop the week before. This photo means so much to me as it was my husbands first day wearing a proper sling as my husband looks so proud of himself and his boy. He had insisted on taking a mass produced front pack but we hadn't even made it out of the car park to begin our 8hour hike up to Blencathra (also known as Saddleback) in the Lake District before he had decided it was too uncomfortable (Henry was 20weeks and 16lb) and although skeptical at first when he saw the birdies he agreed to wear it. He ended up carrying Henry on his front and a huge ruck sack on his back, only getting Henry down so I could feed him. There is nothing better than feeding half way up a mountain when the sun is shining and there isn't a sole to be seen. The Lake District is where I am at my happiest and it was wonderful that we could share our first holiday and first 'proper' daddy babywearing experiencethere. I look forward to taking Isaac in November. Throughout the walk, the number of people who stopped us or who commented on the sling was unbelievable. The cutest comment of the trip? A little boy who shouted 'look mummy, there is a tiny baby in there, doesn't he look snug.'" • Rachel Coy    
  "My husband and I do a hike once a week that is 1.25 miles each way with a not-so-gradual incline. The attached picture is my husband wearing our 19-month-old son up to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs, Colorado." • Nicole Newcomb
"I have a Boba 3G in Tweet that I absolutely LOVE!!  We recently went camping in the Santa Cruz mountains in CA and I wore my 1 year old daughter a lot.  We hiked, went to the beach and to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I would have been lost without my Boba!" • Cori
"Hiking is what my husband and I do on the weekends. Our first date was a lung-busting hike to a high mountain lake, and since then we've backpacked and hiked all over Eastern Oregon, as well as anywhere we can find a trail when traveling. When our daughter was born 5 years ago, our hiking life didn't stop -- we just tucked her in a pack. I exclusively breastfed, so snuggling our baby girl in a pack was great bonding time for my husband. She went everywhere with us in hand-me-down external frame backpacks. A couple hours was usually her limit, unless she took a snooze, and snacks are a must! When I was pregnant with my son two years ago, I happened upon a cool-looking pack named Boba. It had good reviews, so I gave it a try. I am SO glad I did. The Boba and babywearing soothed my cranky baby when nothing else worked. My husband, at first, was skeptical of this pack, which seemed so simple compared to those others. He's a Boba convert. Just the other day, after a tough hike, he said he could wear it for hours and not have sore shoulders (Max might not be that patient, however) and "wearing" the baby so close makes balance a breeze. The key is to find the pack that fits best -- and that your child will tolerate! Now our 5-year-old hikes along with us and her brother rides along on his daddy's back. Snacks and water are always packed, and the occasional stick to wield has helped us avoid a baby meltdown. Our hikes are slower and shorter now, but I hope that in a few years we'll be able to backpack and camp as a family. I want them to love nature as much as we do!" • Lisa Jacoby
"I remember going to New Paltz, NY as a kid with my family and then started going more often as an adult.  I always made sure to go in October because its absolutely gorgeous up there in the fall. This picture was taken in October of 2011 when my son, Jackson was 14 months old, and the night before we left I found out that I was pregnant. We went to Mohonk Mountain in the Shawangunks and this particular picture was taken at the top of Bonticou Crag trail on the Mohonk Preserve. We always stay at Clove Cottages where there's limited TV, no computers and no phones in the cottages which is a nice break outside the hustle and bustle of NYC life.  They also have llamas and chickens on the grounds which Jackson loved. I wasn't then, and I'm still not in the best of shape, so while hiking I was huffing and puffing a little and Jackson found it absolutely hysterical, along with pulling on my pigtails.  We are going back again this October, when my husband will carry Jackson (now 2) and I will wear our daughter Layla who will be 4 months then in ourBoba 3G. We plan to make it a family tradition to go every year!" • Kandice
"My daughter, Makenzie, and I hiking outside Fairbanks, Alaska this summer." • Nikki Vandiver
"My two-year old son and I with my sister, her two-year old son, her husband and our dad toured the Tsankawi Ruins, part of Bandolier National Monument in New Mexico on a hot day in July. My sister and I never leave home without our baby carriers. Many of the paths at this site, worn into soft limestone by thousands of years of human feet, are less than a foot wide, making the Ruins inaccessible by stroller.  The mesa top can only be accessed by ladder (or rock-climbing, as the ancient people did). I helped my son navigate the first ladder up to the mesa top, but coming down was more precarious, so into the carrier he went and he rode down safely on my back. On the next level, the path wound pretty close to a sheer drop, so much of the time he rode in the carrier for my piece of mind, and later he fell asleep. Both boys loved exploring the cave-houses, and it is something they could not have enjoyed for years to come if it weren’t for baby wearing.We decided to try baby wearing when my son was born, and to wait to buy a stroller when we really needed one. He is 26 months old and 30 pounds now and we’ve worn out the first carrier we bought. We replaced it with a Bobaand still haven’t felt the need for a stroller. It is wonderful to be able to carry a toddler for as long as he needs, to snuggle on the go, and to have the freedom to navigate the Metro, the Aquarium, Anasazi ruins, or wherever the adventure takes us, traveling light." • Rachel O'Donnell