Full Disclosure: I am not an avid hiker or the outdoorsy type.
This past weekend my mom and I took the kids to one of the nearby state forests for a little outdoor/hiking time. The weather was beautiful with clear, bright blue skies. I had been to this spot several years back with my little furball. She came home covered in ticks (thanks Florida) so I made sure to be more prepared with the kids this time around. I have to say hiking with toddlers is an adventure in itself. After this experience with my two little ones I learned a few things that I decided to share with you.
Sun & Bug Protection and Proper Clothing
Being outdoors with little ones for longer than 1-2 hours means you’re going to need a lot of stuff. But hiking along the trails with a loaded backpack and carrying tired toddlers isn’t the most ideal situation. Learning what to pack and how to pack are crucial. Florida is known for bugs and sun exposure so bug repellent and bracelet along with this sunscreen are a must. These kid safe bug repellent and sunscreen are my favorites. They don’t contain any toxins and are extremely kid friendly. Hats were a necessity so the little critters didn’t try to hide in their hair. I snagged a couple adorable hats from Target on my last trip. This one for Gabriel and this one for Isabella. I picked up this matching long-sleeve rash guard. I figured the moisture-wicking and long-sleeve would be perfect for this adventure. Plus I’m just crushing hard on Cat & Jack apparel lately. Isabella’s little workout style leggings and top (so many colors to choose from) were super comfortable for her to run around in with her
dirty white Converse sneakers.
Snacks and Hydration
My kids snack all the time but being out in the sun and running around means even more snacks. I loaded up our bag with some protein packed snacks like almonds and Gerber Lil Beanies. I’m probably being generous when I say we made it a mile to this bridge from the start where we sat down to take a break and re-hydrate. We’re loving these Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex canteens. They hold 12 oz of water, made with durable tritan plastic from Eastman and can be closed up for no messes or spills when tossed in the backpack. My kids loved the colors (available in 6 different colors total) and of course pressing that button to flip up the spout! 😉
Now we can’t forget mama!! If you can’t tell by now I’m more into dressing the part than actually playing the part! I grabbed this SUPER cute and comfy side-tie top at Target along with a pair of workout leggings. A hat was a must for me too and this one is my go-to weekend hat. (I can’t be bothered washing my hair and styling on most weekends.) Your typical diaper bag isn’t going to cut it out in the wild. I prefer to take my diaper backpack on adventures like this along with our Ergo baby carrier. We hadn’t even gotten started on the trail before Isabella declared she needed to sit down. She was the first one up on my back in the carrier while little man tried to run through the rough trail. Eventually he fell one too many times for his liking and needed to be carried too. Of course he wanted his mama, but thankfully allowed me to pass him off to my mom (who was also carrying the diaper backpack). I discovered on this trip that 1) I can’t do this alone and 2) I needed another carrier. So I have this LilleBaby on the way for next time. 😉 However, the ideal situation is to be able to carry one child on the front and backpack on the back. Ideally. I’m sure I’ll just end up tandem wearing the toddlers while my mom or hubby gets off easy with the bag!
As soon as I saw you I knew a grand adventure was about to happen. – A.A. Milne