A while back we had bought a baby hiking backpack/carrier with the hope of diving into this new Seattle life with tons of hikes with Miss Nell. But then we got here, and unpacking took FOREVER (honestly we’re still not fully unpacked) and it just kept getting pushed aside.
But finally we made it a priority to break out the carrier and wander into the woods. I used the Washington Trails Association website and found a trail that would be close enough, interesting enough (I like hiking where I can achieve something) and not too hard for our first hike. So we settled on a hike in Wallace Falls State Park.
It was absolutely perfect. From the lovely weather, to the perfect mix of difficult portions to make you feel like you’re working for something as well as calm spots along the river it was a great first hike for us as a family. The hike was definitely pretty packed as it’s pretty close to Seattle, but overall the extra people weren’t an issue at all.
The whole point of trying something new with a kid is to work out the kinks, and here were some of our early lessons:
- Don’t roll into the trailhead at 10:30am – set alarms. Get up early and get out the door!
- Pack, like actually pack things the night before. We said we packed the night before but we basically just got the bags out. To pack with kids we need that shit 99.9% done right when we wakeup.
- Feed the baby breakfast in the car on the way. Waiting for Molasses Jones to finish her breakfast was not ideal.
- Trekking poles! The person wearing the baby definitely needs trekking poles for added stability.
- Carrying a baby on your back gets EXTRA hot. Using the camelback in the carrier next time for Adam.
- Adam and I need dry-fit shirts. How did we go this long without them while living in Alaska?
- Extra clothes for the baby! Of course Nellie blew out her diaper right when we arrived at the trailhead, hence her sweet Valentine’s Day pants in all the pictures and awesome matched purple shirt.
- 2 times as many snacks for Nellie. Keeps her busy and entertained.
- Need to experiment with ways to enable Nellie to nap in the carrier. I think we can lower how high she sits in it so she can rest her head. We tried to give her shirts and such to use as a pillow and she just wasn’t having it and didn’t nap till we got to the car when she was clearly tired. Tips welcome!
- And lastly, I need to have a bigger hiking backpack. Although the carrier we got has TONS of pockets, it’s not fair to have Adam carry Nellie plus all our lunch and water and crap. My tiny little 1 person pack isn’t going to cut it if I’m going to carry the family’s crap while Adam carries the kid!
So clearly, we learned some things for next time, but it was a blast being out there more than anything. It was a perfect time to test the new gear as well as dust off all the hiking gear we’d owned in Alaska that has set dormant while we lived in Illinois. I’m already planning our next hikes and our next adventures. The goal is one hike as a family each month all year long, rain or shine.
Let’s see if we can do it!