Fun-Hiking Essentials With Baby

I love getting away from the hustle and bustle of life to enjoy some beautiful scenery and serenity. So this memorial weekend we took our 9 month old on his very first hike. We did the Red Rock Canyon trail in Calabasas. The hike was moderate with some open space, a little shade, cool cave, and a picnic table for lunch. We had a great time enjoying each others company and the beautiful weather. So I thought I would share some must haves for a day hike with a baby and some pictures from our day. The items I recommend are great for a short day hike. If you are planning an all day or over night hike you can look at some of the extra resources I have at the bottom of the page.


1. Mini First Aid Kit Or Make  your own. If it’s just a short simple hike then a few latex free bandaids and natural first aid ointment will do.

2. Baby Carrier/Day Packs:

  • I personally love the Organic Ergo Baby because I wanted an organic carrier, but  The Ergo Baby Performance Carrier and the Ergo 360 are also great choices.
  • Another option is an all in one carrier backpack. A friend recommended the Kelty carrier which she loves and is an all in one carrier and back pack and is perfect for older babies and kids up to 40lbs. I would love to try this one out!
  • Daypacks (for carrying supplies, lunch, snacks etc): I got a small drawstring daypack from REI with space for a hydration pack. and the hubby chose this one. If you don’t want a hydration pack then the Fjall Raven are awesome and known for their durability and cool colors. They are great because they are small enough and light enough for a hike and cute too!

3. Reusable Water Bottle with extra water in car for after or a backpack (I got a small drawstring one from REI) with space for a hydration pack.

4. Clothing for baby:

  • Brim Hat
  • light weight cotton pants or shorts if it’s warm out.
  • Light weight long Sleeve Shirt or short sleeve + sweater depending on the weather.
  • Extra Change of clothes (leave in car)

5. Light Blanket: Love Aden & Anais. They can be used as a changing table, play mat, to cover the sun, to cover baby while they naps etc. You get so many uses out of them and are definitely a must have.

6. Plenty of Snacks (fruit, granola, nuts, dried fruit are all great choices). I love this snack container.

7. Lunch for a picnic (We did Sandwich for mom & dad + homemade baby food for Baby).

8. Sunglasses

9. If you will be in direct sunlight bring some Sunscreen

10. Disposable Diaper & biodegradable diaper sack. Or cloth diaper with wet bag. For wipes on the go: I use paper towels with water.

  • I change the baby just before the hike & take one with me.

12. Biodegradable Toilet Paper in case you need it. (You can leave in car or unravel some and bring it with you)

  • We didn’t have any with us and we were fine. Just make sure to use the restroom before you leave home.

11. If you plan on eating lunch on your hike, something to clean your hands is great. If there is a stream nearby just use that, but if there isn’t some Hand Sanitizer Wipes can be useful or a spray with reusable wipe.

12. Cell phone for map and emergencies. (If your hike location doesn’t get cell reception bring a compass & a whistle in case you get lost.)


  • Make sure you all use the restroom before you leave home if they don’t have one on the hike.
  • Feed and Change the baby’s diaper just before the hike so you don’t have to stop unnecessarily.
  • Go on the hike just after your baby’s first nap to make sure they get at least one good nap in. Or if your baby naps fine on the go you can go after your baby wakes for the day so it’s less warm. Either are fine options.
  • If you have a toddler that wants to walk and likes to wander off, you can have them wear a whistle around their neck in case they get lost. Just teach them how to use it before you head out.
  • You can look up hikes reviews and tips on YELP.

You really don’t need that many things for a short day hike. So don’t worry. Have fun and enjoy yourself!

Other Great Articles with lots of info & help:


Baby Center

Eco Baby Steps

Babes in the Woods
Book: “Babes in the Woods” by Jennifer Aist.

All Photos by Josefa and Quinn

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ergo baby carrier June 5, 2012 at 2:17 am

I love how the ERGObaby Winter Papoose coat keeps both me and Carson warm while still looking great. I’m not drowning in my husband’s jacket or freezing in my own jacket which won’t zip over both of us. It’s the perfect solution to being outdoors while using your baby carrier. Carson was nice and toasty and totally comfy in his carrier all bundled up under the papoose coat.

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