It’s here. The time has come; I must get out of the house. Our beautiful son is three months old and I’m heading back to work in a few short weeks so a routine is about to be pushed upon us. Something I’m both looking forward to and dreading. Grown-up conversations about something other than diaper explosions and the number of bottles consumed in a day? Nice. Missing out on each and every amazing smile my little boy has to give? Not so nice. I must find a way to incorporate him into the life I had pre-pregnancy outside of work – running, hiking, beach trips – so that he becomes a part of my balance.
I didn’t know how to do it. Then, something happened: a close friend declares she’s climbing Mount Kilimanjaro next year and needs to train. Of course I immediately declare I will be her training partner not thinking twice about the little guy that will take our training experience from a partnership to a party.
A few minutes later, I come to my senses and realize training like this may be difficult with a baby in tow. Can I actually hike for miles with an infant? Will he be OK moving through wooded areas like that? Will I be OK when I have an extra-heavy medicine ball of a tiny human attached to my front? What about bug spray and sunscreen? I have no idea how to answer any of these questions, but surely the Internet will have the answer.
So I search: “hiking trails good for babies”, “hiking with a baby”, “hiking with a stroller”, only to find nothing. There aren’t guides for whether “they” say you can hike with a baby. There aren’t maps showing the best routes to take if you have a stroller or may need a diaper change mid-trail. There aren’t even threads on the ever-famous and extremely opinionated mommy communities talking about the issue. So, rather than give up, I decided to create my own.
This blog will follow our attempt to hike 60 trails in the DC area in the next year to train Christine (said friend) for her trek up MK. The trails range from 2 miles to over 10 miles, some trails are much longer but we’ll see if we expand our attempts to include full-day treks with a baby. Most of the hikes I’ve never done before so I honestly have no idea what we’ll come up against in challenges – both physical and those associated with having a tiny human with us. I will document each hike and the adventures we have along the way. I will tell you what equipment I used for the baby, how everyone was feeling before, during and after. What the trail was like and will even give it a grade so you know if you can bring a stroller.
In addition to the hikes within and close to our nation’s capitol, as I travel for work and pleasure with the baby I’ll look for routes to cover and will be sure to report back on each adventure. Have a suggestion for a trail I should check out? Tell me about it! Leave a comment and I’ll try to check out each suggestion and report back.