Tips for Hiking with a Toddler (and Essential Oils!)

Hey everyone! As you know if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, I LOVE hiking. I take the girls out once a week (sometimes twice…it’s hard not to go every day!) for a 2-3 hour hike. One of the reasons we love living in Lakeland is that we’re close to many virtually untouched nature parks. Since hiking with an infant and toddler is a little more challenging, I figured I’d share some tips to make it easier, as well as the essential oils & products I bring with me in case of emergencies.

1. Hike when the infant is napping and wear him/her

Annabelle naps in the morning after breakfast, so we skip breakfast to drive while she’s awake and happy (she usually falls asleep on the ride), and I wear her in the Ergobaby while we hike. She naps, wakes up to eat (I nurse her in the Ergobaby while we walk), and naps again while we hike. It’s almost like she’s not even there!

2. Pack the same snacks each time to keep prep simple

I always bring: whole wheat crackers, cheese slices, nitrate-free lunch meat, fruit, applesauce pouches, hard boiled eggs, and a piece of chocolate. This works for our breakfast and lunch. I pack everything in the cooler the night before and just grab & go in the morning. I’m all about making it as easy as possible to get out the door in the morning, because it gets so hot later in the day I don’t want to waste time packing food in the morning.

3. Bring a jogging stroller

Jogging strollers are made for outdoor terrain, and can be much easier to push than regular strollers. I bring ours even though Judith walks most of the trail in case she wants to ride and snack, or if we see a snake she jumps in until we pass it. Plus I throw snacks, diaper bag, and water bottles in the stroller so we don’t have to carry any of that. (Side note: we snagged this Burley Honey Bee bike trailer/jogging stroller on sale at a Sports Authority that was going out of business, but it’s well worth the full price. It rides amazingly smooth over roots and bumps in the trail, it’s easy to set up/disassemble, easy to steer, and it’s very lightweight. It’s got room for two kids, tinted SPF 30 windows, and a sturdy rain cover that zips down over the front.)

4. Bring pictures of some of the birds/animals you might see and point them out to your toddler

Toddlers can (will!) get bored, sweaty, and tired quickly while hiking, so making a game out of spotting animals can keep them in a better mood. I point out all the animals I see to her and tell her their name and a little about them. 

5. Take a break and sit down for a good 10-15 mins

When we do this (usually our lunch break) Judith has so much more energy to get through the rest of the hike, and she’s in a much better mood after our break too.

Now on to the essential oils we never go hiking without!

1. TerraShield spray is our DEET-free bug repellent. So important to keep bugs away and prevent mosquito-borne illness, especially here in Florida.

2. Three-in-one spray is something I made with 10 drops OnGuard essential oil and water in a 15ml spray bottle. It’s hand cleanser, surface cleanser, and achy throat spray all in one.

3. I take a TriEase capsule before leaving he house in the morning if the pollen count is high, and take the bottle with me in case I need a second capsule while we’re out.

4. The original flavor lip balm is not only lip balm, but also minimizes pain from bug bites & stings! That’s the peppermint oil in it at work.

5. Correct-X ointment is perfect for soothing cuts and scrapes that might happen while hiking. It’s packed full of powerful oils like Helichrysm and Frankincense, so this is important for us to always have on hand (watch a short video about how Correct-X works here!).

What are your hiking essentials? Do you have any tips on hiking with infants and toddlers?

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