Backpacking: Baby on Board

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Backpacking: Baby on Board

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    Elena Lee
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)

    I wish I had parents like you!

    Great job – she is a lucky girl.

    BPL Member


    I love it! Great photos. Best of BPL material.

    Miguel Arboleda
    BPL Member


    Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan

    Very Inspiring and delightful! A reminder that we humans are not designed to be sedentary beings; we have millions of years of nomadic wandering in our genes.

    THe photographs with all those smiles reminded me what such trips should be all about. How many of the walkers here smile that often when walking? (or at least show it in the photos?)

    One idea I had when I looked at the sling Fany used: wouldn't it be great if Aarn Tate of Aarn Bodypacks could come up with a pack that helped to balance the load of a pack and a baby? Surely the sling must have caused some strain on the back at times?

    Nick Meynen


    thanks for all your comments!

    Answers to some questions:

    *other preparation walks: we had taken Flora on a very simple small camping trip when she was just 6 weeks old. close to home, only 3 hour walk, to test the sleeping in tent experience. It rained a lot that night but part from 1 single shout at 4 AM she slept fine that night. We tested the combination of a mousse pad with flora on top and around all of it our fleece, whch worked at that age. We did many more daywalks before leaving and had two weekends in a house, where we improved the sleeping construction, but part from that: nothing else.

    *the other nights: usually fine up to 5 or 5:30 AM. As she has the habiit of waking u for first time then, we used that opportunity to get up and leave, she would be tired by the time we left, 30 minutes later, and sleep on in the sling for at least another hour. We had our breakfast while walking. I can't recall any other really bad night, although she did ask for a drink some times, as she also does even now at home, at 8 months almost

    *as for the sling and the backpains: not really, no. Once you know how to use the sling, there's no real strain on the back worth mentionning. Sometimes, when the sling is not properly attached, the shoulders did feel some tension, especially when I carried her and then my backpack over the sling. For the combination with a real backpack, there must indeed be a way to make the combination a little more comfortable. Which makes me think: on with the mission for the DIYS backpackers here!

    Derek Goffin


    Locale: North of England

    To run with that: you would really need the baby's weight to be taken on the front of the rucksack hip belt while you were wearing the hip belt and only be on the shoulders when the rucksack was off. To take the rucksack's backward pull and the baby's frontward pull off the shoulders you would need a removeable tension band under each arm, joining the sling to the pack. With those done up snug but not tight all the shoulder straps could be loosened off. The baby and the pack would then hopefully be about in balance and as much proportion of the load as you wanted would be on the hipbelt. The hipbelt would need to be comfortable.
    More work would be needed with the method of taking the backpack off whilst leaving the baby on.

    fany crevecoeur


    Reading all those nice comments is like enjoying our walking again… Thanks for your reactions and thanks to those along our way that gave us some nice surprises (an inviation to have breakfast, some bread when the bakery was still closed,a smile, an encouragement…)
    The most difficult was absolutely not the walking but having to face the reactions of family and strangers on the forum who called us irresponsible…
    thank to butuki for his beautiful sentence "Very Inspiring and delightful! A reminder that we humans are not designed to be sedentary beings; we have millions of years of nomadic wandering in our genes." If you really want to have some more inspiration about walking…check this out

    Ben R
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado

    Bringing back an old thread…

    What kind of baby wrap/sling was used for this trip?


    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    It was a The 100% cotton Maya Wrap sling.

    nick meynen


    Locale: Kessel-Lo

    Remember that odd couple attempting a traverse of the Pyreneees with their 3-month old baby? Well, they walked the 1000km – although in 4 parts. First with baby (see the BPL article 'Backpacking: baby on board' Later with toddler. By the time she was 2 years and 6 months, Flora had crossed the 1000km, on foot (well, mostly carried of course). The fool / dad wrote a book on it – launched next month in Belgium. Partly on the art of walking with small children (with words of thanks to BPL & the best parts of the heated debate we had mentionned in the book).

    I thought you might like this 4 minute movie showing how a thru-hike with a 2 year old in the Pyreneeës is great fun indeed.

    A BPL article will follow …

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