When my husband and I found out we were expecting, we made a lot of promises about what we would and wouldn’t ever do with our baby. Some we’ve since broken, like never giving her a pacifier or giving her even a taste of food before six months. Others, we’ve kept, like using cloth diapers and making sure our recreational life doesn’t stop just because there’s a mini-one.
This weekend, we once again held true to that promise and took Marin on her first big-ish hike – Great Pond Mountain in East Orland, a 1.5 mile moderate hike with a killer view at the top.
With the temperatures hovering around 20 degrees, we made sure to layer ourselves and the babe. She sported pants and a onesie, fuzzy footed pajamas and a Patagonia snowsuit – a must-have for Maine babies. We knew we’d shed layers as we hiked, but figured for her, it was better safe than sorry, especially since we knew once we got moving, she’d most likely sleep the entire way up and back.
After a brief meltdown in the parking lot while we strapped on our snowshoes, Marin did surprisingly well. She mostly slept, except when we arrived at the top – then she made sure we knew she wasn’t a fan of the bitter cold wind.
Jeff Alt, the author of “Get Your Kids Hiking” told USA Today that parents should start taking their children hiking as infants. He recommends using a baby carrier until the child is 15 pounds then switching to a riding backpack.
Since Marin is still pretty small (3 months and about 10 pounds), we just used our “around town and home” carrier.
I suppose she’s still a little young to truly understand what we’re doing, but my hope is that by exposing her now and making it part of our life, she won’t think twice about heading outdoors when she’s older.
And who knows what’s next – camping? Surfing? Rock climbing? Someday I’m sure she’ll do it all.