It took a some trial and error for us to figure out how to put on the Kids Carrier without assistance. You may not think about it at first but sometimes the way you usually put on a back pack can be rough when there is a kid inside. So here is what we’ve found:
The key is to pick it up with one hand by the loop in the top center and use the other hand to keep it stable.
A few months ago I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found a gently-used Kelty Journey Kid’s Carrier for 98 bucks at Second Wind Sports in Bozeman, Montana during a visit ‘home’ to let my parents spoil our kid.
So far our trail baby LOVES this carrier. Al likes it. And I tolerate it. But for less than $100.00 we can’t complain too much. Check out our awesome 60-video gear review, (even if it’s just to listen to ‘swamp stomp’-the song I chose for the background).
Here’s what we like:
The sunhood. It does a great job protecting our trail baby from sun, rain, snow, wind and tree branches. I also like that it’s white making it easy to spot Al and our kiddo if they are on a different trail than I am. The newer versions have a gray sunhood.
The kickstand. When we take the carrier off a kickstand automatically deploys making a stable platform for our kiddo.
The attached backpack. It’s the perfect size for a day hike.
The straps seem comfortable and safe for our trail baby.
The loop handle makes it easy to take on and off.
Here’s what we don’t like:
It’s hard to adjust. It fits Al great but it pushes my neck forward.
It doesn’t pack up very well. I don’t know if this is a problem with all kid carriers, but it takes up the entire trunk of my SUV. Additionally, there isn’t a good way to cinch the sunhood down if it’s not being used and it just flops around awkwardly on the pack.
I’m typically not a big Kelty fan. I don’t know if I would buy the newer version of this carrier or not but I probably could be persuaded to change my mind.
So, what is the best kid’s carrier on the market and where do you go to find quality used gear for babies and kids?
UPDATE: We’ve added a video on how to put on the carrier and take it off without any hassle:
Disclaimer: I don’t get paid to write good or bad things about Kelty products. I love Second Wind Sports, it’s impossible to find quality used baby/kids gear in Laramie so Second Wind Sports is my first stop whenever we go to Bozeman (second stop is the Leaf and Bean). And I think babies look especially cute when they are in the mountains.
Every book on parenting that I have ever read emphasizes the importance of routines. We aren’t consistent with bedtime routines, nap routines, mealtime routines and diaper changing routines like we should be.
But there is one routine that we are consistent with. Our trailhead routine.
By walking through the same steps as we move our bear cub from the comfort of his seat in a climate controlled car to the great outdoors, we are able to mentally and physically prepare our kiddo for the trails.
Here’s how it works:
1). Our baby usually falls asleep in car seat on the way to the trailhead so when we arrive the first thing I do is feed him. (While I feed him Al fires up our Garmins and unloads our packs from the car. If I’m alone I’ll unload my gear from the car before feeding the baby)
2). While I nurse our bear cub I lather him down with sunscreen. He’s usually too focused on eating to even notice thus preventing the tears that normally accompany a sunscreen application.
3). After he eats we change his diaper and make sure he is dressed appropriately for the weather.
4). Then we have a well-fed, dry-diapered, sun-protected little guy who is usually in a good mood as we take on the trails.
Our trailhead routine is really pretty simple but I’m convinced that it has saved us many tears on the trails.
Do you have a trailhead routine for your babies, kids or anyone you hike with who acts like a child?
But when we took our 6 week old bear cub on his first hike I realized that if you can breastfeed in your living room while watching ‘The Amazing Race’ you can breastfeed while sitting on a rock.
It’s so easy, I don’t know why the thought of breastfeeding on the trails freaked me out.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Pick a good spot. I typically look for a big rock or log in a shady area but a grassy meadow where you can just sit down on ground works too. I don’t worry too much about being on or off the trail. I try to be in a place where I can hear if someone is coming and put my jugs away if need be.
2. Choose a loose shirt. I’m all about packing light, this means leaving the nursing cover and baby blanket in the car. I’ve found that if I wear a loose shirt it’s easy to drape the shirt around my ta-ta and still remain modest.
3. Take your time. I think one of the great things about breastfeeding is that it forces us to take breaks throughout the day. Sometimes when we’re out hiking, snowshoeing, skiing or biking it’s easy to get so focused on the destination that we forget about the journey. Stopping along the way to fuel up our kiddos and take in the beauty of our surroundings is a big part of that journey.
I’ve learned that my little bear cub makes quite a good hiking partner and there is absolutely no reason to fear breastfeeding on the trails!
(I’ve also learned that if it’s cold and snowy outside and we’re skiing or snowshoeing I’d rather nurse him in a warm car…but that’s a different story for another day)
As a former competitive cross-country skier and biathlete married to a cyclist who enters crazy long endurance races without a lick of training we’re pretty familiar with “bonking”. It’s pretty much where your body burns all it’s fuel and then you “hit the wall” and crash pretty hard.
Perhaps our little bear cub is on to something...
On Thursday I was out at the Lady Moon Trails with my baby resting happily in his baby carrier. It could have been an awesome day but I made a bunch of dumb mistakes.
I was tired. I didn’t eat much breakfast and I wasn’t properly hydrated.
When I stopped to breastfeed our little bear cub I didn’t drink much water and I was trying to move way too fast for the load of weight that was on my back.
I hiked for over 4 hours in the hot sun and didn’t eat anything except a handful of blueberries. I only drank 1/2 liter of water.
When I finished the hike and got back to the trailhead I just wanted to lay down in the shade of my car, drink water and shove food down my throat. But, my baby had a loaded diaper and an empty belly and needed my attention.
I’m no rookie on the trails. I knew better and I’m embarrassed to even write this post– but sometimes we need a touch of humility to slap us in the face and remind us to slow down.
Another hour on the trails would have made for a very bad day at the office.
What are some of the dumbest things you’ve ever done on the trail, I won’t judge, I promise!
What’s more annoying…a screaming baby on an airplane or a screaming baby on a trail?
Here’s where we tell you a little bit more about us here at Just Trails.
We have a baby. We’ve learned that babies are unpredictable. Happy, smiling little creatures one minute, passionately screaming the next.
Our little bear cub is no exception.
When we head out to find new trails we never know if he is going to be a blue-eyed angel and flirt with other hikers on the trail or if he is going to turn into ‘angry trail baby’ and spend the hike crying and pretending to have an awful time.
This isn’t a blog where you are going to find perfection, we’re going to be honest whether we write about outdoor parenting or crazy solo mountain bike rides. We’re not going to pretend that our baby hasn’t cried his way from Bobcat Ridge to Mount McConnell. We’re not going to lie and tell you that our baby doesn’t munch on twigs, or shove fistfuls of pine needles into his mouth. Sometimes we even forget to wear sunscreen and clean out our water bottles.
This blog also just isn’t about us. We hope that you can tell us about your experiences on the trails, too. The good, the bad and the ugly!
And if you’re hiking in Southeastern Wyoming or Northern Colorado and you hear a screaming baby, it’s probably us and it means that our bear cub has morphed from blue-eyed angel to ‘angry trail baby.’
We hope you’ll ignore the tears and stop for a second to say “hi”.