Hiking With Kids: How to get started and what to bring!

One of our family’s favorite things to do together is go hiking! It’s something we’ve done together long before we had kids, and it’s been such a consistent part of our family’s routine that our kiddos have grown up hiking regularly. A lot of people are overwhelmed with the idea of hiking with kids, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds! Getting kids out into nature is an incredibly important part of their development and health, so I have some tips for helping you get started, including what you should bring along with you!

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If you’ve never taken your kids hiking, you probably want to start small. Find a small trail at a local park and give it a whirl. Work your way up to longer, more challenging hikes. If you’re headed out for a short time, you probably won’t need all these supplies. But let’s face it, when we go out with little kids, it’s better to be slightly over prepared. ;) Depending on the ages of your kiddos, you might decide to leave some of these items out of your pack. Or you may add some more in depending on the weather or particular place you’re hiking.

Comfy, sturdy shoes – since it’s summer, Keens are my favorite shoes for shorter hikes. Longer hikes or cooler weather obviously require different shoes.

Baby carrier – the Ergo works nicely for us for the length of our hikes and having a small baby. It’s also great to stuff into a backpack for a toddler/preschooler who suddenly decides they can’t walk another step. If you’re going to hike really long distances or big mountains, consider getting a camping backpack carrier that gives more support.

Diapers and wipes (I like the Seedlings wipes, which you can buy here) in a pouch for easy locating in your bag

Portable changing mat, in case the ground is wet or rocky.

A baby toy or two for babies who are being carried is a nice distraction when they get antsy.

Sunglasses to protect those precious eyes!

Water bottles for the whole family.

Extra change of clothes for baby (especially little ones who are prone to blow outs!) During colder weather, you might toss in hats or gloves, long sleeved shirts or sweatshirts, or other warm clothing.

Burp rags – these are obvious if you have a baby who spits up a lot, but I toss them in even after we’ve passed the baby stage. They’re great for wiping up messes or big scrapes. Baby wipes are great, but these are so nice and gentle!

Snacks… because kids want to eat eleventy billion snacks a day, so they’re obviously going to be starving the moment you hit the trail.

Insect repellent, sunscreen, itch spray (the Lavaderm after sun spray is perfect for this), waterless hand purifier – all of these can be found here

Band-aids for the inevitable scraped knee, tweezers for slivers or ticks, and all the oils! These are my must-haves when we’re out for a hike:

KidScents Owie oil (for all those bumps and owies on the trail)

KidScents TummyGize oil (in case someone’s tummy feels icky)

Purification/Geranium (great for helping to keep away the creepy crawlies – add some to hair or shoes)

Basil (for those nasty stings!)

Deep Relief (for any aches and pains that happen while you’re hiking)

Lavender (to help calm any irritated skin)

Valor (for the inevitable meltdown … from you or your littles!)

*All these oils can be purchased here

I have to give a shout out to my girl Beth who has an amazing shop. Weepereas sells amazing oil pouches, baby shoes, and toddler backpacks. They are incredibly well made, and I carry my oil pouch with me all the time. It holds more than just oils too!

Not pictured: hats (especially for babies), baby bottles or sippy cups. I bring ours in a small cooler that fits in the bottom of my backpack. I usually toss some cheese sticks or other small snacks in, depending on how long our hike is. Then I also have an ice pack in case we need one on hand.

Pack it all in a backpack that’s comfortable enough to wear for a long time:

Now go off and enjoy the adventure!

What do you take along when you hike with your family? Happy hiking, friends!

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Something New is Coming….

Or rather, someone. ;)

Blog Baby Announcement

This October we will be welcoming baby number five into our home! We are so excited to bring this new little miracle into the world. We’ll be finding out the baby’s gender later this month, but I’ll refer you to this post if you’re wondering my thoughts on possibly having a fifth boy. ;)

So get ready for more teeny tiny baby sewing!

An Ordinary Day in the Life

Last week, I woke with a long day ahead of me. My husband was out of town and the dangerously cold temperatures were going to keep us cooped up inside all day. I was faced with a choice: I could watch the hours drag on or I could capture the moments of the day, monotonous and messy though they may be. Into my head popped my dear sister-in-law and how she captured her own family’s season of life.

Brooke is an incredibly talented photographer in Michigan (we’re not blood related, so I’m not biased, I swear ;). She prefers to shoot in a photojournalism style, where no one is posed and she’s more a fly on the wall in the midst of whatever it is that’s going on. Looking at her photos is like getting a peek into someone’s life. I love that they capture a moment in time, and she inspired me to capture the ordinary.

I chose to make this a day worth remembering. I carried my camera around throughout the morning and early afternoon, only intervening as I normally would. Nothing was staged or posed. We went about our day, and I watched through my lens, finding the beauty in the everyday. There will never be another today, and I want to remember it. My floors weren’t swept and there are boxes piled up for our impending move, and most of the boys stayed in their jammies longer than necessary. There were tantrums and frustrations and cuddles and silliness. But oh, the sweetness of these boys. Their little toes and their eyes and their Star Wars obsession… these are the things dreams are made of. The way my family is right now won’t be how it is in six months, six years, sixteen years. I want to remember this moment, this season, in all its messiness and beauty.

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These Days…

Today I’m 36 weeks. I’m oh-so-large and uncomfortable and ready to bring this little boy into our family.

DSC_0692These days are moving slowly. I’m moving slowly. Our mornings have been sweet, and the boys have stayed in their jammies a little longer than usual.

DSC_0675I’m savoring their snuggles and their smiles, knowing that my hands will be occupied a bit more in the coming months.

DSC_0661The littlest still has no clue how much is world is about to change…

DSC_0755I told my husband the other day that I’m feeling this intense need to sew in every spare moment I have, because who knows what I’ll be able to do once baby is born. But even that takes lot of energy some days.

DSC_0761Of course, time will tell if baby arrives in a week or in four. And my big-baby-bearing-self is hoping for one…

Saturday Thoughts

I can’t remember ever being so sick in my life. I’ve had a horrible flu for four days now, and I’ve spent most of it in bed.


And even in the midst of feeling so, so, so miserable, I can’t help but feel grateful.

Grateful that my babies are here with me and healthy.

Grateful that my husband has the kind of job that he can take two days off to take care of the boys.

Grateful that I have a warm house and a bed to sleep in.

Grateful that this babe, tucked inside, kicks and pokes to remind me of his presence.

Grateful for a full fridge, full bellies, and enormously full hearts.

Grateful that I can’t remember ever being so sick in my life.


There is so much suffering, so much sadness… here in the US and all over the world. Today I cling to the Truth:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Fall Back

Daylight Savings Time used to be so much fun. Remember the pre-kid days, when you could actually use that extra hour for… sleep? I have been off my game all week. And I’m blaming Daylight Savings. The kids have been off their sleeping schedules [which means I am too]. It’s been rainy, so I’ve been even sleepier. My sewing machine has been fairly quiet this week as a result.

With this being my fourth pregnancy, I’ve learned to listen to my body more. With babies one and two especially, I tried to do things at my regular pace. Pregnancy wasn’t going to slow me down! [until the last month when it obviously does slow you down because well, you’re ginormous and if you don’t slow down, you’ll probably topple over]

But these days, I’m taking more breaks. I’m learning to be okay with a mess[ier] house. The dirty dishes may pile up more than usual, and I truly can’t remember the last time I mopped the floor. But my body and my baby are thanking me for it. So forgive the occasional slowness around here.

I’ve been working on a few things that won’t be shared with you for awhile, but hopefully I’ll have something ready to share with you by the end of the week. Or Monday. Depending on how this post-Daylight Savings Time fog goes. And how many naps win out over sewing.

In the meantime, make sure you check out this awesome series over at Me Sew Crazy.

Jessica has put together an amazing line up of bloggers who have teamed up with their KIDS to design some amazing pieces of clothing. The series is just getting started, and I’m really loving it so far. Make sure to pop over and check it out!

Anybody else in the Daylight Savings fog? We can muddle through together. :)

Learning to just BE

I have a tendency to look ahead. To make plans, playdates, lists, schedules, routines. When I’m doing one thing, I’m often thinking about what I need to do next.

This is the way of motherhood, to some extent. As we’re dressing the kids, we’re planning the day in our heads. As we are doing the dishes, we’re thinking about lunch. And all of this is necessary.

But sometimes, I forget to just live in the moment. To treasure these little people God has entrusted to me.

To sit and watch them play, listening to their conversations and laughter.

Instead of worrying about the dishes that are piling up in the sink, sometimes I just need to stop and BE.

So today, amidst my lists and chores [and some boys who aren’t feeling 100%], I’m taking time to treasure these ones. And I’m remembering how they really aren’t little for that long.