Babes in the Woods:
I had been meaning to pick up a copy Babes in the Woods: Hiking, Camping & Boating with Babies and Young Children of since it came out, you know…like back in 2010, around the time I had Walker, who is now 5 years old 😉 I’ll blame it on kids keep you busy! With Walker in school now, and Alistaire having a couple of days of nature school, I actually have time to read again. Babes in the Woods was written by Jennifer Aist, mom to 4. Meaning she is even busier than I am with kids 😉
The book covers in 4 main sections:
- Taking care of the basics
- Transporting little ones on the trail
- Having adventures
- Connecting with nature
The first section talks in depth about clothing, food, dealing with the sun, bugs, dirt, sleeping (first time in a tent with a child is always “fun”) and of course safety while out. If you are just starting on adventures with children, this section is very important.
Section two, which delves into child carriers (soft and framed backpacks and slings), bike trailers, and jogger strollers. As I’ll attest, a jogger stroller can be the best purchase you make for a family that wants to stay outside. It gives freedom. While many trails may be off limits (like in National Parks and wilderness areas), if a trail allows bikes, a jogger stroller can be a way to go far, and still take your child with you. It is nice to see others agree with this, especially when you have children close in age, you don’t end up sitting inside for 5 years, waiting for them to “get old enough”. Take them now, so when they are old/strong enough to hike, they will want to come!
Section three is very useful, with talking about what kind of adventures you plan on having. Dayhiking? Camping? Backpacking? What should you expect out of your child at what age? If you’ve never taken a child out, this is useful information.
The fourth section is my favorite. With our boys going to and having been in an all outdoor nature school, wild activities are something they love doing. For the boys, half of hiking is the fun of taking a break and doing “nature crafts” (what Walker calls it when he goes and finds twigs, sticks, pieces of bark, rocks, lichens, and so on – and builds fun things).
An enjoyable read, that will help you get out – no matter if you are a newbie or experienced.