Hiking is simple, right? You put one foot in front of the other and follow a trail. Sure, that may be the case if you’re on your own, but if you’ve got a toddler joining you on the trail, that a simple act may become a bit more challenging.
Toddlers certainly make a hike more fun, but require entertainment and engagement along the way. They are bundles of energy that want to move, but can only walk so far. When do you let them roam and when do you carry? How do you cover ground while keeping a restless toddler from having a meltdown?
If you’re looking to keep your hikes fun and stress-free when you’ve got a two-foot-high trail buddy in tow, these tips should come in handy.
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Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada. In addition to writing for publications throughout North America, Meghan works as a tourism marketing specialist, creating promotional materials for Banff National Park and clients in the Canadian Rockies. Meghan loves any sport that takes her up a mountain or into the backcountry, and also enjoys travel, photography and yoga. Her own adventures have taken her backpacking in the Caribbean, ski touring in the Arctic, climbing throughout The Canadian Rockies and trekking in Nepal. In 2013, she and her husband, Paul Zizka, a mountain landscape and adventure photographer, took their one-year old on a 3-month adventure throughout the South Pacific. She writes about the transition of outdoor adventurers to parenthood over on adventurousparents.com.