Harmony's Must Haves for Hiking with Toddlers

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Harmony's Must Haves for Hiking with Toddlers

I recently shared my favorite hikes and then I got an e-mail from Erin in Ohio asking about what kind of hiking gear I would recommend. I've thought long and hard about what I love, so here's my favorites. All tried and TRUE.

Adult Footwear

I have a few different brands that I love. I probably should be wearing hiking shoes that have good ankle support or something, but these shoes have never failed me yet. I’ve hiked through water, sand and mud with each brand.


Chaco Sandals

UnShoes Sandals


Kids Shoes

My kids have ridden on my back for most of their hiking lives, so we are just barely getting into hiking with kids for reals. Most of their short hiking lives have been in these shoes or sandals though. They've also done a lot of hiking in whatever shoes they happen to be in.

Puma Shoes

Nike Shoes

Rainbow Sandals – Seriously, these things are tough, we’re going on the second child in the same sandals.


We have many different carriers. Each on serves a different purpose too. When we are hiking in cold weather, I usually wear the Moby or ErgoBaby. Summer is more the ErgoBaby. While I’ve used the Osprey Poco carrier quite a few times, I tend to lean towards the other carriers first. When my kids were lighter it was a piece of cake. Now that they are over 30 pounds each, I make them walk! My husband loves wearing the Osprey.

Osprey Poco


Moby Carrier

Kids Water Bottles

We use these bottles for our day to day, traveling and hiking. We have 5 of them and rotate them all. We’ve only lost one so far. These things are STURDY. The only thing that is annoying about these is you really have to clean them well as they can start to mold inside in the heat.

CamelBak 0.4-Liter Kids Bottle

Kids Backpacks

Since the kids are getting older and hiking on their own two legs (finally!) I’ve been training them to carry their own backpacks. We really love these REI kids backpacks from their grandpa. We used to carry their water bottles, but I've found they really love carrying CamelBak Bladders.

REI Co-op Tarn 12 Pack - Kids


For those hikes that are flat enough to push strollers on, (Stroller Hikes here) we always just use our cheap Umbrella Strollers. Ours don’t have any fancy shades or pockets, we just buy the simple versions. Our last one lasted 4 years and we used it HARD.


I live for the sun and the suntan. My kids are more like their dad. They prefer to hide in the shade. I ALWAYS have hats on my kids. They’ve been wearing hats so long, they just know it's a requirement. These are our favorite.

Minky Hatwear (Only downside is the minky does make them sweat.)


My kids burn much easier than I do. In fact, I rarely wear sunscreen, but I've come to realize it's necessary with my kids.

Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion

Don't forget about the Trail Fairy! To help my kids move along on hikes, the Trail Fairy leaves little treats for them to find. You'd be surprised how much longer your kids can go with a little motivation. We like to use dried fruit. My kids especially love dried apricots like these.

What do you think? I'll admit, I have to take a long of JUNK just to hike with kids. I'm excited for the days when we can just get up and go and everyone has to take care of themselves! When it's all said and done, don't worry about the stuff and just got for it! Sometimes, you just have to get out and go right?!

What are some of your favorite hiking must haves?


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