Top tips for hiking with a baby

Hiking has always been a big part of my life – most of my days off work you can find me in the mountains. I love exploring the beauty that B.C.’s backcountry has to offer, and so when I had a baby I promised myself I wouldn’t lose that identity  as a hiker and adventure enthusiast. Sure I knew it was going to be harder to get out there with some extra weight on my shoulders, but I knew it was important to me and so I would figure out a way.

So far, Max and I have conquered some great hikes together including the Chief, Lakside Loop, and Mt Crumpet and are planning to get out on some more adventures in the near future. I wanted to share with you all some tips that have helped me be able to get out on hikes with a baby successfully.

1. Find a comfortable carrier

Once your little one has enough neck strength to hold their head up (usually around 6 months) then you are able to put them in a backpack carrier ( steep hikes with them strapped in front is not enjoyable). The key here is finding the right carrier for you and babe. I have heard so many friends say that one brand is better for tall people, another for shorter  – you have to find the right fit for you because remember, you are carrying an extra tiny human up a mountain. After some research we went with the Dueter Kid Comfort. The selling point for this one was the comfort for both baby and parent, as well as the fact that it comes with a sunshade and a decent amount of storage (one issue I have with this carrier though is that the sunshade keeps hitting me in the head #tallgirlproblems). Some of the other top brands when it comes to carriers are Thule and Osprey. Do your research, read reviews, and test them if you can because this will be the difference between being able to hike for long distance and be comfortable vs. breaking your back along the way.

2. Start slow

My first hike with my little one was the Chief, and let me tell you, my back and shoulder weren’t too happy with me the next day. Remember that this is new for you and baby. Get out on a few easier hikes or trails so that both of you can get used to the carrier and this new method of hiking.

3.Bring Snacks

I feel like this is a top tip no matter where you are going with your baby. If you want to be out on a hike that is several km and you want baby to be happy the whole time – the key here is lots and lots of snacks. I love taking mum mums with me (my son is only 9 months) because he is able to eat those on the go – I can keep him happy even if it isn’t time to take a break

4.Take Breaks

Your baby and your back will thank you. The great thing about babies being 6 months is they have enough head strength for longer hikes, the hard part is they are usually starting to become mobile and sitting in a carrier for several hours can be a little boring for them. If you are doing a bit of a longer hike, just expect it to take some extra time and allow your little one to get out of the carrier for a quick crawl every once in a while. Hey we aren’t trying to set records, we are trying to get out in nature with our babes (I keep reminding myself now hikes are different, more about the journey with Max than the destination).

5.Time the hike with naps

I usually set out after nap time so that Max is awake and happy and can take in the surroundings. If we are going to be out for a while, I will try and plan the longest leg of the hike during a nap time since Max still falls asleep in the carrier – try and get a feel for your baby because this will be different for everyone.

6. Bring Layers

Weather in the mountain can be unpredictable and while it is always important to bring layers for yourself, even more so for babe because they aren’t moving. You might be sweating after an incline on a coolish day – but your baby is just enjoying the ride so make sure they are dressed for the weather.

7, Plan out diaper changes, if you can

Thankfully at this age you are probably passed the dreadful poo explosions – but if you are out for a few hours it is likely baby will need a change at some point and so planning the right time is key. I try to avoid anything too high in the alpine because there is less protection from sun or wind and will also be cooler.

Happy exploring mommas,

xo

Mia

Pain relieving tips you may not have thought of

Pain relief is a complex thing. What works for one person is not necessarily guaranteed to work for another, and that means trial and error is the only real approach to find out what works for you. When I was dealing with pain during my pregnancy I was getting tips and tricks from everyone – but I felt that a lot of them didn’t work specifically for me – so I wanted to share a few pain reliving tips that did work for me that you might not of thought of yet. 

Swimming

I started to get into swimming during my pregnancy since it was one of the exercises that didn’t hurt and actually  helped with your pain.When you’re in the water, it takes your weight and leaves you weightless, meaning that there is less pressure on your body. As well as this, when you swim around properly, you are using all of your muscles and keeping them warm, not allowing them the chance to seize up. Keeping your muscles warm and well used is important to feeling good physically, and swimming is the easiest way to do this without risking any kind of strain. I loved it so much I have actually signed up for a triathlon 

 

Acupuncture

Another form of pain relief that I really got into during my pregnancy. Firstly for nausea but then for other aches and pains. This is the process of sticking tiny needles into your skin to relieve any stresses and pains you have going on. It has been around for thousands of years and has been proven to work for many different customers. If you are wanting to find out more about acupuncture and how it can help you then take a look at https://qitcm.ca/services/acupuncture/

Herbal Remedies

Something else that might be able to relieve you of your aches and pains is herbal remedies. If you are opposed to using painkillers from over-the-counter or your doctor then you can take more natural substances. They work the same way but are much better for your body. It isn’t just pain that herbal remedies can help with. They can also help you to sleep much better at night, you might be struggling to settle down each night. Reach for some camomile tea to help ease your mind and help you sleep soundly. 

 

Sort Yourself Mentally

Lastly I think it is important to realize taking care of your physical health also means taking care of your mental health. A lot of people don’t realize there is a strong link  between the two b, and if you think that nothing is going to work, then it’s likely that you’re going to be right. It might be the case that you need to consider counselling in order to sort your mental health, and get you back on the right track.

Hopefully this will help you on your journey to find pain relief, 

XO
Mia

Essential Items to Buy Before Embarking on a Camping Trip with Your Family

My husband and I moved to British Columbia so that we could be in the mountains. We both love being active in the outdoors. From biking to hiking and recently we have fallen in love with camping. While we have yet to try out a camping trip with our new addition (our 7 month old son) it is on our to do list and so we have been doing a lot of research into what we need to go camping together as a family.

Firstly I want to say no matter what activity you are doing outdoors you should always have the 10 essentials:

  • Navigation
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition
  • Sun Protection
  • Illumination
  • Insulation
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Starter
  • Communication Device
  • Shelter

Now I wanted to dive a little deeper into some other useful items for a family camping trip.

 

1) Mosquito repellent

 

The last thing you want on your camping trip is to be constantly swatting at mosquitoes. Not only is it annoying, but it can also ruin your relaxation. To avoid this, make sure to pack some mosquito repellent. You’ll be glad you did!

 

There are a variety of mosquito repellents available on the market, so finding one that suits your needs shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re unsure of which product to choose, ask a sales associate at your local store for help. Once you have your mosquito repellent, apply it liberally before heading outdoors. Then, reapply as needed throughout the day, especially if you’re sweating or swimming.

 

2) First aid kit

 

I mentioned this earlier in the 10 essentials and it really is a must have. A first aid kit is an essential item for any camping trip. Accidents can happen, so it’s always better to be prepared. Your first aid kit doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A simple one with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers should suffice.

 

If you have any specific medical conditions that require medication, make sure to pack those as well. And if you’re unsure of how to use any of the items in your first aid kit, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member for help. Better safe than sorry!

 

 

3) Sunscreen

 

Whether you’re planning to spend the day hiking or just relaxing by the campsite, it’s vital to protect your skin from the sun. Be sure to pack sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it frequently throughout the day.

 

Also, don’t forget to pack lip balm with sunscreen to protect your lips from sunburn. And don’t forget hats and sunglasses for extra protection! Finally, if you have sensitive skin, be sure to pack an aloe vera gel or lotion to help soothe any sunburns.

 

4) Weatherproof gear

 

I mentioned insulation and shelter – and making sure you have weatherproof gear is essnetial The weather can be unpredictable, especially in the  mountains, so it’s always better to be prepared. If you’re camping in an area that is known for bad weather, make sure to pack some weatherproof gear from EcoGearFX. This includes items such as raincoats, boots, and umbrellas.

 

If you don’t have any weatherproof gear, don’t worry! You can usually purchase these items at your local store. Just make sure to check the forecast before you leave so you know what to expect. Also, keep in mind that the weather can change quickly, so it’s always a good idea to have some extra clothes packed just in case.

 

Now that you know what to pack for your next camping trip, all that’s left is to have fun! So get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer with your family and friends. And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!

 

5 Essential ways to take care of your physical health

Every since becoming a mom things have gotten quite hectic to say the least, and sometimes it’s really hard to find enough time in the day to get all my chores and tasks done. It has become easy to let my physical health slip. It’s not always easy to find time for the gym or make healthy meals from scratch let alone with a baby to take care of. However, taking good care of your body is just as important as taking good care of your mind. Here are five ways you can take better care of your body and feel great about yourself.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy, with multiple benefits. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. It can also help reduce stress and improve your mood. Exercise can take many forms, so you don’t have to join a gym. Instead, you can go for a walk, swim, ride a bike or do gardening or housework. If you are new to exercise, start slowly and build up. You don’t want to injure yourself. If you have health issues, check with your doctor about the best types of exercise for you.

 

Make your own meals and eat together as a family

Healthy eating is an easy way to stay healthy. Make your meals from scratch, rather than buying processed or junk food. You will know exactly what’s in your food and what’s not. If you have children, make mealtimes a family affair. It’s a great way to bring your family together and get everyone talking. If your children are old enough, get them involved in making their own meals. This will help them learn about healthy eating, which is essential, as teaching your child about healthy eating from a young age will help instill good eating habits in them. It is also vital to make your own meals, as you know exactly what is going into your food and what isn’t. You can use organic produce, free-range eggs, and low-fat, low-sodium ingredients.

 

Use alternative healing therapies

Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t even notice how stressed we are. Stress is terrible for our health and happiness, so it is essential to find ways to manage it better. There are many different alternative healing therapies you can use to reduce stress, including yoga, meditation, massage, and even going to physio for specific injuries and ailments. These are all forms of self-care and will make you feel calmer and happier. They are also great for your physical health, easing pain, reducing blood pressure and boosting your immune system.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. It helps us manage stress and improves our mood. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. If you are struggling to get enough sleep, try a herbal sleep remedy. Make sure you have a peaceful, dark environment and switch off your phone an hour before bed.

Don’t forget to breathe and have some mindfulness time.

This was one that really helped me throughout my pregnancy and now I am working on continuing my breathing practice postpartum. Breathing exercises can help you cope with stress and anxiety. They are great for your physical and mental health. They can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your mental health. Try having some mindfulness time every day. Use this time to meditate, do yoga or just be still. Use this time to reflect on what you have achieved and what you would like to achieve the next day.

Taking care of your physical health can be just as important as taking care of your mental health. Luckily, it’s easy to do all of these things, even when you’re busy. From going for walks to making your own meals, there are many ways to improve your health. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. Start with one thing, and over time you’ll build a health routine that works for you.

xo

Mia

Top stroller friendly walks in the Sea to Sky

There is nothing I love more than getting outside and enjoying nature with my dog and new baby, but here is the thing, that new baby happens to be in the 96th percentile. At 4 months, he already weighs 17 pounds and so walks have become a bit more challenging. Thankfully we purchased a Thule Urban Glide stroller, which is great for trails – and so I made it a mission to find some stroller friendly trails along the Sea to Sky that you can enjoy.

Whistler Train Wreck

It’s a short 2.3km in and out walk to a really cool train wreck that happened back 1956. The trail to the train wreck is quite mellow and wide enough for a stroller. You pass by the beautiful Cheakamus river before arriving at the graffiti painted train cars. The trail is also dog friendly. The only downside is the mosquitos can get quite bad, so bring a cover for the baby

 Shannon Falls Lookout

This is a 1km loop trail that is fairly easy and will only take you about 20 minutes to complete. In the winter the snow can make it a little tough to access, but in the summer the mostly gravel path is perfect for a stroller – and the reward of the beautiful view of Shannon Falls is worth the walk. Also a dog friendly trail.

 Mamquam River Trails

One of my favourite walks in Squamish is through the river trails, particularly through the forest that then loops back to the Squamish Golf Course. I just love being in the trees and I recently discovered that this trail is wide enough and easy to navigate with a stroller. Also if you go all the way to the golf course it is quite a nice walk, about 10km total.

 Mamquam Dyke Trail

It is about 4km in length (but you can keep going all the way to the once was Spit). The trail is gravel and easy to navigate with a stroller. You have beautiful mountain and river views for the entire walk.

Stawamus Dyke Trail

Another dyke trail that is perfect for the whole family including a stroller is the Stawamus Trail. It’s a 3km walk alongside the river with gorgeous views of the Stawamus Chief.

Lost Lake Loop

This is a very popular hike in the Whistler area and the main path is a wide gravel path through the forest and opens up to some amazing mountain views.

Loggers Creek Trail

I am spoiled because this one is right outside my house. You can walk with the stroller either on a paved bike and walk lane or through the forest which has been smoothed out by a group of volunteers to make it more accessible for all.

Happy hiking my friends,

xo

Mia