The Ten Essentials are survival items that outdoors organizations recommend for safe travel in the backcountry. It’s a good habit to carry the 10 Essentials whenever spending time in the backcountry, even on day-hikes. When traveling with baby, several additional items are necessary to avoid disaster. Never leave home without the following 10 Baby Essentials.
1 – Extra Diapers
Always bring extra diapers. Bring more than you’ll need. A lot more. Enough said.
2 – Baby Wipes
For messy situations; butts, hands, feet, or faces. Works great for adults too!
3 – Sun Protection
Sunscreen, sun hat, umbrella. Burnt baby = mad baby.
4 – Insect Repellant
Bugs are out to get you, and they suck. Don’t let them get your baby. There is a myriad of different bug sprays and insect repellants – the only ones that actually work contain DEET. Although controversial, DEET have been tested and approved as safe for kids. Apply sparingly and avoid application on face, hands, or other sensitive body parts.
5 – Extra Clothing
Always bring at least one extra outfit for your baby. Actually, make that two. Chose something that can also be used as extra layer for additional warmth. A water-resistant outer-layer is always a good idea.
6 – Extra Food
Always carry extra food and/or snacks. Hungry baby = mad baby. Hungry Dad = we’re going home.
7 – Extra Fluids
Avoid crying and dehydration by brining extra fluids. Milk, formula, juice, water – whatever is your cup of tea.
8 – Small Blanket
Probably the most versatile item in the list. Can be used for extra warmth, shelter, naps, dad’s pillow, lay down for diaper changes, tummy/play time, swaddle, etc.
9 – Transportation
Best way of transporting your baby largely depends on the activity you are doing. Carrying baby in your arms quickly becomes exhausting. We suggest a baby carrier for hiking. Consider a sled for winter hiking. Baby trailer for biking. Stroller for paved roads.
10 – Comfort Item
Help your baby feel at home and safe by bringing a comfort item. Favorite toy, pacifier, blanket, bottle – whatever your fix is.
With exception for strollers, bike trailers, and baby carriers, all items above should fit nicely in a small stuff-sack in your backpack. Use zip-lock bags to make sure diapers, extra clothes, and blanket stay dry, in case of rain.
Additionally you may want to bring:
- Mom: teamwork is key to making your outdoor adventure successful.
- Baby/Children’s Pain Reliever (Tylenol, etc.)
- Toe/Hand Warmers (during winter months)