Wallace, our nearly 18 month old, LOVES hiking. When he sees the backpack come out, he literally cheers. (Seriously, you have to watch the video at the bottom of this post if only to see how happy he is in it.) We have not always been so excited about hiking with a baby, though. It seriously overwhelmed us in the beginning.

Then we got a few good experiences under our belt, and once we learned that as long as we have some essentials with us, and the art of not overpacking, it got a lot better.

So I thought I’d share what those hiking essentials are for us.  One of those items is a Baby Jack & Co. Learning Lovey, and they are sponsoring this post. Such a natural fit because Wallace loves his and has for over a year.

We don’t do hardcore hikes with the kids. We’re usually only gone a few hours. But we do need to try to prepare for what we can without bringing too much!

We start with a hiking backpack. Hands down, one of THE BEST investments we made before launching. We have the Deuter Kid Comfort Air child carrier. We purchased it and the shade from Amazon. The shade has been essential because Wallace refuses to wear hats for longer than a couple minutes.

We LOVE this thing. We did a review of it for our new Happy Loud Life YouTube channel last week. The video is at the bottom of this post.

We add a Baby Jack & Co. Learning Lovey by clipping it onto the side. This thing serves so many functions! It’s clearly adorable and soft, and great for snuggling or for playing. The ribbon loops are sewn shut, so no need to worry about them snagging on anything we brush against, or little fingers getting stuck in them. The designs are fun and educational. The sewn in teething toy link is super strong, keeping it attached to the backpack with no need to worry that it will fall off and get lost.

In addition to it being a source of snuggles and entertainment for Wallace, we’ve used this lovey to cover cold toes while he napped, to play peek-a-boo while we wait for meals or busses, and wipe up a dirty face and sticky hands a few times. It’s also been a small changing pad a couple times in a pinch. (It washes beautifully.)

GET 30% OFF BABY JACK & CO. WITH CODE WALLACELOVEY

We always bring a bottle with water. Though Wallace is able to drink from a sippy cup, he does better with a baby bottle on his own still, and that can be key when we’re hiking, and he’s thirsty, but we don’t have the extra hands to help him. We actually got a great stainless steel bottle from Walmart, of all places, for less than $6, and it’s been perfect. They don’t seem to carry them at many stores anymore, though (we’ve been looking for a backup). One of these from Amazon would do the trick, too.

As you can see in the photo at the top of the post, it fits perfectly in a side mesh pocket of the carrier.

We try to never forget a spare pacifier!

We pack a few diapers and wipes in a large plastic bag, in case we need to pack out a dirty diaper or two.

We bring at least 1-2 fruit/veggie puree pouches. They are simply the easiest snacks, and honestly, what did we ever do without this invention? I can’t believe I parented one baby before these came to market. My last 3 babies have sucked down a metric ton of puree pouches.

Finally, we never leave home without sunscreen and bug spray. Pictured here: Burt’s Bees Baby Nourishing Mineral Sunscreen and Badger Anti-Bug Spray. 

And that’s pretty much it! I mean, of course we will pack a jacket if it’s chilly, or extra snacks if we’ll be out all day. But those are the basics that we always grab. It’s routine now, and we have a place in the carrier for all of it. We just stuff pockets, clip on the Baby Jack & Co. Learning Lovey, and go!

Remember, you can get 30% a Baby Jack & Co. Learning Lovey with the code WALLACELOVEY at checkout. Thanks so much, BJ & Co., for sponsoring this post!

What are some essentials that your family can’t hike with baby without? Would love to hear from you!

And, as promised, here’s our review of our baby carrier.