• Kathy Schrenk

Gear: Carrying kiddos on the trail

If you have kids under four and you're thinking about hiking, the first thing you might be considering is that it will take you forever to get half a mile because your toddler will want to stop and look at every leaf, rock, bug and tree trunk she sees. This is true. Fortunately, there are lots of carriers that can help you move along more quickly and also get quite a workout.

This was one of the last times my husband carried our youngest. You can tell by his face that he's over it, and by hers that she knows she's got a good thing going.

There are a huge number of kid-carriers on the market. Check out any store that sells baby products or outdoor gear and you might be overwhelmed. Luckily, there's help. If you have little kids, you're probably part of a parents' club or social media group geared toward your demographic. If you're not, you should be! It's great for camaraderie as well as getting recommendations for things like hiking gear. Do a search on your web platform of choice and ask about what people use to carry their kids. There are soft slings for little babies, heavy-duty metal frame packs for carrying 35-pound kids and lots of options in between. Chances are, a swap group or classifieds site will have what you're looking for at a good price.