Our family just came back from a trip to North Carolina. At the top of our list for the trip was to accomplish Clingmans Dome with two toddlers. Want to know what I think is the best way to do it? Here’s an ULTIMATE HIKING WITH TODDLER’S GUIDE!
- Pack lightly: Our entire hike took approx. 1.5 hours with minimal stops to rest on our way up. So, my best advice is to pack LIGHT. You don’t need much. Maybe a few snacks but, really, if you eat beforehand, you won’t need to snack.
- Carry a child, or as many as possible, in a carrier: Invest in a GOOD toddler weight carrier. I carry my 2.5 year old in a Lilebaby, specifically this one. It has great back and front support, rear support for the child, a head covering, and is much for comfortable that a hiking pack/carrier combo. in my opinion & the other moms I saw carrying in wraps, looked super uncomfortable and weighed down.
- Carry Water: The next best investment I can recommend to you is a Camelbak. Get a larger one to use as your hiking pack and hydration. This will save you time, energy of unpacking water bottles, recycling the trash, etc. as your hiking.
- Walk the path less traveled: Shortly after starting your hike on the pavement, you’ll see the Appalaichain Trail, DO IT. We did our hike on a Saturday at a prime time and there was little to no-one hiking the dirt trail. It was shaded, less harsh on your legs, shins, and knees, and really, so much more beautiful than the paved trail and super fun for the kids to go exploring while on the trail. Grab a free hiking scavenger hunt to make it more interesting, here.
- Get the kids involved: Ask questions, show them how things work in nature, give them purpose during your hike. To them, this is just a really long walk through the woods and a tall bridge looking into mountains that look awfully similar to the ones they’ve been seeing through your car travels. Explain to them on the way up the reason behind the trek. For an extra bit of added fun, grab THIS Free Hiking Scavenger Hunt!
Many of these can be applied to other beginner hikes as well!
Take a look at our entire adventure here!