Hiking, Camping and Boating with Babies and Young Children

A book by Alaska instructor, parent educator and mother Jennifer Aist

Babes in the Woods cover
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Babies in the backcountry? Absolutely. With a lifelong love of being in the outdoors, I couldn’t wait to plan a backpacking trip with my first baby. She was about 4 months old and had already traveled on many an Alaskan trail. But what about bears? What about bugs? What if the baby gets sick or hurt? What if it rains the whole time? I knew how to handle these situations for myself, but somehow with a baby in tow, everything I knew about camping needed to be re-evaluated. With many unanswered questions, I packed up and headed out. No one got sick, no one was injured. It didn’t rain. The bugs were a hassle, but overall we had a fabulous time and I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to start planning the next adventure. Over the years our family has had lots of rain, a broken arm or two, sick kids, sick moms and occasionally some cranky moods. But more than anything we’ve had tons of smiles and four kids that truly love and respect the backcountry as much as my husband and I do.

This book is the product of miles and miles of trails with my four children either in my belly, on my back or on my heels. Perhaps more importantly, it is a product of many families learning to camp and returning home to share their expertise. From their travels and my own, I have learned hundreds of tips and tricks to make the wilderness more accessible for you and your kids. This book is intended to not only inspire families to adventure with their young children, but also educate them so that they have a safe and meaningful experience. You’ll feel equipped to plan a short day hike, a car camping trip, base camping adventure, boating excursion or backpacking trip. It is my most sincere hope that it will help more and more families begin a tradition of sharing our great backcountry with their children.