Improve your hiking fitness walking with your kid

Many hikers don’t make it to the finish line due to injuries, which can often be underestimated in the seemingly natural activity of hiking.
That’s why I want to focus on hiking fitness in my blog. Today I want to talk about loaded pack hikes and how walking with your child can help improve endurance and stamina.

Loaded-pack Hiking

Loaded-pack hiking is a crucial part of many hikers’ training programs. It involves loading your backpack with weights (usually water containers) and gradually increasing the weight and walking time. Starting at around 10% of your body weight, it can increase to approximately 20% unless you’re training for a specific adventure.
Walking with your kid can be a fun way of loaded-pack training!

Start Early and Invest in a Good Carrier

Walking with your child can be a fun way to incorporate loaded-pack training into your routine. If you plan to combine parenthood with your love for travel and the outdoors, investing in a good baby carrier is a must. Carrying your baby in a carrier is essentially loaded-pack walking, and starting early is key. Waiting until your child is older means starting with an extra weight of 12-15 kilograms, which can increase the risk of injury.
So my advice – start early. We started to go hiking with our baby when he was only 4 months old.

winter hiking with kids
On a winter trail with our 4 month old son

For small kids between zero and 7-8 months, you will need a front-seat carrier and for older kids who can already seat well it is much easier to use back-sit carriers.
To enjoy hikes with your baby, both you and your child need to feel comfortable, so investing in a good carrier with adjustable settings is essential. Before your first walk, make sure to make all the necessary adjustments for yourself and your child at home.

We are really happy with our Deuter Kid Comfort carrier. One of the main reasons we really love Deuter packs is they fit most body types exceptionally well. They have a wide adjustment range for both torso and waist, and special attention is made to how they fit on a body for comfort. The best thing about this carrier is that our son also loves it!

baby carrier
Ready for adventure in a Kids Comfort carrier

Start Small

Begin with weekly walks on easy terrain and gradually increase the distance and difficulty of your hikes as your child grows. Not only will you carry heavier weights, but you’ll also improve your hiking endurance, as I have discovered through regular hikes with my son.
I was amazed at how my fitness improved from those hikes! On ski touring trails that I knew I noticed I could finish my climbing walks much faster than before.
By the timely son can hike on his own, I feel I will be trained and ready for more challenging and multi-day hikes. The best part? Combining training with spending time with my sone and spouse makes it all the more enjoyable!

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