Last Minute Hiking Mom and Toddler Wish List (2019)

I re-shared my last minute list from last year- but here’s one now that I have a toddler!

Base Layers!! Both mom and kids need them to stay warm during winter activities. They are also great for sleeping in on chilly summer nights. I love merino wool!

For mom I highly recommend the Kari Traa brand. They are made for women by women. The Rose set is their most popular and I love the pants! Just size up 1 size as these are thicker and don’t stretch like their others. I also have the Tikse bottoms which are thinner and paneled for when you are more active.

Wee man has 1 wool set by Simply Merino Kids and 1 polyester set by Odlo. I bought his current size in both and they fit well enough to wear now but should also last through next season too! If your kids hate tags just gently use a seam ripper to remove them and you are good to go!

And for proper wool care I highly recommend this wool wash by The Laundress!

SOCKS!! These will always be on my lists!

I still say Swiftwick for mom! This year they have their Vision FIVE socks in merino wool with some awesome winter designs! I’m totally rockin a pair and would love another! (wink wink) I get mine from my local running store but they are available lots of places online too.

My favorite socks! The Aspire’s are my favorite for running! I use the Zero height for working out and road running and the One or Two height for trails. And I’m just in love with these fun winter Vision’s!

For wee man he needed warmer socks than just our standard what can we find at Target this year. @wasatchwildchild on IG recommended these by HowJoJo off Amazon. They are a wool blend, cheap enough to justify for a toddler, and keep wee man’s feet nice and toasty but not too sweaty. Only downside is they are a bit slippery with no grippers but he usually is wearing them with shoes.

Sunglasses! Well for mom at least (wee man never leaves his on)! Goodrs….

Not going to lie I used to HATE these….but they’ve grown on me. I have a pair from when the company very first started-they have been used as a teether, a baby toy, and have lots of scratches. The one thing I’ve always loved is the texture of the frames. I also keep my originals in my car as backups. I love that with them on I can still see my son in his car seat via the rear view mirror via the car seat mirror. Many other sunglasses block too much light for this. I also just got myself two more pairs! With their ever expanding collection of crazy colors and patterns I found one pair for night driving to cut the glare and one pair for indoor wear when I have a migraine. And then I found this cool pair that will be gifted to my Goodr lovin friend (I’m sure she knows who she is if she reads this but I couldn’t resist sharing because they match my socks above!). Of course I get these from my local running store – but they can also be found on their website

Mittens – both my hands and wee man’s hands never seem to be warm….that is until I found these!!

Swany Toasters for mom. These have light gloves inside hefty mittens. You can unzip the mitten and get your whole hand out to use your fingers for fine things (zippers for one) and to use your phone. The touchscreen friendly finger tips REALLY DO WORK on these.

Polarin O.Pyret makes 100% merino wool mittens for babies and kids. They are double layered too. Wee man’s hands never get cold in these and they are super soft. Definitely use wool wash mentioned above. They will shrink on first wash but are true to size. If he wants to play in the snow or it’s going to be rainy – just put snow or rain mittens on top!

You can also always gift an REI Co-Op membership. It’s $20 ONE TIME and it’s good for life. This gives special access to sales, 365 day returns, and even dividends on full priced items!

Those are my top picks this year! Always will be more to come and many of these will always carry over year to year, so check out last year’s list too.

Cameras and Hiking – My Thoughts and Recommendations (repost from old page)

Once upon a time I used to hike with a big digital SLR camera. Then I downgraded to a little pocket Sony, which I still use on long trips, but now I just use my phone.

Unless you’re a photographer, or photography is seriously your thing, there is very little reason to carry a big camera and gear – especially when you’re already carrying a baby. Most cell phones today have very good cameras. They can take still shots, live shots, videos, panoramic pictures, and even have filters that can be applied while taking the photo. If you’re a social media sharer, it’s way easier to share directly from your cell phone than to download then upload photos on your computer. There are even extra zoom lenses that can be attached to cell phone cameras now. And cell phones are much easier to carry and fit in the hip pocket of most carriers and packs. Most smartphones are very water resistant as well.

If you’re thing is video check out Go Pros. They can be worn, so you don’t have to carry them. I don’t currently use them, but I think it could be cool.

If you really want a separate camera but to keep it small, little digital pocket cameras are great. My little Sony was $75 at a Black Friday sale when I was in middle school and I’m still using it. Downside is I must really watch it in the rain, and I have to pre-charge and carry and extra battery. My iPhone takes better video, but my Sony has better zoom.

And if you’re going to go big, talk to a professional who does photography in the middle of nowhere. Check over reviews on weight, special considerations, gear required, ability to hold up to weather, cost, and how much you’re willing to carry with a baby.

Hiking with Your Cell Phone, Or Not…? (repost from old page)

You’re hiking to get away from technology, to unplug, and be in nature. The idea of carrying a cell phone may seem kind of silly when hiking. There are lots of reasons to carry your cell, and plenty not to. There are also a few alternative options. Personally, especially when hiking with a baby, I highly recommend you carry your cell phone.

Reasons not to carry your phone:

It’s heavy

You want to unplug and disconnect

You don’t want to break it or lose it

You’ve never carried it before

Reasons to carry your cell phone:

Most smart phones have pretty good cameras these days. A cell phone with a good camera is smaller and lighter than even small travel cameras.

You may get spotty service in areas which can be lifesaving in an emergency

In the US, ALL smartphones with GPS are required to have a feature where if you call 911 and do not have service it will ping your approximate coordinates to emergency services. This can drastically reduce the time it takes for rescuers to find you. (see emergencies)

You are hiking with a baby, having the possibility of calling for help is important

In the worst of situations, a cell phone’s parts can be used for a variety of survival tools

If you are found, your info and ability to contact family is in your phone

Maybe you want some music

You wouldn’t know it from this picture – but I had just called for someone to help me pack out of a failed attempt at a backpacking trip.


There are emergency only phones that are light weight and can ONLY call 911. Overall many do not have good record of working well

Satellite phones. These things are heavy, extremely expensive, and require extra knowledge, but they exist.

Live GPS tracking. There are many GPS devices these days that live track your location back to either a designated person or a ‘home’ device that others can watch you on. That being said, GPS doesn’t work everywhere either, and your phone is one of these devices in the first place.

Ok so I’ll carry my phone, but how do I stay “unplugged”? 

Simple: put it in airplane mode! And if you plane to take lots of pictures or be out for a while, low battery mode is helpful in prolonging battery life. Going for more than a day? Bring a portable charger. These range from the size of a USB flash drive to a small book and hold 2-8 charges. There are also solar powered options.

Add On since original posting:

Thanks to companies like Garmin and Spot you can now also have GPS trackers that link with your phone. I carry an InReach Mini by Garmin. While I can use the device alone, I can also use my phone to send messages and see maps and save waypoints – ALL WITHOUT CELL SERVICE! Just one more reason to carry the phone.