How Deuter Helps Two Parents and a Baby Connect With Nature

Posted by in Deuter USA Blog Posts

My wife, in her pre-child blissful ignorance, used to state with the utmost conviction,“I don’t think having a child has to change your life.” Although she was quite convinced that this was true for a number of years, she has since rescinded, retracted, and eaten those words many times.

As any parent will tell you, children change your life in innumerable ways.

I was also a guilty party. We were convinced we’d still get outdoors—with a baby in tow.

As it turns out, things have changed quite a bit.

Exactly how much they have changed, however, is a matter of perspective.

From our point of view, it feels like we have had very few outdoor adventures in the past year since the birth of our son, Cedar. No backcountry skiing, no ice climbing, no mountaineering, no rock climbing, no traveling to pursue any of these.

I find that other people see things differently and are surprised at what we have been able to do. Just last week I mentioned to a couple with a young child that we had taken Cedar backpacking recently. They looked at me in disbelief until one finally asked, “You mean, like, overnight?” “Yeah, sure,” I replied, “It’s a lot more work and you can’t go as far, but it is very doable.”

I started to think more about it and we still have a lot of adventures; our activities are just different and scaled back now. We were walking with Cedar nearly every day within a week of his birth. Within 3 weeks we were cross-country skiing with him strapped on in a front carrier. As soon as he was able to sit up, I was strolling with him on a daily basis to show him the world outside of the house.

His ability to hold his head up coincided with the coming of spring and the arrival of our Deuter Kid Comfort III, which suddenly opened up a whole new world of possibilities: longer day hikes and, yes, even backpacking.

These have been modest trips. We pack up, drive to trailhead, hike out five miles or so, camp near a beautiful alpine lake for one night, hike back, drive home. Each one of these segments can be its own little adventure.

The keys to success are to lower your expectations for speed and distance, relax, and just be glad that you are out there at all. We’ve found that we need to at least double the time that we think it will take to reach a destination when nursing, diaper changes, heavier packs, berry picking, and breaks to play in the dirt are factored in.

The extra work of packing and carrying heavy loads is all worth it, though, when Cedar giggles and bounces as we hike down the trail; says “mmmm…mmmm…mmm” as we feed him fresh salmonberries, blueberries and huckleberries; and discovers that trekking poles are one of the best hiking toys ever created (much to the dismay of our dog, Mischa).

—Jesse Cunningham

Time for a Kid Comfort III of your own?

bonus video!