Hello! Welcome to our first official Lloyd Family Hiking Update! (edited to add: we started vlogging our hiking experiences on my YouTube channel!!! click here to check that out too!) I want to share this journey both so we remember ourselves and so that we can also hopefully inspire and help others as we have a LOT to learn about being a hiking family of 5! I hope you join us and follow along, this will be our biggest adventure yet as a family! Follow us on Instagram here, Facebook here! Now, to check out what we learned on our first four hikes as a family of five, (including all the pics!) keep reading!
Shortly after Charlie was born, we took an outdoor walk and decided that this summer our family is going to tackle our first Colorado 14er, all three kiddos included. If you’ve been following me, you know this is going wayyy out of my comfort zone as fitness, well, it has NOT been my thing ha! But really, like, ever. But that is all about to change as we train as a family and become avid Colorado hikers. We came to this decision for a few reasons:
My hubby is in medical school, which makes his schedule insane and our family budget tight. We rarely see each other let alone do any type of bonding activities, and needless to say that isn’t the recipe for a happy wholesome family. We love traveling and want to take our kids on adventures and make memories as a family, but again, scheduling and budget limit our options. So, while brainstorming ideas for how to fix this issue on our walk, we decided, why not start becoming an active hiking family?! We live in the beautiful Colorado mountains (and will continue to live here for a while due to his school!). We are all happier when we get outside and it gives us something to look forward to and work towards, not to mention wonderful memories to look back on despite this being the busiest season yet of our lives!
We have some serious work to do (ahem, MAMA has some serious work to do ha!) I like to consider myself pretty tough, a twin birth and then a home birth with Charlie were nothing less than marathons but this body of mine is NOT in shape. Like, at all ya’ll. Our latest hike included a minor incline right away and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I panicked momentarily that maybe I wasn’t going to be able to do this! But I got my blood pumping and made it.
Our first hike I tried carrying Arabella in the sling and while I love my sling, it became evident in the first 5 minutes we needed better gear. I researched main frame carrier packs and learned that the current top of the line pack is the Deuter child carrier. I took to Craigslist and found two used ones at prices we could budget in, hauled the kiddos and my mom to Boulder to pick up one and my husband picked the other one up in Denver. We took them for a maiden voyage that weekend and it was a very SHORT voyage as the wind was gusting up to 60mph and I truly felt like a sailboat!
We took another hike the following weekend, and broke out the Lillebaby all seasons carrier I had purchased earlier in the year for Charlie (also found via Craigslist!) and Brian got to really practice being a “Daddy horse”! Comments on our family parade have already started and we’ve only been on minor hikes so far! But it worked really well for him in addition to carrying Harry in the Deuter mainframe (and myself carrying Arabella in the other mainframe). We still need to buy the sun/rain shades for the Deuter packs and hiking shoes for my husband and me, but will as soon as possible.
Our future plans will be to hike in the nearby areas until my husband has completed his step one exam this April, and then branch out to include trails such as Hanging Lake, and of course our first 14er (exact location TBD on that still!). In order to maximize our time right now, I have to have two kiddos potty’ed, Charlie freshly diapered, and everything packed and ready to go so that when my husband punches his break clock we can literally run out the door. It’s currently a circus but hopefully I will become more efficient as we practice!
Hikes taken so far: 4 (one of which was our very short Deuter carrier maiden voyage)
Things learned so far:
Always. Pack. Snacks. (Being a toddler mom, I should have known this one!)
Invest in good carriers. No matter what.
Invest in gear (we are working towards being properly outfitted, let’s just say my every day leggings do not stay up guys!)
Sunscreen. (I know, duh).
Invest in good shoes. I know this will make a difference as we are currently hiking in old sneakers.
Plan on it taking twice as long as you expect (at least currently, as we practice and I get stronger I know we will become more efficient!)
Be patient. It’s a learning process for all five of us!
Hike One Pics
Hike Three (maiden voyage of the Deuter packs in high winds!)