How hikes are evaluated:
Conventionally, hikes would be evaluated based on difficulty of terrain and changes in elevation. When hiking with babies, top issues for me to consider are:
1. Trail conditions – Can the baby be easily and safely transported along the trail? If so, what type of baby transportation works best?
2. Quality of the post-pregnancy workout – Can the workout be maintained at a mainly aerobic level, without risk to the mom (many of which will not have worked out aerobically for several months)? Are there significant challenges, considering that stroller-pushing or carrying a backpack or front carrier, add resistance to the workout?
3. Break opportunities – Are there good stopping places along the hike that can be used for water breaks, changing diapers, removing clothing layers, or having a snack? Are there benches or tables without great risk for acquiring ticks or poison oak?
4. Shade conditions – This varies according to time of day, but approximately what amount of the hike is shaded?
Other items that are addressed with each hike:
- Limitations or restrictions to the hike area
- Season for the hiking area
- Handicapped access
- Other logistics like fees, parking, and location