Hiking the Cape to Cape Track with a baby might sound like a difficult task. But Perth couple Ed and Laurie proved it can be done – with the right equipment and preparation!

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They tackled the 124km Margaret River hiking trail with their 10-month-old baby, Jocelyn. The couple enlisted the help of Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, choosing our self-guided end-to-end adventure with coastal accommodation and daily Track transfers. Meanwhile, Ed hiked with a specially-designed Macpac child carrier backpack to carry Jocelyn for the majority of each day’s hike.

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Both parents work as medical professionals and enjoy keeping fit by running, cycling and hiking. Jocelyn’s mum Laurie said it was an “amazing experience” being able to hike the Cape to Cape with the youngster. “She loved the trees the most. You could tell she really enjoyed being on Dad’s back while we walked through the tall trees of Boranup Forest. She was looking up and looking around. She also loved it when we stopped on some of the amazing beaches where the water was so clear. And she could play on the sand with no-one around for miles,” Laurie says.

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Things to remember when hiking with a bub

Laurie said there were several key factors to keep in mind when hiking the Cape to Cape Track with a baby. “There were periods when she was a bit grisly, but it’s normally for a reason. It was very rare that she seemed bored but there were times when Jocelyn did get tired or hungry,” she says. “We took lots of toys to attach to the backpack for her to play with. And sang lots of nursery rhymes. Most people would have a baby sling or a carrier that their baby is able to sleep in. So we brought ours just in case she couldn’t sleep in the backpack. The sling turned out to be a really good way to give Ed a break. And it was a change for Jocelyn,” she says.

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Top tips for hiking the Cape to Cape with a baby

Laurie also said hiking with a youngster aged between 6 and 12 months was ideal. “Once they’re 6 months they’re big enough to go into one of those backpacks and you can put them in safely, because they’re less floppy and vulnerable. But the older they get, the more bored or frustrated I think they’d get,” she says.

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“Obviously things like sunscreen are essential. She was in long sleeves and long leggings so she was really well protected from the sun, but she wasn’t going to get too hot. Take a change of clothes because it’s much harder to keep them clean when you can’t sit them in a high chair to eat. We tied her comforter onto the backpack and that really helped her feel cosy in there. And take plenty of food for all of you. Jocelyn had the kind of sachet meals from the supermarket, and that turned out to be the cleanest and most efficient way to feed her,” Laurie says.

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The parents admitted hiking with a baby isn’t for everyone. But they said they loved the experience of tackling the Cape to Cape Track with Jocelyn. “Obviously you’ve got to carry more. Some of the beach sections can be tough carrying an extra load,” Laurie says. “Adding a rest day in the middle would definitely be worthwhile too. You’ve also got to have the right kind of child – she’s relaxed, and we’re pretty relaxed too. As a mum, I felt more stressed at times because I was worried if she was going to be okay. But to do it together as a family was an incredible experience!”

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If you’re thinking of hiking in the Margaret River with a toddler or children, drop us a line at info@capetocapetours.com.au or book your guided or self-guided adventure with Cape To Cape Explorer Tours by clicking HERE.

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