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When we first receive orders to Guam, I was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. The thought of moving to an island in the middle of the Pacific was both terrifying and exciting. I didn’t know what to expect. How would my family adapt? Would I even enjoy living in such a place? The answer to all my fears and skepticism, is yes… you will adapt! And most importantly, you will love it, and make the best of any situation.
The one thing that has helped me learn the island, and step out of my comfort zone has been hiking. I’ve made great friendships through hiking, and it has also allowed my family to take exploring to a whole new level. While I am not an expert, nor do I claim to be, I have learned a few things along the way. For example, what I absolutely cannot leave the house without. So here is my top five Favorite Hiking Gear Essentials:
Hiking can be an extremely exhausting activity, so bringing enough water is so important. When hiking as a family, we always bring our 1/2 gallon sports jug, in addition to water bottles for each individual. My personal favorite is the Stainless Steele Hydro Flask.
When it comes to baby carriers, the most important feature for me is comfort. Especially during a long hike, I want my baby and myself to be as comfortable as possibly. While the carrier in the top picture was a good starter, it didn’t meet all of my needs and expectations. The Osprey POCO AG Plus, pictured in the bottom, was by far the best hiking investment to date! Yes it looks much larger than the other carrier, but it’s actually lightweight and extremely stable.
If you look closely at the two pictures, you can see that my daughter has a lot more room in the Osprey. There’s padding all around her for added comfort, and slings on each side to rest her legs. Not shown in the image above, but there is also a built-in sunshade to protect her from the rain, sun, and bugs.
When I’m hiking solo, and by solo I mean without my husband, the need for additional storage is especially important. The Osprey provides a large compartment in which I can store large items, and a smaller compartment that I can store food for example. There are many other small pockets to accommodate bug spray and sunscreen.
I highly recommend this carrier to anyone who plans on hiking often with little ones. Shop Osprey -> here
Bug Spray/ Sunscreen
Regardless what type of hike we’re attempting, I always bring sunscreen and bug repellant. Especially when hiking Haputo Beach, where the mosquitos are pretty bad. Which is why I am obsessed with Babyganics. Plant and essential oil based bug spray, it’s also DEET free and keeps mosquitos away better than any other bug spray I’ve tried. Babyganics allergy-free sunscreen is perfect for my kids sensitive skin. The smooth mineral based sunscreen glides on easily making this my go-to hiking product.
When it comes to keeping the sun out of my eyes during a hike, I found that wearing a hat is way more effective than wearing sunglasses. Hikes like Spanish Steps and Haputo Beach where I need to look down often are not ideal for wearing my favorite shades. Since I usually wear the baby carrier, a baseball cap works the best for me.
I don’t own a pair if hiking shoes, but found out quickly that it’s something I need to invest in. Especially living in Guam where it rains often, the trails get slippery fast. I did some research, and asked a few fellow hikers and came up with these finds.