About the Author, Momma in the Mountains: “I’m a mountain girl through and through, raised in the Colorado Rockies. I hike, climb, run, horseback ride, swim, bike, fish, etc: my favorites being anything on dirt. Trail running has saved my life a few times over. I love traveling long distances on foot (ultra running, fast packing, and backpacking) more than any other activity. I’m also a momma to a sweet little boy who entered this world 3 months early. Here again logging miles in the mountains saved my life and sanity. Life with a preemie is a bit difficult but we manage. I love sharing my adventures with my little man. I’ve learned lots of moms want to adventure but are afraid or don’t know where to start when it comes to adding a wee one. I hope in sharing my stories (about life in general and my adventures) that other moms can learn and hopefully realize it’s not that scary.” You can also find her via her website and Instagram

To see more posts by Momma in the Mountains, click her name above!

The packing has begun!

Normally I wouldn’t even start until a week or two out but with a toddler that’s different. With a toddler with special needs it’s extra different. Then there’s that vacation before the vacation (HEY look! I’ll get a vacation from my vacation haha).

The guest room is currently acting as a staging area for gear layouts.

Clothing layouts are being done, taking a picture to remember, and put away. After all I still need those clothes between now and then. 

Working on first aid kit (don’t forget the pup)

Food..well that’s complicated. I have an idea of what I’m bringing, most of which is set aside I packed in a grocery bag. But toddlers are picky eaters. I have a feeling some of his food needs will change between now and then, therefore requiring a last minute grocery trip to get more goldfish (because #dontforgetthegoldfish ) and some other new snack he’s become fascinated with. I also have to consider his drink needs and that he doesn’t do well on just water or electrolyte drinks. He needs milk of some sort. This part I’ve decided to just deal with. They make his favorite almond milk in single serve boxes – so even though it will suck to carry I will bring 1 per day. He also LOVES chocolate milk and requires probiotics and digestive enzymes daily. Bonus my favorite “recovery” drink is essentially all this in powdered form just add water. Even tastes like chocolate milk and his pediatrician and dietician have both said it’s completely fine for him to have (Thank you Skratch Labs !)

Wee man’s clothing layout. 

So the other part… the hard part… what do I bring for him?

I’m not talking about clothes or food or basic gear, I mean to help with his special needs. My son is autistic.

He has a history of self harm – should I bring his helmet which will be awkward to carry, hot to wear, and he’s never worn on the trail before- eh probably not but I’ve thought about it, especially when there’s a meltdown mid hike.

Or the weighted blanket he loves – helps him sleep, relatively small, but weighs five pounds all by itself – again maybe not, that’s the weight of my pack and sleeping set combined.

What about a chewy, a special ‘toy’ specifically designed for chewing on – DEFINITELY – we have carried one on every hike and he uses it almost every time and it weighs basically nothing.

A blanket to cuddle – of course I mean a small blanket isn’t much, he’s only 23 months when we go, plus there will definitely be chilly nights- why did I even query this one?

Start of gear layouts day 1….lots more sitting there now.

The list goes on. And I haven’t even touched on sorting out diapers. We cloth diaper. Which has actually made so many things including hiking better, but I still haven’t quite nailed down how many to bring (I’ll wash daily).

Definitely coming together but time to step it up and sort out the rest of the kinks.

Last major hike before leaving on our pre backpacking vacation.