Beginner Skills

6 Tips For Backpacking While Pregnant

If you're already a backpacker or hiker, you should be able to continue backpacking while pregnant. Here's some advice to get you going.

How’s this for inspiration: Our editor-in-chief’s wife went backpacking less than two weeks before delivering her first child, and our gear editor did a five-day trip on Isle Royale while seven months along. Yes, you can.

1. Check in with your doctor.

Make sure there’s no reason backpacking is contraindicated for you, and ask how much you can carry. It’ll probably be less than your normal load, so expect to have friends act as porters. If you hiked and backpacked before getting pregnant, you’ll likely be able to continue.

2. Don’t clip your hipbelt.

It’s just plain uncomfortable. Less weight in your pack will make this easier, but it’s still likely to be uncomfortable on your shoulders, so make sure to line up a backrub at the end of the day.

3. Avoid treating water with iodine.

It accumulates in your system in a way that you just don’t want to mess with. Treat your water in other ways, like with a filter or Steripen.

4. Compensate for your compromised balance.

Consider trekking poles mandatory, and make sure to wear boots with good ankle support.

5. Pack a really comfortable sleeping pad.

This is no time to tough it out on hard ground. The inflatable Big Agnes Insulated Double Z is 4 inches thick ($110;

6. Have an evacuation plan.

Always smart, but especially so now. Consider a two-way messaging device if cell service isn’t available.