Babies and bugs

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May 14, 2015
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South Deerfield MA
Hey folks,

When I hiked before adopting my son, I would see eight year old kids jumping around the presidential range and hope that I would have kids that cool some day. I adopted a little guy, and there are hints that might be the case for him- he likes to be outside in any weather, and cries when it is time to go back in, even if his face is getting cold. I was not expecting him to have such strong opinions at two months old, but I'm excited about how excited he gets for going outside.

Winter is pretty easy- I've been wearing him in a Moby wrap under my coat with his head and one arm free (with a coat and mittens) so he can look around, and he wants to look at every tree. We have been going for two hour hikes this way. However, once spring hits, we will have a new issue to contend with- bugs. I want him to continue hiking with me, but it seems like a diaper change with mosquitoes and black flies would be miserable for him. I don't want to douse him in bug spray this young, but also don't want to keep him inside. Any advice on how to bring a little guy outdoors? He'll be seven months old in June. My old approach was to run faster than the bugs, but I can't do that with him on me.
Try netting. When carried, in front or on back, it's not hard to rig up something that keeps him covered. Baby carrier backpacks often have a sunshade built in that also works to keep the netting out of his eyes and mouth. (Though bear in mind that infants are grabby. There are ages at which he'll eat the netting.) Diaper changes are a bigger challenge. Consider a small pop-up tent frame (or one of those pop-up play mats - they're light) that you can drape with a net.
That and prioritise hiking on days / in places with a good breeze.
Netting for sure, I just started using a head net a few years ago and can't believe I waited so long. They sell full netting suits; you could buy one and cut it up to rig up a netting type of blanket on whatever rig you carry him in.
We used netting. Bought some sort of netting from Campmor I believe, as they used to sell something from Coghlans that was a big sheet. That baby smell, my wife and I are convinced it works as bug repellant for a period of time early in their lives.
For years parents have used netting over carriages - my brothers and I had them on ours (we are in our 50s and 60s) and then I used them for my kids. Maybe you could get one for the diaper change, use a trekking pole to hold it up.