Despite some discomfort during this pregnancy, I’ve been so glad to have gotten the care needed to minimize any pain and allow me to continue hiking during pregnancy. It’s been a great way to stay active, spend time together as a family, and enjoy the outdoors. Plus, it’s been one of our favorite family activities while on our summer adventure to Alaska as well as at home in California.
Of course, every pregnancy is different and you should always check with your medical professional before taking on an activity, especially if it’s new to you. But if you do decide that it’s for you, here are 7 of my favorite maternity hiking essentials for hiking while pregnant. I hope they help you, too!
Sturdy Hiking Shoes with Great Support + Wool Socks
When hiking normally, I go back and forth between sneakers or trail runners. I tend to choose lighter-weight, lower-cut shoes that are a bit more minimalist.
However, when hiking when pregnant, it’s super important to maintain good balance and ankle support. I find that my balance tends to be off more, especially with a protruding belly, and I need all the stability and traction I can get. So I much prefer a mid-height, sturdy, and super comfortable hiking-specific boot when pregnant.
I LOVE this pair – they’re seriously the best women’s hiking boots. The ankle support is fantastic (important so you don’t roll an ankle – way easier to do when pregnant) and have terrific traction. They’ve broken in perfectly and keep my feet comfortable. Plus, they’re waterproof, which has been great in wet situations.
I love wearing them with a midweight wool hiking sock for good cushion and wicking – this is my VERY favorite brand. They have a lifetime warranty, are a family-run business, and just are overall fantastic for comfort and durability. Our whole family has had a number of pairs for years and they hold up like no other brand we’ve had.
Also, if hiking in water, I love these hiking sandals for sturdiness and traction.
Hiking Poles while Pregnant
I don’t tend to hike with poles generally, but they’ve been SO helpful for hiking while pregnant. I find they help me keep my balance much better and stay a lot more stable. They also help remove some pressure while walking, especially when going up and down hills. I noticed a big difference on a recent hike – I felt much less tired and less sore at the end of that one than a previous one of the same distance when I didn’t use my poles.
Maternity Bike Shorts or Maternity Athletic Leggings
When hiking normally, I often choose loose running shorts or skorts for more airflow. But when hiking while pregnant, I prefer tighter fitting maternity bike shorts or maternity athletic leggings. I find that these tend to give better support for a belly and are more comfortable to wear when hiking during pregnancy.
These are my favorite maternity bike shorts that are soft and comfortable, and also have pockets! For cooler weather, I super love these maternity athletic leggings. I have two pairs in different pretty patterns. I love the style, fit, and especially the floral designs.
Late in pregnancy, I don’t personally prefer hiking with a pack – and you should definitely check with your medical professional before carrying anything with a fair bit of weight. That said, my kids’ CamelBak is a great size and weight to still be comfortable! It’s small enough that it doesn’t impact my lower back or make me uncomfortable, and it carries my water for me up high on my back. It’s also very lightweight, so works for all three trimesters.
If I don’t want to wear that, I will often just hand carry a water bottle for easy hydration accessibility. It’s so important to drink tons of water, so I like having a bottle with me. Plus, this means I can carry my favorite water bottle that keeps my water cold for ages, which makes me much more likely to drink more.
This is something I haven’t actually had to use for pregnancy or medical reasons, but is something that is SUPER important to have on hand if you’re doing any off-grid hiking during pregnancy. You never know when an emergency could come up and it’s really important to be able to contact someone immediately for assistance.
This little device has been an absolute lifesaver this summer with vehicle issues when we’ve been out of service, and I will never again hike off-grid without it, especially with any higher-risk medical circumstance (like pregnancy!). It’s worth every penny!
I have to admit to not being the most diligent with sunscreen since I have darker skin and don’t burn. Still, pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive, so it’s important to protect it. I love this mineral facial sunscreen and this one for full body (it’s also my favorite for my kids).
Layers for Hiking During Pregnancy
This pregnancy more than any other, I’ve found myself getting hot and cold easily. It’s hard to get comfortable! I like to have a couple different options on the trail, and ones that easily pack away.
I love this mid-layer zip up to throw on over my top. It’s not maternity, so I’ll get use out of it for a long time, but it’s plenty stretchy for a belly. I also love the multiple pockets and that it’s compressed so sheds much less (better for the environment). And it’s plenty long even over a belly and ties easily around my waist.
I also LOVE this rain jacket. It works great as a windbreaker in cooler weather, and is super solid construction for wet weather and keeps me completely dry. It has armpit vents to stay cool, and packs into it’s pocket when I’m not using it. It’s the best!
There you have it! Seven of my favorite maternity hiking essentials for hiking during pregnancy. I hope they’re helpful in making an active pregnancy more comfortable for you, too!
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