The Simplicity of the "Manta"

Back in 2009, when I was roaming the streets of Cuzco I asked an Andean woman where I could get a carrier like the one she had. She smiled at me and said, "It's the one you use on your table!"  We laughed, told her I already had one and thanked her.  My Peruvian tablecloth is definitely a staple in my outdoor gear which was given to me by my "Tia" (Aunt) when they immigrated to the United States.

On a cold, almost summer day, my family and I volunteered for a Clean Up Day at Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.  Unfortunately I had forgotten one of the THREE kid carriers I own, so I improvised and used my Peruvian Blanket, tablecloth, "manta" as one of it's intended purposes: to carry my child.  

My daughter happily climbed into her "Peru Blankie" and was happy as can be.  

As a blogger many companies reach out to me to test their newest and coolest gear and I'm happy to accept.  Many times parents think we NEED the best and right gear before heading outdoors with our children or else we can't go...but I think back to my ancestors who never have a external frame kid carrier, fancy boots or wicking clothes and they carried their little ones in their "mantas" all up and down the Peruvian Andean Mountains.

So here's to all the mothers who for thousands of years have carried their babies in their "mantas" just like mine.  Thanks for reminding me of simplicity.

Do you have any cultural pieces that you use for the outdoors?

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