My Journey to Fitness: Hike It Baby

When I was growing up, vacations with my family were almost always camping. That combined with being a Lifetime Girl Scout and I have had a love for hiking since I was pretty young. Simply being outside, away from civilization (even if it’s not that far away), communing with some sort of nature, has always been a way for me to relieve stress and center myself when life gets a little crazy.

After my youngest was born in 2014, I finally had the motivation to explore some of the fantastic hiking close to where I live outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. With my husband working and my oldest in school during the day, I didn’t want to hike by myself and many of the trails local to us get pretty crowded on weekends. My husband isn’t a huge fan of hiking either, but he comes sometimes when our oldest asks really nicely (or begs).

I also have a love for babywearing, so when I saw a post in my local babywearing Facebook group about an organized hike where babywearing was encouraged, I jumped on the chance to join and see what it was all about.

And I discovered Hike It Baby.

Hike It Baby was created a couple of years ago by a mama named Shanti in Portland, OR who had the simple desire to get outside after having her son. She didn’t want to hike alone and wasn’t quite ready for jogging or long bike rides and she didn’t want to juggle finding a sitter so she could join a gym. She invited friends to hike with her and word began to spread. Now she inspires and encourages families to get outside and explore with their kids.

Through social media, families can hike together, make new friends and encourage and support each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, they all have your back and no hiker is left behind. Local chapters are led by volunteers and, best of all, hiking is usually free!

There are chapters all over the country and between 40-80 hikes in different places on the calendar each week. There are a variety of hikes out there too, from a toddler-led stroll around a paved park path or a coffee-stroll with kids in strollers to an adventure hike with babies in different baby carriers. No matter your skill or fitness level, there’s a hike out there for you.

Check out the calendar and see what’s coming up in your area. Even if you don’t live near any mountains, there are still parks and forested areas that could be worth exploring. You might be surprised what nature has to offer in your area!

I’ve been able to join my local chapter for many, many hikes and urban strolls and it’s been fun meeting new mamas, getting some exercise, and seeing some absolutely gorgeous sights in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. Checking out all of the different baby carriers everyone uses has been fun too.

Last June I participated in the Hike It Baby 30, which is a challenge held every few months for families to hike 30 miles in 30 days. Over 400 kids were registered and over 14,000 miles were hiked during the month of June. My oldest, who’s almost six, loved helping me keep track of our miles and find new places to explore. I loved getting out and exercising with my boys as much as possible and we’ve discovered some truly stunning places local to us.

I even bought a selfie stick for the hikes where I was only with my boys because, dangit, I wanted to be in the photos too! It’s become WAY more fun to use than I expected and it now goes with us on every hike… at least every hike where my oldest comes too.

September brought us another Hike It Baby 30 Challenge and I’ve been looking forward to meeting my goal once again while exploring some really beautiful places. It’s mid September now and I’m way behind. Life has been very busy the last few weeks combined with local thunderstorms and I haven’t gone out with my boys nearly as much as I want to. I’m doing my best to keep going though, the challenge isn’t over yet!!

Joining my local chapter has been a great step in my journey to get myself in better shape post-babies. I’ve been wearing my youngest son, who’s about 23 pounds, in my Líllébaby carriers and both the AirFlow and the Embossed models have been fantastic in the summer heat. I can’t say whether I’ve lost a lot of weight as I don’t weigh myself often enough to know, but I do notice clothes fitting a little looser and I have felt a lot of improvement in stamina and strength. It’s especially noticeable when I’m hiking at higher elevations. It feels great to get each and every mile accomplished!

One Response to My Journey to Fitness: Hike It Baby

  1. Thanks for sharing Alex. This is a great story and sold me on a Lillebaby so I can walk with my toddler in the jogging stroller. The pictures are beautiful!

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