Finding the time, energy and motivation to hike can be tough, especially with a baby! I only have one, so I have no idea how mamas with 2 or more get out, but here’s how I’ve been able to do 2-4 hikes a month for the last 7 months. (I do more walks and hikes on my own too, and these tips apply to Hike It Baby hikes, my own neighborhood dog walks, family hikes and just getting to the park.)
1. Schedule more than you will do in advance. I hit up the Hike It Baby calendar 2-3 times a week and add a bunch of hikes to my calendar. I only get out to about half of what I add, but this helps me to get in one hike every other week at least. I also schedule family hikes with my husband by creating an event and then inviting him to it.
2. Lead a Hike! When you are the leader, the motivation and obligation is built in! You can also lead the type of hike you like, whether it’s a slow city stroll or an intense Gorge carrier hike. This also applies in my own daily life– if I don’t lead the dog walk, even if the husband is coming along, it doesn’t happen.
3. Try a new style of hike. If you always do hikes of one type or in one area, challenge yourself to do something new. Try a carrier hike if you usually do stroller hikes, head to the opposite side of town or lead a hike if you never have.
4. Be prepared. Keep some hiking supplies in your car, then you can check your calendar and make the next hike (which you have saved to your calendar earlier in the week) with no notice. You can just jump in the car and go. I keep a carrier, shoes, hats, sunscreen and water bottles in my car, then I just grab the diaper bag and I’m off!
5. The more you hike, the more you’ll want to hike. I’m not one of those people that becomes addicted to exercise, but I feel so good after hiking. I feel better physically, mentally and socially and so, naturally, I want to do it more and more!
Beth Silva is a Portland, OR mama who has been hiking with Hike it Baby since the fairly early days. She wrote another piece for Hike it Baby earlier this summer on her favorite hikes around Portland.