Not unlike hiking, there is a lot of science that talks about the importance of gratitude in our lives. Being grateful helps us sleep better, experience more positive emotions and have more energy. We polled our readers for why they are thankful for hiking and Hike it Baby, and we had so many responses that they just didn’t all fit into one post.

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Hike it Baby gives me a community, a place to escape to when I am having a grumpy week, something to do when I am feeling bored, and a whole lot of people like me I can call upon at a moments notice for advice. My son is 3.5 now and there are days when I am like, ‘Am I doing this wrong?’ and want to tear my hair out. Then we get on a trail, have a blast, play with friends and I am like, ‘Oh yeah, a whole crew who understands what I am going through.’ –Shanti Soslenski Hodges

Hiking makes me feel strong, capable, and independent. So many things about being a mother can feel the opposite, but not when I’m hiking. Not to mention all the views. Someone has to appreciate what mother earth has to offer.” -Christina Fleming

“I am thankful for finding a community that understands what it’s like as a stay at home parent. HiB helped pull me out of PPD. It gave me a reason to get out of the house.” -Adrienne Brand

Hiking and HiB gives me a sense of community and purpose. Being a military family, well, former military family actually, we are never in one place for very long. We are always away from family. And being a part of this community fulfills that need to belong and find my people. It helps my family and me adjust to a new area and make friends so much quicker. I am so thankful that for this organization and all the amazing people that make it up.” -Laura Castro

Top ten reasons to be thankful for HiB:

1. Gave me the courage to get out and hike with my 2 toddlers.
2. New friends for me and new friends for my kids.
3. Seeing my children experience the beauty and wonder of nature.
4. The encouragement to take my little ones outside in the cold/rain/snow.
5. Taking part in HiB30 challenges and connecting with HiB families all over the world.
6. Inspiring me to “think outside the box” in terms of education for my kids–looking into nature schooling.
7. Knowing I’m not alone.
8. The fantastic community support I’ve received from interacting with other branches and other families.
9. The amazing people who reach out to offer help when a HiB mama is struggling (in my personal experience: people from the core team, other volunteers, my former co-BAs, my former mentor).

As well as this statement that I couldn’t agree more with from another HiB member:

10. The biggest thing I’m thankful for is that Shanti had this wonderful idea 3 years ago and has graciously shared her vision, time, energy and love with us all! –Jennifer Galietta

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/onebabeanddone/

Many thanks again to Heidi for compiling all of these testimonials of gratitude for getting our families outdoors! What are YOU thankful for this year? Share with us here. Happy Hiking!

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