HiB Hike On! Winner Profile - Christa SnyderMeet Christa! She hiked with Derek, age 2, on July 25th for the Hike it Baby Hike On! and was entered to win a prize just by registering their adventure! They won a Hike it Baby Family Tshirts Package!

What hike did you conquer on Saturday, July 25th? What was your favorite part of hiking that trail?
We did two short hikes, both to waterfalls. We went to Thompson Falls in Pinkham Notch, NH (by Wildcat Ski Area), which was 1.4 miles round trip. After that, we went to Glen Ellis Falls just down the road, which was another 0.6 miles round trip. Derek walked about 3/4 of it on his own. The highlight with both of these was definitely the waterfalls, because waterfalls are just really cool. At Thompson Falls, Derek loved tossing some small stones in the water at the base of the falls and watching the ripples. Derek also had a blast walking up and down all the rock steps at Glen Ellis Falls (and there are a lot of them!) 

   
Did you have any obstacles to overcome to get out or while on your hike that day?
Derek was not having the best of days while we were on the Thompson Falls Trail. About 0.1 miles away from the falls, he got a cobweb or some dirt in his eyes, and then he rubbed them, which then got suntan lotion in his eyes too. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy. He improved when we got to the falls and got a chance to throw some rocks into the water. He was much happier with the second hike to Glen Ellis Falls.

 
Why do you think hiking is a positive influence in our children’s lives?
Where do I start? It’s great for them to be outdoors instead of indoors watching TV. Not only do they get fresh air, but they can learn about things like bugs and trees and plants first hand. They learn to explore and pick up things and not be afraid of something just because it’s not man made. It’s great exercise as they get older, but even for those just learning to walk, it’s a great way for them to learn about different terrains and it’s really fabulous for their balance as they learn to negotiate rocks and roots on the trails. Plus, it’s a great way for us to spend some alone time as a family without other distractions.

 
What is your advice for anyone who is contemplating hiking with their little ones for the first time?
I could go on for a while on this topic. My husband and I have been hikers for years, and have given similar information to a lot of new parents. A lot of it depends on their age and your fitness level.

If they’re in a carrier:
– Invest in a good carrier – neither you nor they want to be uncomfortable
– Start out small and build them up to longer hikes so they gets used to the carrier
– Pay attention to the weather and dress them appropriately. If they’re in a carrier, remember that they’re not moving around and sweating like you are, so they may need an extra layer, especially if it’s cooler or windy out.

For toddlers or those out of carriers:
– Start out small and build them up to longer hikes
– Pay attention to the terrain. Start them out walking on stroller friendly trails and build them up to those with rocks and roots they need to negotiate
– Let them explore. My little guy loves to pick up rocks. Sometimes, it’s every 20 feet. Yes, it gets annoying after time, but that’s his way of learning.
– Destinations are cool – waterfalls, ponds, lakes, etc,
– Do not force a child to continue. If you don’t make it to the destination, you don’t make it. It’s the journey, not the destination that ultimately make the day
– Have a backup plan in place if your child gets tired. They don’t know their own limits, so have a carrier or some way of getting them out if they get tired half way through the hike.
– Don’t forget lots of snacks for them. 

   
Are you excited about the prize you won? Tell us about what you plan to do with it!
Yes. I’ve been thinking of getting my little guy a Hike It Baby T-Shirt, so this will be perfect. I want to have him wear it when we go out on hikes on the weekends. People will find it amusing, and it’s a great way to start up a conversation. While my husband and I wear more hiking appropriate clothing when we hike, we’ll wear our t-shirts around town.

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