We thought it would be fun for the month of December to profile different Hike it Baby 30 Challengers from around the country so you all can get to know each other’s stories better! We are leading this off with Megan Lucas who hiked well over the 30 miles for the challenge last month with two kids. She and her husband can be found hiking weekly somewhere around the Portland area with their two little girls.
What’s your favorite Hike in the World?
My favorite hike in the world is probably Neahkahnie Mountain, it!s my “Home” hike. I grew up on the coast and it is one I’ve done a zillion times, and I never ever get tired of it. It’s 3 miles round trip or a more difficult 5.1 if you hike all the way down to the beach after summiting. I’ve done it as a kid, an adult and mom and everything in between. I like to think of all the things I’ve worked out on that hike! The view at the top is incredible and I’ve sunbathed up there in October in my bikini! It feels like all your cares fall away when you sit up there and look out at the ocean. Juna, my daughter, has done that hike tons of times and I did it pregnant with her. It’s also a special bonding place for Dave and I.
It’s a powerful place, for sure. I’ve had crazy experiences on the hike and near the. Punts in- let!s just call it some sort of magic:)
Favorite Hike it Baby moment?
Realizing that even though we hike all the time, we still can misjudge things. We ended up hiking in the snow and freezing our kiddos feet off. We learned to always check snow levels where you are going. Since the hike was not far from Portland, we didn’t expect it to be full on snow! We were mostly prepared, except for proper footwear for the toddler. This is my favorite hike it baby moment because I learned something really valuable!
Why do you like Hike it Baby and what did you like about the Challenge?
I love that Hike it Baby has such a positive impact on people and their kids. Seeing all those posts rolling in everyday about people’s hikes was really awesome. It motivated us to get out there no matter what, (mostly) and got us back I to the hiking spirit after the birth if our second baby- it can be a hard phase to get through and Hike it Baby nudged us along. I loved meeting other moms while doing what we love to do!
Best advice for a new family getting out there hiking?
Just get out there! Don’t worry about having the perfect pack, carrier or shoes. Just go. Of course, have your kiddos nice and warm if it’s cold and charge your cell phone, etc. Try different places and have fun. Look at the trees and things around you, take it in. Put the smart phones away. bring light weight snacks!
Favorite trail trick?
Backpackers toilet paper. It’s a big leafed plant that grows here in the northwest. I’ll have to find the name and a photo of it. Blackberry leaves work if you use the top and not the underside. Pretty good baby wipes! There’s a backpacking guide that says to use ‘ inanimate objects’ likes smooth sticks, dead leaves, snow, etc. that always cracked me up. No squirrels! I once used new line tree shoots in an emergency poop explosion with my daughter and later she was complaining her butt hurt- there were still pine needles poking her…so don’t try that one.
Why is it important to have your kids out in nature?
Have you heard of Nature Deficit Disorder? We all need nature to blance our energies out. Through being in the elements, we can reset ourselves. It heals, it inspires. Nature really is a medicine- just being in the woods gives you more oxygen. I have a book called the secret teachings of plants (Buhner) that talks about how our energy fields interact with nature. We communicate with trees, plants, share vibes essentially. I see that as a good, healthy thing and I want my kids part of it. I can’t imagine we communicate well with pavement and buildings. I think kids need nature and it’s patterns, chaos, intelligence and vibrancy to make sense of themselves and the world.
What kind of gear do you always suggest people carry?
Decent shoes with tread, especially when carrying babies. I always carry something extra like a rain jacket to put over a kid in case it’s windy or rains.
I’m totally stoked I won! I think I will use the bag as my purse and ditch the diaper bag for a while. It looks like I can maybe keep a few essentials I there, even some emergency acupuncture needles.