Hike it Baby Voices Why I love Hike it Baby by Shanti Hodges

Photo Laura Castro / Twig and Lens Photography

Recently I was thinking about all of the reasons I have loved Hike it Baby over the years and how it has helped me be a better parent. For me, the drive to build the community and keep it going from the start was because it gave me an instant community in Portland where I started Hike it Baby.

It also allowed me to explore nature beyond my comfort zone when I was getting out with Mason. I definitely found when Mason was young that I got out more and hiked trails with the group – something I would have never tried on my own.

A perfect example of this was when I saw a posted hike for the Cape Horn loop in the Columbia Gorge. This trail is 7.5 miles and I knew I would never do it on my own, but I also knew nothing about it. I had a feeling it would be steep and cliffy and Mason was toddling, so I was nervous about just going for it. When Angela, another hiking mama, posted it, even though I had never met her, I decided to make the 45-minute drive out and join her.

From strangers to friends

Angela had twins and was double carrying, so I was immediately impressed and relieved at the same time because I knew if she could do it, so could I. A few other people joined us that day and we had a spectacular hike with breathtaking views. I also made some great new friends whom I went on to hike with a lot in the first few years of Mason’s life.

These are just some of the many reasons why I fell in love with the Hike it Baby community and wanted to see it be successful and grow beyond just a little hike group for myself. This month, while we’re celebrating the idea of love, I was curious what it was about the community that drew others in and made them also love Hike it Baby. I decided to do a shout-out across the country to find out why the community works well for so many people.

Hike it Baby for enrichment

Hike it Baby gives me an opportunity to be a leader in my community. I love making a difference in people’s lives by getting them outside and on the trails. This means a happier and healthier community for everyone to enjoy. –Annie, Ann Arbor, MI

Photo courtesy of Amy Diebold

Hike it Baby taught me that hiking is more than just walking in the woods. Even older, plus-sized moms can hike at our comfortable pace and no one will judge me. It also brought me the village of like-minded families I wanted to raise my child around. –Joey, Utah County, UT

I enjoy being a Hike it Baby Ambassador because I know I am making a difference in my community (locally and nationally) for parents and their children by helping them get outside and connect with nature. Plus it has allowed me to make friends all over the world that I would never have connected with otherwise. –Lacey, Kenai Peninsula, AK

Hike it Baby is an amazing community and it encourages me to get outside more with my kids. I find that we are all happier after being outside, and it has also helped me get through some really hard times in my life. I love being able to inspire and encourage other families to get outside and adventure with their kids! –Melissa, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Hike it Baby for community

Being military always means moving and having to find your people. It’s good to know that no matter where I go, Hike it Baby will always be my people, and this is why I love Hike it Baby. –Laura, Dayton, OH

I love Hike it Baby because it gave me a community when I moved as a new mom to a new city that we didn’t know anyone living there. It has given me the confidence to keep doing the outdoor things I love right off the bat with my sons and allows me to share this joy with other families who may be new to this wonderful outdoor world. –Keira

Photo courtesy of Keira.

I love Hike it Baby because it introduces me to new trails and friends in our area. When we are travelling, it guides us toward kid-friendly trails and fellow nature lovers. Near or far, Hike it Baby has it all! –Kyla, Vancouver, WA

I get to explore nature with my children and talk to other adults. –Michael, Portland, OR

When I was a new mom deep in postpartum depression, Hike it Baby was my safe place to meet new friends and get outside, which helped me get better. Through the years, Hike it Baby has given us our community of like-minded families where my daughters and I feel supported, loved and comfortable being ourselves. –Vanessa, San Diego, CA

I love Hike it Baby because it means never being without a community whether near or far! It’s a safe place to grow and develop friendships for both child and adult. –Paige, Muncie, IN

Even kids love Hike it Baby

I love Hike it Baby because it gives my children the opportunity to learn, grow and discover with others. They can be themselves and celebrate the qualities that make them unique while being part of a larger community who loves them exactly for who they are. Shannon, Staten Island, NY

I love Hike it Baby because it gives me an outlet for my “overly active” children. It was amazing meeting so many like-minded people who were free of judgement no matter what was happening. Dustin, Brockville, Ontario, Canada

Photo courtesy of Dustin Thorley.

Hike It Baby connected me with an amazing group of parents who helped me find my footing (sometimes literally!) as a mom, and who helped me find my voice in my community. My children love being on the trail with friends, and the global HiB community has given me the confidence to just GET OUTSIDE. It has greatly expanded my view of both what a hike looks like and just how far my kids can go. Stephanie Jacobsen, Chattanooga, TN

I love being part of Hike it Baby because it allows me to be creative with different trails, themes, areas of town and ways to inspire others. I have met people who have become my support system while being a parent, and I continue to see Hike it Baby members connect with each other. For me, the biggest reward is connection for myself and my children. This group allows me to be a part of my community while getting out there with my children. It truly is a win-win! Sarah, Colorado Springs, CO

Are you a Hike it Baby family? Tell us what you love about Hike it Baby in the comments below.

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