Winner Profile  Abbie PhillipMeet Abbie Phillip and Joe from Hike it Baby Anaconda. They participated in the HIB30 March Challenge and won a Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp!  Congratulations!

Tell us about your favorite hike in the world!  

My favorite hike is in Slickhorn Canyon along the permitted portion San Juan River for river floaters, between Mexican Hat, Utah and Clay Hills, Utah. Slickhorn is a sandstone canyon that has been carved by an intermittent tributary stream and desert monsoon rains. The beige sandstone is stacked in huge beds with softball size nodules of red chert, called jasper. The canyon is an oasis, preserving moisture in the desert landscape. Water feeds lush beds of moss and other plants. The sound of water trickling and shade make this canyon awesome for hiking and practice yoga on the cool sandstone.

Favorite Hike it Baby moment so far?

 The first hike that I led was an amazing Fall day, and 25 hikers came out to support our new branch. We hiked the trail along Washoe Creek, lined with 100 year old Cottonwood trees. The trail was washed in golden light from the midmorning sun shining through the yellow canopy. The trail continues to a favorite for the Anaconda Branch.

What is the best advice for a new hiking family?

The greatest thing that a new hiking family can do is to connect with other families who are familiar with places to go and understand how to manage the challenges of hiking with children. The social, family hike tends to be shorter and slower than M-WOK (married without kids) or S-WOK (single without kids) hiking experiences. Learn to let go out your expectations and enjoy the hiking experience through your child(ren)’s eyes. Many families have told me that hiking is their reset button when they are having a difficult day or week.

What are your hiking goals for 2015?

 In 2015, I want to hike and walk daily with friends and family. I want my kids to voluntarily turn off the TV and ask me to go on a hike with them. I want the Anaconda branch family participation to increase by 100% from 3 regular hike leads to 6; from 12 regular families joining to 24. I also want to partner with 4 nonprofit organizations to host special events.

Got a favorite trail trick?

I like to hike with a parasail kite (no frame), like a pocket kite. When I get to an open place in the trail or the summit, I reward my kids with the opportunity to fly the kite. They look forward to it, and it keeps them moving on the trail.

What is a hiking/outdoors accomplishment with baby that you are most proud of?  

From 2005- 2007, I took my babies camping with a girlfriend and her two kids while our husbands were working. We went out for multiple night to an area campground and lake. We slept in our tent, cooked at the campfire, hiked, swam, told stories and played games. We loved getting out of the house, away from TV and other distractions to enjoy one another.

What is the most Outrageous thing that has ever happened on a hike!? (Good or bad!:))

There’s a local peak, Mt Haggin in the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest, Pintler Mountain Range, at ~10K feet. In 1998, I was at the peak, clouds began to form quickly, creating static electricity. My metal jewelry was clicking as it conducted the electricity. Immediately, my friends and I evacuated the peak. Safe from lightening, but soaked and cold we made it home safely. I hiked this same peak in 2000, 5 months pregnant with me first child. I will ascend it again this summer 2015.

Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?

I believe outdoor time is the most valuable factor in my children’s development. Outdoors they are curious learners, problem solvers, imaginative, healthy, active, strong, and happy. I am a better mom to my children while under the influence of nature.

What kind of gear do you always suggest people get?

Get a trail guide book for your area. I suggest that people get a carrier to wear their baby so they can participate in the journey, rather than sit in a stroller. I also suggest good shoes and outerwear. Hiking doesn’t require specialized gear, but a comfortable carrier, a good pair of shoes and competent outerwear make a hiking more enjoyable.

How has Hike it Baby influenced other aspects of your life? 

Through HiB my appetite for outdoor movement has increased. I crave a good hike. I’ve learned hiked several new trails in my area. I’ve also developed better skills as a leader to encourage others and communicate in a variety of ways, especially Facebook.

Thanks so much to our sponsor and HIB30 Partner Black Diamond for the awesome headlamp!

Winner Profile  Abbie Phillip

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