Did you know Hike it Baby is not just for moms!? We have a lot of Dad’s hiking amongst us too and more and more every day. Next up in our series of interviewing Hike it Baby 30 challenge winners is the Idryo family from our East Bay, CA branch! Ryan (left), Danny (right) and Ansel pushed through November and completed some beautiful hikes as part of their challenge! And now little Ansel is the lucky winner of a Stonz Wear bundle of booties and mittens to keep the little one nice and warm this winter!
Read more to find out why a Tyvek sheet is Ryan’s favorite “trail trick”.
Tell us about your favorite hike in the world
It took me a while to decide this, but I’m going to go with the W Circuit in the Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. The hike itself is as amazing and spectacular as you might imagine: steep, sharp mountains, crystal clear air and incredibly long views, walking next to glaciers, strangely colored water. But the whole experience is what elevates it to the best in my mind. Even the approach was memorable – taking a bus the length of Argentina to smaller and smaller towns spread further and further apart. It’s not the furthest from home that I’ve hiked, but it felt the furthest, by far. And, there’s even a bit of luxury – you can get room and board in huts along the way so you don’t have to carry food, cooking gear, a tent that can withstand the high winds, or worry about ending the evening soaking wet (the aforementioned wind is capable of shoving surprisingly large quantities of rain at any angle through any opening no matter how small). Did I mention these huts serve local wines?
It’s a stunningly beautiful, end-of-the-Earth hike that goes on for days but you can hike in a relaxed fashion.
Favorite Hike it Baby moment so far?
We were hiking the Mist Trail in Yosemite for the 30 mile challenge and encountered so many families with kids younger and older than ours. It was the highest density of kids on trail that I’ve seen outside of an organized youth group. I don’t know why it was family day that day on that trail, but it was neat.
What is the best advice for a new hiking family?
Don’t think that every hike has to be an expedition. You can start small and find interesting things even in your own neighborhood. Look for places to rent gear to try out the expensive stuff. Find other people to go with.
Got a favorite trail trick?
In the car, leave a kitchen garbage bag, a spare set of clothes for at least the baby if not everyone, and a refreshing drink. On the trail, I carry a Tyvek sheet for a small, lightweight, waterproof, and easily cleaned picnic blanket. In an emergency, I could make it into a poncho, tarp, sled, blanket, etc.
Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?
I want him to have a strong connection to the physical world to offset the ever present digital immersion that I see everywhere. I want him to appreciate the variety and complexity in nature and want to help in its preservation. I think it will lead him to a deeper enjoyment of life.
How stoked are you about your win!? How will you use it?
We won mittens and boots. I’m mostly getting them for next year when he’ll be capable of dealing with snow, but the boots can be worn over shoes or with liners so I’m hoping we can use those this year too, as we don’t have anything like that. I’m really excited for him to experience snow and thrilled that the footwear problem has been solved for me.
What dream outdoors trip do you want to do?
Oh, there’s more than one. I want to climb Kilimanjaro. I have one more continent to hike on to get all seven, so I need to get to Antarctica. And I want to see the northern lights.
Want to check out the super cool Stonz Wear products Ryan won!? Click here and browse their full selection of gear to keep your little ones hands and feet warm and super cute this winter!