Jennifer and her son Myles are members of our branch in Ann Arbor Michigan! As all of you know the east coast had a pretty tough winter, which makes the fact that the Hanold family completed this challenge even more impressive!! Jennifer won not one but TWO Columbia Coats, One for her and One for hubby! Jenn has some great advice for new hiking families dealing with cold weather so keep reading!:)
Tell us about your favorite hike in the world
We honeymooned in Hawaii and did some great hikes around the island of Oahu to waterfalls and up into the mountains. The scenery was just amazing. This past summer, we vacationed in the Adirondack mountains and it was great getting my 5 year old excited to go out every day and taking our 5 month old on his first hike up a mountain.
Favorite Hike it Baby moment so far?
I’ve enjoyed meeting other moms and watching the kids on the hike just having fun with one another.
What is the best advice for a new hiking family?
Don’t feel like you have to tackle huge hikes or spend hours out at a time if it doesn’t work for you. There were times when it was just too cold to spend a lot of time outdoors, but I enjoyed doing a quick walk around the block and taking in those 15 minutes of fresh air. Start small and find hikes that are manageable for your family’s lifestyle. It’s about spending time together that is what’s important.
Got a favorite trail trick?
When we first started taking my older son on hikes in the Adirondacks, we would pack cookies and tell my older son that if he could make it to the top, the cookie man would meet us up there. Snacks are key for the kids.
Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?
When I was younger, we did a few cross-country trips from NJ out west. It was amazing to experience hiking through Zion, Bryce Canyon, Glacier and countless other National Parks and really connecting and taking in our surroundings. I love watching my kids look up at the trees or out over the water and observing how they see the world. It’s great seeing them find the beauty in their surroundings and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give them some of the amazing experiences I had when I was a kid.
What kind of gear do you always suggest people get?
I love my Onya baby carrier. If you have a little one, I would suggest finding a baby carrier that works well for you. You can use it on any type of trail and is less bulky than trying to push a stroller around. Plus, it’s great for getting Myles to take a nap 🙂
What did you win? How stoked are you about it? how will you use it!?
I can’t believe I won! I never win anything, so I’m super excited. These coats will be great for keeping us warm outside in the Michigan winter 🙂
Check out the Columbia Platinum 860 TurboDown Hooded Jacket that Jennifer won and tons of other cool Columbia Outdoors products Here. Thank you Columbia for sponsoring Hike it Baby 30!