Winner Profile-Katie Gertz (1)

Hiking on to meet the next #HIB30 Winner! Katie Gertz and her son Dylan hike with our Portland Branch! Portland had an unseasonably cold November which made getting outside pretty challenging! Katie had a no excuse type attitude and completed the challenge! We are happy that she won a Discrete Banger Beanie!

Keep reading to find out what Katies favorite Hike it Baby moment is…Hint; It is probably not what you’d expect!

Winner Profile-Katie Gertz (2)Tell us about your favorite hike in the world
There are so many beautiful places to hike and enjoy nature. I have enjoyed hiking in Missouri, Shenandoah NP in Virginia, Yellowstone NP and the Tetons in Wyoming, the lava tubes and canyons in Utah, the rain forests in Washington and Hawaii. My favorite place is Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. There are so many trails to explore. It is a place I have been back to time and time again in all seasons. It always gives me a sense of humility to be surrounded by the Rockies. I definitely want to bring Dylan there. Even though he will be too young to remember it, we will probably be there this summer. He will have plenty more chances as he grows up.

Favorite Hike it Baby moment so far?
I was on a hike when when one of the members fell. Of course, I am sorry she fell and she was ok. The part that I really enjoyed seeing was when all the mommas helped her get up and made sure she and baby were good to go. Nobody was inpatient or was negative in anyway. I think people who love to be outdoors are inherently great people to hang out with and would always have your back.

Tell us what you like about Hike it Baby
Winner Profile-Katie Gertz (3) I have met a great friend hiking with HiB that I even get to meet up with outside of HiB activities. Plus, I have a network of other supportive mommas to talk to about all kinds of things. I like that the people in HiB like to do things and be active with their families. Such a positive experience all around.

What is the best advice for a new hiking family?
Start small. I would say that I was an experienced hiker pre-Dylan. However, I felt like somehow hiking with a baby was a game changer. I had so many things and logistics to work out in my head, that even a walk through the neighborhood seemed like an expedition. Which kind of carrier do I prefer? What kind of stroller? What stuff to bring? How to nurse on the go? How long do I have before I need to change his diaper? Too hot? Too cold? Too sunny? Too rainy? How is my body going to feel- particularly early on? Our family took our first walk to the park the day after we got home from the hospital and we only made it about 2 blocks. I was really wiped out and had to sit and rest.
After that, it was trial and error.
Now, I know roughly how far or long we can go hiking and what gear to bring, and how much Dylan can tolerate. Even then, we took it really easy when we went snowshoeing for the first time with Dylan a few days ago. I wanted to make sure Dylan was safe in the winter weather. I didn’t want to be caught in a dangerous situation and be too far from the car to do anything.
I think if you start small, then you can hammer out the details to be more confident to try new things. The most important thing is you and your baby are getting outside and having fun!

Winner Profile-Katie Gertz (4)Got a favorite trail trick?
There are a lot of really nice coats for winter/rainy weather to choose from including ponchos and jacket extenders and such. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money so I went to Goodwill and bought and oversized men’s jacket for 10$. It is large enough to zip when I am front carrying Dylan. He is 7 months old now. It is not a very heavy jacket but the two of use have stayed toasty warm even in weather in the low 30’s (along with several layers between the two of us). It is water resistant and I will carry an umbrella when it is raining to keep his head dry.

Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?
Winner Profile-Katie Gertz (5) It is the only thing that keeps me sane. I need to be outside everyday for a walk even if it is short, and even if it is really lousy weather. I think it is easy to get caught up in crazy life of work, travel, family, and friends. I like to be outside to get some peace and keep things in perspective. I hope that Dylan will be able to find that same kind of refuge in nature as meets the challenges of life. I like to tell him about all the places that I want to take him when he gets older. I want our family to be active.

How stoked are you about your win!? How will you use it?
Dylan won a beanie! If you notice, Dylan only has a light dusting of hair. He wears hats all the time. You have to protect the dome!

Winner Profile-Katie Gertz (6)


Thank you to our sponsors at Discrete Clothing for donating amazing products to our Hike it Baby 30 Challenge. If you want to check out their line of cool beanies or any other winter clothing click here. 


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