Next up in our Hike it Baby 30 winners profiles;  Meet Kestrel and her son Bard. They can now be seen on the trails with an awesome Onya Baby Carrier! They kicked off winter the right way by getting out on trail for over 30 miles! Want to win your own Onya Baby Carrier? Enter into the January Hike it Baby 30 challenge!

Keep reading to find out Kestrel’s tip to new hiking families about overpacking…

Winner Profile-Kestrel Brogan (1)Tell us about your favorite hike in the world

There are so many to choose from! When hiking with a kiddo, I think my favorite so far has been Tryon Creek for the lush forest, variety of trails, and good terrain changes. My favorite hike before the kiddo is a tough call… Mount Ngauruhoe (Mt. Doom in the LoTR movies) and the rest of Tongariro in New Zealand, rainforests on Hawaii, Glacier National Park, and along the McKenzie river near Eugene rank highly, but I think the best overall was a very early morning hike across lava fields in Volcanoes National Park out to the active lava flow. There’s nothing quite like poking flowing lava with a stick as the sun comes up over the lava field!

Favorite Hike it Baby moment so far?
This may seem silly to many people, but the first time I got invited by another Hike it Baby mom to something that wasn’t a hike was pretty important to me. I don’t have a lot of close friends in Oregon, and the ones I do have are all at my job, so maternity leave was kind of lonely for a while…

Tell us what you like about Hike it Baby
For me it’s a new mom’s group that actually does things! You get the benefits of good company, moms with older babies to talk to and ask advice from, and exercise in the great outdoors. Hike it Baby made a huge difference in the quality of my maternity leave.

What is the best advice for a new hiking family?
Don’t overpack. You’ll be a lot happier on the trail if you’re not dragging along pounds of unnecessary baby stuff. Unless you’ll be out for more than about 4 miles, your baby will most likely be fine with what they have (as long as they’re dressed warmly enough, etc. when you leave). If you’re worried take an extra diaper. I made this mistake for several hikes until I realized that I hadn’t used a single thing that I was hauling around and realized that a coat with big pockets was going to hold anything I needed.

Got a favorite trail trick?
Definitely not unique to me, but feeding in the carrier by dropping the baby down a little and picking yourself up to meet them. It is so gratifying to have them eat and to be able to keep hiking while they do so. It’s then easy to cinch them back up once they finish and fall asleep.

Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?
I grew up on 40 acres and I spent a lot of time outside (most of my day, in fact) catching bugs in the field, building forts in the woods, or catching frogs in our pond. I loved that about my childhood, and I really want to instill the love of nature in my children. I believe it’s very important to understand, enjoy, and be comfortable out in the middle of nowhere.

How stoked are you about your win!? How will you use it?
I’m pretty darn excited. I love the carriers that I currently use (wrap, RS, and Lillebaby complete), but variety is always a plus since you never know what will fit the best as your child grows. We also eventually want to have a second child, so then we will definitely be needing multiple carriers! I also love that Onyas have big pockets, which is something most carriers are missing.

Winner Profile-Kestrel Brogan (2)

Thank You to Onya Baby for donating a carrier and being a part of the HIB30 Challenge this time and for 2015. Not only will Onya be donating another carrier for the challenge in January they are also offering a great discount! Sign up and get an Onya Baby carrier for only $99. Click here to take a peek at what Onya has to offer!

Winner Profile-Kestrel Brogan (1)

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