Winner Profile  Natalie Brucken (1)Congratulations to Natalie and Avellina from Hike it Baby Portland!  They crushed the HiB30 March Challenge by hiking 55.3 miles and 2885 minutes outside and won Oakiwear Rain boots!

Tell us about your favorite hike in the world
I love hiking Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Being from New England, every October we would travel there to take in the foliage, try a new route, and see how close to the summit we could get. It is home to some of the most extreme weather so you never know how far you are going to be able to go until you get there! One year we saw hikers coming down with their hats covered in icicles, while another year we had to bear crawl up the side so we weren’t blown off of the mountain! It is always an adventure and always beautiful.

Favorite Hike it Baby moment so far?
My favorite Hike it Baby moment has been meeting new and inspiring mamas who have been so encouraging and helpful on the trails. From breastfeeding tips to taking in all of the beauty that Oregon has to offer, it has been wonderful to share these moments with other moms (and dads!).

What is the best advice for a new hiking family?
Find time to get outside every day, whether that be hanging out on a blanket in the park or hitting the trails. Watching your child interact with nature is such a gift and a bonding experience unlike any other. Also, gift yourself some quality and comfy boots that can take you that extra mile – it’s worth the investment!

What are your hiking goals for 2015?
To continue getting outside every day and exploring new trails, as well as pushing myself to do a new hike that is just a little bit more challenging than the last.

Got a favorite trail trick?
Not really a secret or a “trick” but pacifier clips have saved my sanity on the trail and also kept the PNW from being littered with thrown/dropped pacifiers.

What is a hiking/outdoors accomplishment with baby that you are most proud of?
I am just proud in general that I have committed myself to making outdoor adventures a part of my child’s life from the very beginning. It has been wonderful for the mind, body, and soul and it’s free!

What is the most outrageous thing that has ever happened on a hike!?
Peeing in the woods with a baby attached to you requires one to go into a DEEP squat.

Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?
It is important to me to have my child out in nature because it is teaching her at a very young age to respect and value our Earth. Every time we hit the trails, sad day or happy day, she is always reset by being outdoors. I love watching her eyes grow big as she takes in the surrounding trees or listens to the rush of waterfall.

What kind of gear do you always suggest people get?
Trekking poles!!! If you weren’t very steady on your feet before you had a child, or have bad knees (like myself) poles will be your new best friend. Also a Camelback, great way to stay hydrated on the trails!

How has Hike it Baby influenced other aspects of your life?
Hike it Baby has given me the confidence to do most anything with my daughter and not worry if it is going to be too hard to accommodate having a child with me.

Special thanks to our HIB30 partner Oakiwear for the cool boots!

Winner Profile  Natalie Brucken (2)

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