Hike it Baby (HiB) is a new free hiking group starting on Maui. It was originally started in Portland, Oregon by Shanti Hodges, a new mama wanting to get outdoors with other families. The Hike it Baby Philosophy is, “We leave no hiker behind” and is an all-inclusive group for moms, dads, caretakers and kids of all ages. Since its inception in the summer of 2013 it has expanded to over 150 cities internationally! The organization is not a guide service, rather a volunteer run platform for people to gather and be active. HiB has and is empowering people to get on trail with the littlest members of their families, improving health and fitness, and growing an appreciation of nature, all while building community.
I am one of the lucky people changed by this group, this movement. My first hike with HiB was in August, 2014 in Portland. After being shown how to breastfeed in a front carrier by another mom, and realizing how well my 4 month old slept while we walked, I felt more freedom in my new role as a mother—I could socialize with other parents, while getting exercise outdoors, and it was free! Things really took off for me during the first HiB30 challenge that November, a challenge to walk 30 miles in 30 days. After the first three days we had logged 10 miles. I decided to go for it and see if we could keep up the pace, and by the end of the month had logged 100 miles! My body changed, confidence grew, and new friendships blossomed. It was a family affair; one of our main family activities became hiking, my husband joined on group hikes and the family camp out last spring. Since the November HiB30 challenge, things have changed. My toddler doesn’t tolerate long walks. Now we go on shorter stroller or carrier walks, or she takes the lead on meandering strolls. What hasn’t changed is that we are happier when we get outside and move, especially when we’re with friends.
When we made the decision to move to Maui, we knew that Hike it Baby was coming along, to share with families here, in hopes that others will benefit as we have. We’re just getting started, so please join us, and consider getting involved by leading a hike at your favorite trail or park. See the online calendar at hikeitbaby.com for details on HiB Maui’s kick off hike January 1st, and more hikes to come!
Image Credit: Ashley Scheider