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I am not sure why, but at some point during my pregnancy I saw a Kelty Carrier on a website and I was drawn to it. I was never a hiker before Aubrey. I secretly wanted a backpack carrier so bad, I didn’t share my thoughts right away. I would look at them from time to time. Their bright colors calling my name. The price tag pushed me right away. I knew nothing about hiking. Nothing about babywearing. How would I ever do both at the same time.
Enter Aubrey. She was born right before Christmas. Then entered in Postpartum Depression and Seasonal Depression. Still those carriers called my name, it was getting louder. I was sick of being cooped up in the house, but to scared to hike with newborn. I started out slow. Going for short walks down the Rails to Trails as Aubrey was bundled into the ErgoBaby. The walks got longer and my goals got bigger. I was under the care of a therapist, who I hated. She never seemed to listen, and I always left feeling even more miserable. I truly feel that she sees moms struggling with PPD as a paycheck, the worse she can make us feel about ourselves, the more sessions she can book, and more money she can make. Its sad really. I still loathe her to this day.
Then one day in March, I had found a Kelty Carrier on Craigslist for a reasonable price. I emailed the seller and he offered to meet me that day, it just so happened that I had an appointment with my terrible therapist. It didn’t take long for me to make the decision. I would blow off the appointment. I was done with her games, I was done with her judging my every thought and making me feel like a terrible mother. There was something else calling….The Mountains. I picked up the carrier and I have not regretted it once. I look to it as my turning point. After this day my life changed. I became happier, more confident and more relaxed.
Aubrey and I spent hours hiking together. Even if it was a terrible hike, it was still better than the terrible therapy appointments I was subjecting myself to before. The first mountain I chose to climb, we didn’t even make it to the top. The second mountain, again was a failed attempt. However third time was a charm. When I made it to the top of Mount Watatic I finally felt that high I had been searching for. I was hooked.
Throughout our journey I have had to learn a lot of things by trying it, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing. There was little resources out there for How-To hike with a newborn. I would hike alone, wishing I was brave enough to start a hiking group for parents of babies. The problem with that is that I didn’t know many people with babies, nor was I brave enough to approach new moms and ask them to hike with me. So I continued to hike alone.
Little did I know, that 3,000 miles away in Portland Oregon, that family hiking group was forming and growing. Spreading across the country like wildfire. It wasn’t until that following winter, when I was looking to see if there was any information on snowshoeing with a infant I found it. I found Hike it Baby. It was exactly what I was seeking. A quick visit to their website gave me all the information I needed. The closest branch at the time was Boston, so I signed up to become a leader for the first branch in New Hampshire! I completed my training, launched Hike it Baby Monadnock and started hosting hikes. It wasn’t a big surprise that most of the hikes were no shows and Aubrey and I were still hiking alone. However by the end of that first summer I had found a small group of regulars and we all would hike weekly together. Soon enough four more branches opened in NH and Hike it Baby has created a movement across the state!.
Aubrey as a toddler would beg to hike everyday. She needs it just as much as I do. I have big goals for us, and I hope to share our journey with others. Hopefully our stories, tips, tricks and other information found here can help other families get out and explore the world around them.
Aubrey, now 5 and in preschool is already proving she is an exceptional hiker, and that’s not just the Proud Mom talking. People we have met along the way cannot believe such a little girl is already climbing 4,000 footers and has hiked more mountains that adults. Our hikes are getting bigger and longer and the memories we create are being shared for all the experience.
Lyndsey and Aubrey