I’ve always loved nature! My love for nature stemmed from my childhood. Nature has was always a learning resource that taught me lessons that couldn’t be seen from a different person’s perspective in a classroom, only my own. It also naturally helped foster a love for traveling, exploring, and history. This all helped me broaden my perspective, value the things that are often taken for granted, and generally taught me what textbooks could not. That’s why I instilled a love for these things with my own children as well. I’m happy to say that they take delight in all of these things as much as I do, especially nature!
Nature is truly a learning resource. That’s why hiking is one of my all-time favorite activities that I love to do with family. Hiking is one of the most pleasant ways to connect with nature, bond with family, and enjoy the world around you. I deem it nature’s therapy since we’re always at the most serene and peaceful state of mind when hiking. It has been proven that hiking can reduce stress and foster creativity. I can attest that nothing clears my mind more than when I’m surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers by Shanti Hodges contains a wealth of information for beginning and seasoned hikers alike. Hike it Baby features 100 adventures across the United States that you can take with babies and toddlers. This book also includes helpful advice when exploring the natural world, including preparedness and safety tips as well as insider tips for each destination featured.
Sourced from real families using Hike it Baby‘s trail-tested system, Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers, this book encourages parents to step out of their comfort zone yet feel like hardcore adventurers! Whether you’ve always wanted to hike part of the Appalachian Trail, splash around in gentle Northwest waterfalls, or scramble up rocks in the desert surrounded by Joshua Trees, this book shows you how to plan a truly memorable journey with your family. While it’s my dream to leave footprints along the Appalachian Trail someday, I’m looking forward to hiking local trails like Turkey Run in Turkey Run State Park and Edesses Trail in Eagle Creek Park this summer.
Hodges explains, “One of the things about being a new parent is that you never know what to expect with a hike and getting your kids out there. I found that we often would show up at a trailhead that said “family friendly” in an online guide, only to find it was all switchbacks and waterfalls. When you have a 2 or 3-year old that is definitely not family friendly. My hope is with this book I will help shed light on how to find trails, as well as introduce families to others who will help them get out there.”
Prior to hitting the trail as a mom and outdoor movement leader, Shanti was a freelance writer and a consultant helping small businesses with their websites and social media. As a freelancer, she wrote for magazines like Outside, Men’s Journal, Marie Claire, Shape, Self, and also wrote a book in 2007 called, Women Who Run.
In addition of being of the founder of Hike it Baby, Shanti began hosting Family Forest Fest in 2016. Family Forest Fest is an annual family camping festival that is held in Alsea, Oregon. This year, she began hosting retreats in Utah. Hiking My Way is a 5 day, 4-night women’s retreat taking place in Southern Utah near Zion National Park. On the retreats, you’ll have the opportunity to gather with a group of women and hike 1-2 times a day, enjoy a campfire, sunrise adventure, see beautiful waterfalls and awe-inspiring petrified sand dunes.
Shanti and her husband Mark split their time between Portland, Oregon and La Verkin, Utah. She enjoys watching their son Mason fall in love with nature on their frequent adventures camping, rafting, biking, and of course, hiking in the outdoors.
One winner will receive a copy of Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers by Shanti Hodges.