Welcome to Papousse’s feature series – Meet the Parents – a behind the scenes look at adventurous parents who are inspiring other families to explore. For our first in this series we are thrilled to share our interview with Wild & Tiny, not your average Mom Group based in North Vancouver. Hilary Hawkshaw, the founder, is creating a space for outdoor loving moms to get outside together with their little ones. Read on to learn more about her awesome plans for this group.
1. We were super excited to see your new Instagram account @wildandtiny – tell us about your plans for this group.
Thank you! We are so excited to be here. Wild & Tiny is a group of progressive and adventurous parents committed to raising our babies with as much influence from the great outdoors as possible. Our meet ups range from hikes to leisure walks, forest playtime, beach scavenger hunts, to overnight family camping trips (future goals!). We want to be able to encourage parents, particularly new moms, to get outside for some fresh air and know that they don’t have to do it alone. Hiking with babies can be a daunting task at the best of times and we are here to support them. We are a friendly, non judgmental group of friends, mom, dads, and care givers fighting cabin fever together! There are some startling facts coming out of the US with the amount of time kids are spending indoors in front of screens vs outside and I want to be able to help with that. I am also extremely passionate about our planet, and our planet’s well-being. These babies and kids are the next generation who will have to protect it so as a parent, I feel responsible to instill the importance of that with our kids.
2. What are your top 3 “bring a baby” hikes on the North Shore?
Can I choose 4? Rice Lake, Quarry Rock, Mystery Lake & Dog Mountain.
Rice Lake is a very simple cruise (even stroller friendly) if you’re just looking for a quick loop and some fresh air; you’ll see lots of toddlers on this trail it’s that easy. Quarry Rock is similar, but ups the ante a touch by introducing a few climbs and a rewarding view at the end. Still short – you can complete this round trip in about 1.5 hours at a moderate pace, wearing a baby. Mystery Lake on Seymour Mountain is so beautiful in the summer time and very family friendly. It’s a short hike and the lake is swimmable when its warm! Dog Mountain, also on Seymour, is a little longer and good if you’re looking for a sweat. Lots of roots and steep in portions, but the view is worth the climb. These are my go-to hikes, depending on my energy levels!
3. What’s your favourite trip you’ve taken your little one on?
In the summer we road tripped with our little one from North Vancouver – Kamloops – Kelowna – back along the beautiful Duffy Lake Rd to Whistler, and over to the island where we ended at Hornby Island. Our province has so much to offer; traveling local is one of my favourite things to do! We stopped at lakes, waterfalls, markets, coffee shops… Being in a different spot every 2-3 nights can be challenging with a baby, but it helped that we stayed in our own timezone and only travelled in the car at nap times. Whenever she’d wake up we would pull over for a break and it was part of the fun to see where we would land!
4. All your photos are seriously gorgeous. Tell us a little about what goes in to getting your shots?
Thank you! I have to credit beautiful BC for that. 80% of my Instagram shots are from my iPhone 6S which is a 12megapixel camera and a 63MP in Panaramo mode so I use it a lot. I also just bought a second hand Canon Rebel t3i with a 50mm 1.8 lens from my photographer friend and it has been so much fun! It’s nice not having to be on my phone all the time but still being able to get the shot. I’ve always been a lover of photography, and usually have an image in my head of what I’m trying to achieve with a photo so combining photos of nature + my baby has been pure bliss.
5. What are a couple things you like to pack when hiking and/or traveling with a baby?
I never leave home without my Ergo! Whether it’s to the grocery store, road trip or flying it comes with me everywhere because being hands free is a must! Also: SNACKS. Not just for baby, but for me. I plant little snacks for myself everywhere, the car, diaper bag, carrier, etc, because there is nothing worse than a hungry mama. When we air travel I’ve started vacuum packing up my baby’s clothes and it saves me so much space. You can get the bags at the dollar store and it really helps. I’ve got it down to only one suitcase for both her and I when we fly.
6. What hike or destination is currently at the top of your bucket list?
Ohh, its hard to just pick one! For hikes, I’d have to say hiking the Lions in North Van has always been a dream of mine. It’s an overnight hike and requires a bit of prep, although some people can do it in a day. That or Black Tusk in Whistler is high on my list too. They aren’t entirely baby friendly so it would be an exciting mom & dad adventure. Destinations to travel to would be Iceland, or Norway, Finland, Sweden. I am really drawn to the Scandinavian culture and the way they are raising their babies. That and I want to go to Burning Man with my family in 2018!
— Follow @wildandtiny on Instagram to get inspired and find out about upcoming meetups.