Qube Expert Series:
Qube Money Expert Series with Hailey from @haileyoutside
Here we have our expert series for this month, and we invited Hailey on this month! Hailey, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yeah! So my name is Hailey, and I am face of Hailey Outside on Instagram and some other social media platforms. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am just a big hiker, camper, backpacker. That’s mostly what I share about, is my hiking and camping trips with my kids. I do have two kids; a toddler, he turned two in December, and I have a three-month-old baby.
My gosh, so cute! I wish they were in this. Okay, so we brought her on to give us some expert hiking tips because it’s finally—cross our fingers—because the weather in Utah, everyone knows, is so up and down. But it’s finally getting warmer and exercising outside, hiking, all the things, it’s free. It’s so good for you. So we wanted to invite her on to give sort of her tips. And she runs with a crowd that does all the same things. You guys are all moms and you’re all hiking.
Yeah. I feel really lucky. I’ve made a lot of friends through Instagram who we all do the same thing. We have kids that we like to hike with, and so I do enjoy a good hike with just me and my kids, but I love getting together with a few friends. And we’ll go hiking together, we’ll go camping together a lot of times without our spouses because they are working in an office, so we’ll just hit the road and [crosstalk 00:01:35].
Okay. Let me ask you logistically, just because I have one kid, I have a one-year-old little boy, and we actually really do need to buy some hiking gear. My husband and I have dogs and we love hiking, and we have a cabin and it’s so fun. But I haven’t invested in any hiking gear. How do you even do two kids if it’s just you?
So there’s a few different options. My toddler, again, he’s two-and-a-half. He is hiking a decent amount by himself. And by a decent amount, I mean, like a mile is impressive. Two miles is like, “A good job, little guy.”
But I do oftentimes carry him as well as my baby, so what I need for that is a front carrier and a back carrier. And everyone has their own opinion on what’s the most comfortable. I use a soft-structured carrier for my baby. When she was really little, I used a wrap. Just one of those fabric wraps. And then I would put my toddler in my hiking kid carrier, a framed carrier.
A lot of people prefer a soft-structured carrier on the back. And that’s great, too. The only problem with that is you don’t have as much storage. So I like my framed carrier because I can keep all of our gear, our water, our snacks, diapers and whites, layers if we need them, in that pack.
It is heavy. I’m not going to lie. It can be upwards of like 40, 50 pounds, and so I try not to do that for long miles. But yeah, the main thing you need is a carrier for your kids. A lot of times I don’t even bring one for my toddler if I know it’s going to be a shorter hike and he just walks it and I’ll pick them up if he needs a little break, but-
What brand is your carrier for your toddler?
I use the Osprey Poco Plus for him because it has the most storage of any framed kid carrier on the market.
Callen (03:31) I’m sold.
Hailey (03:32) What was that?
I said I’m sold. [inaudible 00:03:34].
It’s an investment for sure. But I have used that thing literally hundreds of times and it gets me outside. I’ve used it since he was about seven months, and we’re coming up on two-and-a-half years, so it was one of the best investments I made after having it a kid.
That’s awesome. And that’s the thing is, to me there’s minimal cost to doing hiking, especially here in Utah. But having the right gear makes a big difference. My husband and I, we went on a short mini hike, and we forgot the carrier. We have the front carrier, the soft back carrier or whatever. You can switch them, and we forgot it. And he’s like, “I’ll just hold him.” I’m like, “We can’t do that anymore.” He’s one, we were tired. So we do, if that makes sense. And that sounds like you have a good system going for the two kids. That’s amazing.
Okay, my next question is favorite hikes in Utah. Where are your favorite place? Tell me dog-friendly, because we have a lot of dog lovers and I have dogs, and then tell me a couple of others that you love, short and long, and ranging in difficulty too.
There’s like a million hikes in Utah. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. A good one; this one’s not dog-friendly. So first of all, the Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons in Utah, not dog- friendly, but Big Cottonwood is Donut Falls, and you do hike to a waterfall, which is so fun for the kids. It’s relatively a easy hike that my toddler walked the whole way up, actually. And then I think I carried him back down. But that’s a great one. If you’re a beginner with no dogs.
If you do have a dog and you want a kid-friendly, dog-friendly hike, I recommend Birch Hollow up Mill Creek Canyon. That one is beautiful. It walks along the High Line Trail, and you can go up or down. I usually stay down and hike to a little. There’s a creek about a mile in, and it’s really fun for the kids to play in the summer. And dogs are allowed in Mill Creek Canyon.
And then another favorite especially this time of year when there’s still some snow up in the higher altitudes is the Wild Rose Trail in Salt Lake. It’s lower, it’s in the foothills, so there’s not… I haven’t done it this year, but I’m highly assuming there is no snow on it right now. It’s dog-friendly as well. It starts at a playground, which is so fun because you can hike. And then when you’re done, let your kids play at the playground. It’s good motivation if you have a toddler.
Get to the playground. Yeah.
And then down in Utah County is some of my favorite hiking as well. I love, if you want a big hike that’s dog-friendly. And I wouldn’t call this one kid-friendly. It’s pretty steep and long, but I am planning on carrying my kids up at this year. At least one of them, maybe. But Squaw Peak is one of my favorite hikes in Utah County. Incredible views, wildflowers in the spring. It’s a really beautiful one.
There’s also, if you want a really basic, easy first time taking your kid hiking trail, that’s dog-friendly is Bridalville Falls. It’s actually a paved trail, so great for little toddlers who are just learning to walk so they don’t stumble as much. But you walk to a waterfall, you can play in the water. Super fun. And a really beautiful one as well. So those are some of my-
A lot of good recommendations. I’ve heard of some of them. Have you hiked mountain, I’m assuming probably. How hard [crosstalk 00:07:05]?
I have done Tampa a couple of times.
Callen (07:07) Is it so hard?
You know, it is hard. It’s long. I think that’s the hardest thing is, it’s 16 miles, so you’re just on the mountain all day. And it’s a lot of uphill. You get above treeline, which means you get so high that trees don’t even grow in that high elevation. But nothing more rewarding in my opinion. So I don’t know if I’ll do that one with kids this year. Maybe I’ll be brave. I probably would bring my baby on it because she’s smaller and easier to carry.
That’s what I want to do. And then a lot of my friends are doing the Grand Canyon rim to rim, and they’re like, “It’s not that bad,” but I’m still terrified. I’m like I would have to train. I’m from St. George, though, so I’m like “[inaudible 00:07:52] actually is close.” I could go to my parents and drive over. But I don’t know. It seems so daunting.
Room to room is an adventure, but that’s another really rewarding one.
How many have you done it once?
Hailey (08:05) Just once.
Was it so hard? Was it fun?
The end is hard because obviously you hike down. That’s pretty easy, unless you have really bad knees. But then you’re like flat across for a while and then hiking out as it’s just straight uphill for a long time. And there’s a lot of false summits where you’re like “Oh, is that the end?” And there’s like twelve more switchbacks. So nice to go with a fun group. They can keep each other motivated, but that one, I don’t think I’ve ever been more sore the next day. Granted, I did sleep on the floor that night at my sister and her husband. We got a hotel room and I just slept on the floor. That added to being sore.
So does your husband… You are married, right? I feel like I stalked you enough and I know that. Does he hike as much as you? Did you hike? How did that happen?
Yeah. So we are both outdoor lovers. Yeah. He loves to come hiking with us. He’s a big mountain biker. He’d probably choose to mountain bike over hike, but he loves to backpack. We go obviously backpacking and camping together. But because he does work during the week, I just choose to still get out during the week, so we go together on weekends and then I go a lot of time during the day. When we met, we did a lot of outdoor fun things together. We got a dog first and took him for lots of hikes and camping trips and then had kids.
How often are you going every week?
Well, I just had a baby, so I haven’t been going as much. But when I’m in a groove, maybe two or three times a week.
Oh, my gosh. And are you going for a couple of hours at a time?
Yeah, it depends how far I have to drive. If I’m driving a decent amount, I want to be on the mountains for a few hours. But I do also semi-plan around naps. When my oldest was taking two naps, he would take his first… I like hiking in the morning, usually. He’d take his first nap, usually on the trail in the carrier, and then I’d be home in time to put him down for a nap in his crib. And now he takes one nap later in the day, and so I do try and be back in time for his nap because it’s just a couple of hours to myself.
I know. I’m like, you got it all figured out. Amazing. Okay, last question. We’ll wrap up and when we post this, I’ll add some of your tips and I’ll link your page. But with hiking, obviously we see all these things about mental health and getting outside. And I noticed when I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to take my kid.” We live right by Sugar House Park. I’m like, “I’m going to walk to the park at least once a day with my husband after work.” It makes such a difference in our mental. It’s so fun to be outside, but getting there is the hardest part for us, just like actually doing it.
But then the other part is too, like investing. And we’re travelers, we love to travel. So for me, scheduling trips around hiking like, in Capital Reef or Zion, all those places. That is more fun for me because I’m not the one that’s going to be like going out on the daily probably hiking. I’m just not that person. I want to be. And I always commit to my husband and he’s like, “You always say,” but I would rather plan trips and be like, “Okay, we’re going down to Zion. We’re hiking.” Do you have any tips as far as budgeting for these types of trips and what you do with your family and then these friends you have? Any tips?
Yeah. First of all, let me just say getting out the door is the hardest part, but it is for me. But it is so much more worth it. I would much rather have a day on the trail than a day at home. It’s just my personality. Being outside does make me… I feel like a better mom. I just am more patient. I am happier for the rest of the day because we had that outside time. My toddler gets his energy out.
But as far as budgeting, there really isn’t much you need for a day hike with kids. Like I said, you need a carrier for especially little kids that can’t walk yet because it is unrealistic to hold them in your hands. So some kind of carrier and you can go with the soft-structured carrier which are less expensive, and then up to those more expensive framed carriers. And then you can use your water bottle from home. You can wear the shoes and the clothes you have, at least during the nicer temperatures. If you’re hiking in the winter, that does require a little more gear and specialty gear, I would say.
And then you have to account for how far away you live from trails because it does obviously cost gas, especially right now. It’s so expensive. So that was part of the reason why I say, if I’m driving away to be somewhere, I want to spend time there because I want to make it worth it. I pack our meals for us so we don’t have to eat out on the way home, a couple of sandwiches, some granola bars, fruit, whatever. So I take that into account.
And then as far as like… We do take camping trips too, usually within Utah because there’s just so much here. And again, it just comes down to accounting for, or planning ahead and making sure you have enough food for the trip because it’s always cheaper to bring food than usually them to eat out.
And then for gear, when it comes to traveling like camping and backpacking, there are so many gear options out there and I just recommend starting small. When me and my husband started, just the two of us, we had an old backpack that I had since I was 14 from Craigslist. That was my backpack pack.
So we had one pack and we had a couple of old sleeping pads his dad had given us that were not lightweight at all. So we just shoved those in there, strapped onto the ball and shoved it inside. We used hammocks because you can get a hammock for $20, $30 versus a couple of $100 for a tent. We used hammocks and then we just use really dirt cheap food.
We shopped REI Garage Sales. Found a stove for that and you just make it work. And then over time we have accumulated gear. So our first big purchase was a backpack for me, and Logan kept using the old heavy, not great backpack, and we just made it work. So just finding what is a priority, what do you need to get out there, and what do we have that we can still use? Facebook marketplace is a great resource. Like I said, REI Garage Sales where they sell the used gear people return that they can’t [inaudible 00:14:56].
In Utah, I’m like, there’s so many. I got my stroller on Facebook marketplace and it was brand new. My daughter’s stroller. So I’m like there is so many options. Okay, that all sounds good. I’m so excited. I’m like, I’m about to go make a schedule for myself. Go on some hikes. The weather is so nice here too.
It’s beautiful right now.
It’s turning into spring. I’m so happy. These are all such good tips too and motivating for people to take time from the day job and get outside. I feel like with COVID we all did a better job of that because we had to. That’s one of the only ways people could… Things they could do was go outside. So it’s a good reminder. I will share your links. I’m going to share some tips in the caption when we post this and we will upload this to our podcast. I just want to say thank you again, Hailey, for doing this. It’s been such a pleasure talking to you, and I’m going to probably be texting you and be like, “Hey, how hard really is Mount [inaudible 00:15:54]?”
You can do it. No. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Yes. Thanks again. Okay, we will catch you guys next time on our expert series. Bye.