Hiking With Kids Is Disgusting

Motherhood is gross and hiking with kids is disgusting.

There are always fat sticky fingers touching me. I constantly fight against bed-head, dirty fingernails, and milk mustaches.

Don’t even get me started on brushing my kid’s teeth, it’s traumatic for all parties involved. So, I don’t do it nearly as often as I should.

I swore I’d be the Mom whose children always wore clean matching clothes. Now I’m lucky if my free ballin’ kids are actually wearing clothes. I hope there aren’t any perverts in our new neighborhood.

Our oldest son turns 3 next month. He wants to be a mountain climber when he grows up. Of course I taught him to say that. He definitely smells like a mountain climber-a mountain climber who just ate a whole can of chili.

Since we have a lot of families with little kids who follow our blog I think it’s only fitting to tell the tale of the grossest hike of my life. I’m not proud of this story, I just want you to know that when it comes to life, hiking and parenthood there’s nothing perfect about us or our children.

So there we were…

A few weeks ago we were hiking at Happy Jack, just me and the kids.

Our youngest was catching a nap in our Ergo baby carrier. Every once in a while he’d look up at me with his big beautiful blue eyes, smile, rip a fart, and go back to napping.


The blue sky overhead had tricked me into thinking it was spring. But, there was a chilly brisk wind. As a result we had not dressed appropriately for the cold weather. We did a short out-and-back hike and on the way back we were walking right into the cold Wyoming headwind. I just wanted the hike to end.

My 2 year old had other ideas, he wanted to take his sweet time.

So I started bribing him with granola bars, M&M’s, goldfish crackers, beef jerky, water and promises of ice cream after lunch.*

It didn’t work.

He got fed up of my nagging, wasn’t interested in any more snacks and decided to sit down on the trail and declare that he was was tired and he was done hiking.

Curse his Irish stubbornness.

I couldn’t bribe him,  I couldn’t budge him with a stick. He just sat there, wailing and demanding that I carry him.

So I picked him up, hoisted him on my back and proceeded to walk.

Then all of a sudden he started crying…again. As if a free ride weren’t good enough. So, I reached in my pocket and gave him an green apple Jolly Rancher. The only piece of candy left in my bag of tricks.

His happiness returned long enough for us to snap this selfie.

IMG_3070But, the headwind that we were hiking into was still stupid cold.

So, I tried to hustle back to the car as quickly as I could given the fact that I was carrying a zillion pounds of dirt and kids.

Then there was a scream. I thought my kid had seen a mountain lion or a snake. I got ready to fight off a mountain lion with one kid strapped to my belly and another riding piggy-back style. I’m a Mom, I could do it.

But no, somehow my little hiking partner had managed to take the Jolly Rancher out of his mouth and stick it right into my mess of a ponytail.

It was stuck, really stuck.

The loss of his candy was devastating.

He started crying about losing his candy and I wondered what I needed to do to get green apple Jolly Rancher out my hair.

So I did what any desperate mother would do.

I sucked the Jolly Rancher out of my hair.

It took but a few seconds and every ounce of saliva I had but I did it.

Once the sticky green candy was free, I took it out of my mouth and placed it into my kid’s mouth.

He was happy to have his beloved candy back. But he didn’t stop whining, even when we got back to the car.


So there you go, proof that we are indeed very real. That our children are not perfect little mountain climbers and that sometimes disgusting things happen when we hike with kids. Does that mean that we should stay at home and avoid the whining, bribing and disgustingness that follows us on hikes. I say “no” and not just no but “hell no”–so what’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever done on a hike? Can you blame it on kids?

*{Side Note} Some hiking parents don’t believe that you should feed your children junk food or bribe the to keep them going. I’m not one of them, I say do whatever it takes to get them to move down the trail (but that’s another conversation for another day and why I’ll never be nominated for Mother of the Year). A day of bribery on the trails beats a day inside watching TV.



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User Comments

  1. Noooo candy in hair! When you started the story off with farts and free ballin’, I had a lot of dread about where it could go.

    • Rebecca |

      It could have been bad, thankfully my kid left his clothes on and there were no diaper malfunctions…on that hike at least.

  2. stephanie mullins |

    Love it!

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