This post is brought to you in sponsorship with REI
Did you know kids today only spend an average of 4 to 12 minutes outside per day?
In fact, millennials and centennials spend less time outside than any previous generations. Instead, young people are spending more time on their phones and iPads. And multiple studies show that this disconnect with nature is problematic for today’s youth.
Spending time outside is proven to help you (and your kids)
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase mental and physical stamina
- Improve overall health and wellbeing
And so much more.
That’s why we’re happy and proud to share the story of two young and spunky hiking sisters who are stepping away from their screens and onto the trails.
Celebrating Lily & Ruby: Youth Hikers Who #OptOutside On A Regular Basis
As we continue to #OptOutside now and on Black Friday, we are celebrating two inspiring sisters named Lily (8 years old) and Ruby (7 years old) who have been embodying the #OptOutside spirit since they were born.
If you haven’t heard, #OptOutside is an REI initiative that encourages you to get out of the Black Friday lines and into the wilderness — on a regular basis.
So, how do Lily and Ruby like to #OptOutside?
Through hiking, of course!
Hiking Since Birth
According to their mom, Megan Fisher, her girls have been hiking since they were in her belly. As babies, Lily and Ruby were carried on trails and taken on countless adventures. Once they learned to walk, they started hiking soon after.
Now the sisters are active participants of 52 Hike Challenge, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
52 Hike Challenge is a movement that motivates you to #OptOutside by taking a hike once a week for a full year - that’s 52 hikes total. Lily and Ruby took the challenge to the next level by DOUBLING that number.
The sisters completed their first 52 Hike Challenge in 2017. Now they’re conquering their second challenge this year. They’ve bagged over 200 hikes in the past two years!
Lily & Ruby’s Hikes Over The Years
- 2017 - 113 hikes
- 2018 - 110 hikes and counting
- 2019 - the sky’s the limit!
It’s safe to say both girls love to hike.
Here’s why (in their own words) they chose to pursue the 52 Hike Challenge:
Lily: Because I like hiking, and it's one of my favorite things. Hiking is fun. I like to hike with my friends. Hiking makes me feel strong, and I feel proud after I go hiking.
Ruby: Because hiking is spectacular. I feel happy when I hike.
And we couldn't agree more!
To sum up, hiking has the power to…
- Make you feel even happier
- Strengthen your body and mind
- Expose you to new experiences
- Build healthy relationships with your community
- Give you a sense of pride and accomplishment
No matter how old you are!
Now the girls are inspiring their friends to #OptOutside through hiking as well.
Lily: I think that we inspire our friends. We go hiking with them, and they like it and want to go again with us.
Ruby: My friends think hiking is fun. Hiking with a group makes it even more fun.
Keep reading to find out how Lily, Ruby and their family created a powerful #OptOutside movement in their Los Angeles community.
The Fisher Family: Encouraging The Los Angeles Community To #OptOutside Through Hiking
As active members of the 52 Hike Challenge community, the Fisher family hosts regular hikes for families with kids of all ages in the Los Angeles area.
In fact, they even created a Facebook group for local youth hikers called LA Adventure Families.
“It is amazing to see 35 plus kids running free on a trail, laughing and challenging themselves,” Megan Fisher said. “Hiking is for everyone and every ability, and it fills our hearts to know that we are positively affecting the families in our community.”
Is your family new to hiking?
Here’s what Lily and Ruby have to say about why hiking is worth the challenge.
Hiking advice, from one kid to another:
Lily: You have to be strong and not give up. Sometimes it's hot, and you have to go uphill a lot. But nature is always beautiful, and hiking makes me feel happy and strong. I hope that you will feel that way too. Remember this too... leaves of three let them be.
Ruby: The bad news is that it can be hot. The good news is that you can find different animals, rocks, and treasures when you are hiking. You will feel happy after you hike.
When you #OptOutside, you challenge yourself and your family. It is a great way for you to change up your normal routine and add a little more spice to life.
How will YOU and your family #OptOutside this year?
Let us know in the comments!
Click here to find an #OptOutside event in your area right now.
Hi @mandi, thanks for inquiring! We pulled research from multiple sources: National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation and Forbes.
Here are some articles to support our information:
Thanks again & happy hiking!
@Christina McLaughlin @Gina Gian We couldn’t agree more!! Thanks for your support!
Do you have a source of which the information was gathered for the average time children spend outside each day? This is so perplexing to me….my son and I are outside for half of the day, I am curious to know how this statistic was accumulated, and whether it applies to certain age groups.
Great article. Beautiful photos. Adorable girls.