We all know there’s that day when there’s nothing worse than hiking alone.
But choosing a companion is an imprecise science, and we often end up with someone who doesn’t share our passion for the great outdoors.
Nothing can ruin a hiking trip like an unskilled, unprepared or disinterested guide.
It’s not uncommon to find yourself stuck with someone who doesn’t share your interests, holding you back, or leaving you dry when you need them most.
Now there is a solution to this problem! In this article I will show you how to find a perfect hiking partner who shares your interests and is reliable.
Here’s how to choose your companions wisely.
Hiking partners encourage us to climb higher peaks
Sometimes the best thing about hiking is the person you share the trail with.
Kitschy? Maybe that’s because we have great hiking partners who encourage us to climb higher peaks and enjoy the best that nature has to offer.
But in order to find the ideal hiking partner, you have to experiment a little.
Whether you’re recruiting old friends who are tying their shoes for the first time or making new friends through local touring channels, the process can seem daunting at first.
With my hints, you will find your partner even faster on the paths.
Look around in the right places
Look for like-minded hikers at clubs that revolve around your interests, e.g. B. in prepping, plant identification, wilderness medicine, climbing or in bird watching.
If available in your area, you can also join a local outdoor association or check with Boy Scouts. It is a good idea to ask about interested parties in the neighbourhood.
Your personal network on social media is a good resource: ask your friends or followers if they want to hike with you. (But follow online safety rules and pick a trail with other people on it for your first real-life meeting).
You may think you don’t have many friends who enjoy being outdoors, but you might be surprised. If your friends really don’t like hiking, find better friends in a Facebook hiking group.
If you have non-negotiable hiking destinations, such as B. speed, distance or altitude, then let them know in good time if you are looking for a hiking partner.
It’s no fun keeping up with someone who wants to climb Mount Everest every trek.
And it can be brutal to lug someone up a mountain who was supposed to be taking a leisurely walk in nature.
Find a partner to go on a goal hike with and train for it together.
Have open communication
As with all relationships in life, open communication creates a solid foundation, and honesty prevents many disasters.
Check-in with your partner during your hike to see how he/she is doing. Speak up if you have problems.
But there is a caveat. Avoid bringing up problems when you are physically tired or hungry. Take care of these things and take a break.
If you’re both stressed, stop wandering. Get some rest, pee, eat something and then better talk.
Find complementary skills and work together on your weaknesses
You learn from each other. You are a good cook and he is a good navigator? Perfect!
When you team up with someone who expands your shared knowledge, your journey will be much safer and easier.
If there are deficits in skills, as a hiking partner you can help the other to improve.
Are you afraid of heights? Spend a day at the climbing gym.
And if things go wrong, you can eat your hiking partner to survive. Small joke!
Recognize the warning signs
Before you start looking for a hiking partner, you should find out what your personal warning signs are.
Some examples: constantly avoiding camp work, bumming on snacks, stressing the tent, talking too much (or too little), constantly cutting your heels, etc.
Maybe you don’t stick to them either rules when hiking? Then it could be that others don’t want to hike with you.
Also, judge yourself because you want to make sure you’re a good hiking buddy too.
Inconsiderate behaviour becomes more and more annoying over time, and you don’t want your healthy relationship to turn into a hostile one.