Hiking is a terrific outdoor activity that’s good for the body and mind, and there’s no experience necessary. If you can walk, you can hike! Hiking is like taking a long walk outdoors, in the wilderness or countryside.
Typically, hiking follows a marked, unpaved trail and can range from easy to difficult. The start of a trail, called a trailhead, is usually well marked and will indicate how long it takes an average person to complete the route.
Table of Contents
Hiking Clubs, Solo, or With Others
Hiking With Others Benefits
Where to Find Other Hikers and Hiking Groups
Hiking Gear and Planning
Frequently Asked Questions
Get Out There
A hiking club is a group of individuals who share a common interest in hiking and outdoor activities. Hiking clubs typically organize regular outings, hikes, and other outdoor activities for members to participate in.
These clubs often offer a sense of community and support for those who enjoy hiking, and can provide opportunities to explore new trails, meet like-minded individuals, and learn about hiking safety and best practices. Some hiking clubs may also offer training courses, volunteer opportunities, and other activities related to outdoor recreation and conservation.
Hiking Solo or With Others
Sometimes it’s nice to have solitude and enjoy a nature hike on your own, but it’s safer and more fun to hike with a buddy or group. Hiking is an activity that’s easy and accessible for everyone because there’s not a lot of equipment, training, or necessary cost.
It’s also great exercise and is popular all around the world. No matter where you live, you’ll find lots of hiking enthusiasts. If you’re new to your community, joining a hiking club or group is a great way to meet new people and embark on new hiking adventures.
The Benefits of Hiking with Others
Hiking has excellent health benefits. Regular physical activity increases muscle strength, improves respiration and heart action, releases endorphins, builds stamina, and reduces stress.
Hiking with a group has many benefits too. There’s safety in numbers, so if you get lost or hurt, there’s someone to help you. You can share experiences with other hikers, encourage each-other, learn more about the area, get hiking and equipment tips, or be warned of any hazards or points of interest to watch out for.
On a longer hike, hiking companions can help each other stay motivated and challenge each other to take on more ambitious hikes as they gain experience. Best of all, hiking in a group means making new friendships, having fun together, and sharing the load, whether it be equipment, food, supplies, transportation, or costs.
Where to Find Other Hikers and Hiking Groups
There are many ways to connect with hiking clubs or groups. One of the best ways to find like-minded folks is on meetup.com. It’s free to join, and there are members worldwide.
You can search for groups and events in your area or any place you might be traveling to. You can even start your own group and grow a community of people who share your interest in hiking or other outdoor adventures.
Another excellent place to find hiking groups is on Facebook. You can search for local groups or join wider groups to learn about hiking in other parts of the world. There’s also a built-in safety factor in that you can message and friend people easily to find out more about them before embarking on a hike with them.
You can also reach out to your existing Facebook friends. You may uncover a friend’s passion for hiking that you didn’t even know about!
Most post-secondary schools, colleges, and universities have student clubs for a variety of interests. If you’re a student, check with your student association to find out what hiking clubs may exist. Community clubs and recreation centers like the Lions or YMCA may also have informal groups for various interests.
While hiking doesn’t require a lot of gear, you will need some basics like a great-fitting, durable pair of hiking boots. Many outdoor outfitters have organized hiking groups as well, so ask about them when you visit the store to buy equipment.
Some Tour Operators offer guided hikes. Usually an outdoor adventure with a set plan with other fellow hikers. You will hike trails on guided trips for those with all different skill levels. This is a great way to go backpacking and find hiking partners to hike in unison and share stories.
Where to Find the Best Hiking Gear
Search the internet for outdoor outfitters in your area. Visit their websites to find one near you, and check out their inventory and prices. Along with the well-known stores, there may be some excellent small business outfitters that can give you more personal attention and advice. Shop around for deals and if you can wait until the end of a season, you can often find discounted rates on particular hiking items related to that season. This way you will be all geared up for next year.
Planning a Great Hike
The internet is also a great place to search for trail information. Federal and state parks and recreation areas offer many hiking opportunities and can provide trail maps, locations, conditions, open and closing times, and any other rules or restrictions in place. Most cities also have trail systems through green spaces that can feel as outdoorsy as any wilderness trail.
Depending on your hiking club or hiking partner, there are a variety of different hiking activities one can do. A Pacific northwest hike might involve rock scrambles or an overnight backpacking adventure. Other great outdoors hiking can involve trail runners, guided hikes, or a simple walks to build up stamina.
When planning a hike, always be prepared for the weather, as it can change quickly. Dress in layers and have some rainproof clothing and a hat with you. Don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray if needed. Carry an appropriate pack weight for your size and strength and noisemakers if you are venturing into wildlife areas. Above all else, stay safe and enjoy your next hiking adventure!
Someone to Hike With: Hiking Groups and Resources
- facebook groups
- most clubs offer a free or low cost membership
- these same clubs often offer camping, canoeing, climbing, biking, snowshoeing, skiing and even rafting
- top rated hiking app: alltrails.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a group of Hikers called?
A group of hikers is typically called a hiking party or hiking group. They may also be referred to as a trekking party or trekking group, depending on the region or context.
How far should a beginner go hiking?
The distance a beginner should go hiking depends on various factors such as fitness level, terrain, weather, and altitude. It’s important for beginners to start with shorter hikes and gradually increase the distance as their fitness level improves.
As a general guideline, a beginner hiker should start with hikes that are 1-2 miles in length and relatively flat. As they gain more experience and fitness, they can gradually increase the distance to 3-5 miles and tackle more challenging terrain with steeper inclines and uneven surfaces.
It’s also important for beginner hikers to pace themselves, take frequent breaks, and stay hydrated during their hikes. It’s better to start slowly and gradually increase the distance and difficulty of hikes over time, rather than overexerting oneself and risking injury or exhaustion.
What age group hikes the most?
Hiking is a popular outdoor activity across all age groups, but the age group that hikes the most varies depending on the region and culture.
In the United States, research suggests that adults between the ages of 18-34 are the most likely to hike, with participation declining in older age groups. However, older adults, particularly those aged 55 and older, are also a significant and growing segment of the hiking population.
In other countries, such as Japan and South Korea, hiking is popular among people of all ages, including seniors who participate in organized group hikes as a form of social and physical activity.
Overall, while age may affect the type and difficulty of hikes that individuals undertake, hiking is an activity enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
Get Out There 🥾🏔️
Hiking groups offer a wonderful opportunity for individuals to connect with like-minded people while enjoying the great outdoors. Hiking is a wonderful outdoor activity that provides numerous physical and mental health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased mindfulness.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, there are trails for every skill level and hiking groups for every interest. So grab your hiking boots and join a group to experience the beauty of nature while making new friends and improving your overall health and wellbeing.