What makes someone a great hiking partner? Well – A lot of things! That perfect trail companion might be a close family member, an old friend, or even someone you recently met.
It’s not about how you know each other. You love to hike with them because of the value they bring on the trip!
Here are some traits you’ll probably notice in your current hiking buds and want to look out for in your future ones.
Fun To Be Around
Obvious, right? No one gets super excited to spend their day off with a wet blanket. Your hiking partner should be energizing and bring positivity to your relationship. Of course, everyone has days when they aren’t their best selves.
“I’m sorry for how I acted when I was hungry.” - me
We’re not jumping into the role of judge here. And this isn’t a free pass to be a harsh character critic. We all deserve a chance to show how awesome we are. As a general rule, make sure your hiking partners are fun to be around and enjoy being outdoors.
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Experienced hikers likely have a solid understanding of the hiking essentials – i.e. the gear you should always hike with. Your hiking companions should carry the same knowledge. Let’s say your partner forgot to pack water, but knowingly choose to join in on a 15-mile summertime hike anyways. Not safe. And their choice is putting you in a risky position too!
It’s okay to be a beginner and learning the ropes. It’s an awesome thing! This group is here to help you become a prepared hiker. If this is the first you’re hearing about “the essentials” or you’d like to brush up on your knowledge, you can learn more in this blog post and begin building your collection of affordable gear here!
Simular Hiking Pace
This one varies in importance from person to person. Some of you can probably adjust your pace based on whoever you hike with. That's cool and all – but I am not one of you. Honestly, I have two speeds and they are both relatively slow. I can keep up if I have to, but my short legs don’t love it!
If you’re like me, try finding hiking partners that have a similar pace as you! Maybe they are laid back and don’t mind going your pace for the day.
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Easy To Talk To – Or Not
Do you like to chat while you’re hiking or would you rather be lost in the silence of nature? It’s an important question to ask yourself while choosing who to hike with! If you like some chatter on your hikes, a group may be a good fit for you. However, some folks prefer hitting the trails with only one other companion to catch every crunch in the leaves and birds singing above!
When To Walk Away
In your hiking friendships and off-trail life, permit yourself to say no to people who make you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unworthy. You deserve to surround yourself with people who will lift you and help you achieve your goals!
How did you meet your hiking partner or group members?
Share your stories in the comments!
Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor recreation writer from Big Sky, MT. Samples of her published work can be found at emilylorenwriting.com.