It’s Galentine’s Day! We here at Hike Like A Woman celebrate women and the bonds between women. But sometimes, finding a woman to hike with can be difficult. Today Annie tells us about 10 ways to find a hiking partner or group.
Recently Hike Like A Woman was contacted by someone who wanted to become more physically active outdoors, mainly by hiking and in groups for several reasons. Unfortunately we did not have a locals group available in her immediate area, this got my wheels to turning. I really wanted to help, besides it is what Hike Like A Woman is all about, even if you can’t get out on the trails with us, we want you outdoors!
I came up with a variety of ways that she could hit the trails, in groups, and even get active while volunteering. I wanted to share this to help others looking to get moving or for beginners to get some miles under their feet if you can’t join one of our locals groups.
#1) Did you know that we have a Find A Hiking Partner group on Facebook? Yup, if you don’t live or not traveling near one of our locals groups, you can request to join this group and search for others in your area. Pretty easy place to start and it’s a great place to get advice on everything from gear to trail tips!
#2) Ready to venture out onto the trails in a group setting yet still gain even more knowledge? Try finding group hikes local to you being lead by a Naturalist or Biologist. These types of hikes can be found in National Parks, Nature Centers in State Parks and National Forests and may cost a fee, but are well worth it for the knowledge gained and safe environment. Some offer these hikes free of charge with park admission. Depending on the time year subjects covered can vary from wild edibles, flower types, birding, trees, history, and many more topics, even snowshoeing!
#3) If your ready to hit the trails for free in a group setting, still check with your local State Park. Many host hikes monthly or many weekends in Spring/Summer, depending on weather, some even on handicapped accessible trails for those less able but still want to get outdoors.
#4) Search out Facebook groups for natural areas, national forests, state parks, etc. near you. Some of these groups may host hikes or events like trail clean-ups. Now that’s a great way to get in shape, hit the trails & help the environment! You may also get the opportunity to connect with those that help manage the area you’ll be hiking in and what a resource that can be!
#5) Yet another type of group you can seek out is “Friends of” groups, these types of groups are typically non-profit and are established to provide all kinds of services and funding to the National Park, National Forest, or State Park they are centered around. These can easily be found via the internet and no need to join a Facebook group, most of these organizations have event calendars listed on their websites, though you may need to RSVP.
#6) Meetup, it’s a website used to organize group hikes or backpacking trips and it’s available in app form. Simply search to find hikes local to you or you can network to find a hiking partner, if you feel even braver you can organize your own group hike.
#7) You could become a Slacker, Slack is yet another website with an app version. Hike Like A Woman Staff actually uses this website/app to communicate, organize and chat behind the scenes but recently there’s a growing trend toward public communities, such as Hikers & Backpackers Community. You’ll find different channels by region for the United States, simply click on one to see what’s going on in your area or chat it up with like minded folks.
#8) Search for Hiking Clubs in your local area or a national one with a local chapter, it can be a great way to meet hiking buddies, get tips, and gain insight. Some hiking clubs perform stewardship or volunteer work, such as clearing downed trees/limbs, fixing trail erosion, or you could simply provide support services to those doing the hard work, like prepping meals and handing out fresh water. Just be sure to pick the right club for you.
#9) Attend a outdoor skill class or event in person. You can find these by performing an internet search or better yet ask your friends. Word of mouth is always the best recommendation or you can check with your local National Forest, State Park or National Park and even some outdoor retailers. Course/event subjects can vary from navigation, wilderness first aid, and even survival skills. Courses or events of this nature will very likely have a fee but the knowledge gained is well worth the investment and you’ll have the opportunity to meet plenty of like minded people.
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Last night was a lot of fun! Got to hangout with the girls from @rei #reiwinterpark , was able to table next to the most badass hiking 🥾 woman around @anishhikes and meet her wonderful fiancé Adam, learn some yoga 🧘♀️ and finish the night off watching the amazing Outdoor Films with my hubby. Thank you everyone who came by to see me, and listen to me speak! @osbornfamilyadventures @jeffosbornrealtor #swamphousebrewery @floridatrail
#10) Join an environmental organization, like The Nature Conservancy. They work to not just conserve land, rivers and marine life but restore it and many of these open to the public, over 50,000 acres alone in my home state of Kentucky. There are many ways to get involved, like helping plant trees in urban areas, shoreline strolls to identify sea shells, to removing invasive species, and planting marsh grasses. You can also perform some environmental work through your local National Forest, many conduct surveys on various locations and you could pitch in to remove bore samples from trees or take water samples from creeks. Once again you’ll have the opportunity to meet amazing people who love the outdoors as much as you do!
The main key to hiking with a partner or in working groups to stay open minded and be easy going. You’re there for the same end goal, enjoying nature and by remembering that you’ll be sure to have a good time!
**Hike Like A Woman does not endorse any hiking site or club listed other than it’s own. It is recommended you proceed with caution with any arranged meet up via the internet and that you proceed with caution in all aspects of your hike.