So you’ve wanted to try hiking for a while, but your partner’s not so keen. So what are your options? Many people like to go hiking alone as they feel a real sense of freedom and adventure that’s hard to find anywhere else. But if you’re just starting out, going it alone can seem daunting. Start with nice short trips to popular rambling spots, and you’re sure to meet some new friends along the way. Just make sure someone always knows where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone in case you run into difficulties.
If you do have friends who hike, ask them to take you on a hike. They can share their expertise and maybe even lend you some kit so you can try before you buy. They’ll also be your safety blanket, there to help in case you struggle along the way.
If you don’t know any hikers, there are other options:
- Join a rambling club: There are plenty of clubs and groups that focus on hiking for beginners. They will plan easier, shorter walks, with less challenging gradients, giving those with less experience the chance to try out hiking. There are also women only clubs, or those who focus on accessible walks for wheelchair users. A quick internet search will let you find the right club for you.
- Book yourself on a hiking tour: Great for those who want to experience an amazing hiking trip, knowing they’re in the safe hands of a professional. You’ll join a group of like-minded people, who enjoy making new friends. The trip is totally planned out for you, so all you need to do is have fun. You’ll also learn loads along the way from your trained guide who has probably done the hike hundreds of times before.
- Join an online group: Meet-ups are a great way to find new rambling buddies. Join a group that’s local to you, and they’ll let you know when they have a hike planned. It’s also a great place to ask questions and get advice.
- Ask your own social networks: Put yourself out there. Just because none of your close friends or family like the idea of trekking across the country, mutual friends or work colleagues might fancy it. So share your ideas and plans with your social network and you might be surprised how many people are interested.
And if you like the idea of going hiking with your family, there are plenty of places to explore with the kids. You can share this amazing experience with children of almost any age, from babies in carriers to teenagers. There are also lots of dog-friendly trails too, so even your four-legged friend can get in on the action.