So you like the idea of going on a trek but not sure who to go with? Some people trek all over the world on their own. It can give a sense of empowerment and personal achievement to know you’ve conquered something by yourself. However it’s not recommended, especially if you’re just starting out. By all means do a few nice short trips to popular walking spots on your own to test out your kit and have some ‘me-time’ (and you might even meet some new trekking buddies whilst you're at it), but it’s always best to go on a trekking trip with someone. Not least for your own safety, but it’s got to be more fun, right? Especially if you know someone who’s actually been trekking before. They can ‘show you the ropes’ and maybe even lend you some kit so you can try it out before you buy your own. Either way, share your itinerary with friends or family so they know where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone in case you run into problems.
There are of course plenty of other ways to meet potential trekking buddies:
- Book yourself on a trekking tour: Great if you want to have an amazing trekking experience, but all know you’re in the safe hands of a professional. You’ll join a group of similar people to you, who enjoy making new friends. The trip is totally planned out for you and you’ll also learn loads along the way from your trained guide who will have done the same trek lots of times before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from their experiences too.
- Do a trek for charity: Trekking challenges range from something for complete beginners, to those looking for an extreme trek at high altitude. It’s a great way to do something fun, meet new people, and help a good cause at the same time. Sign yourself up with a few friends from work and conquer some of the UK’s giants on the classic ‘3 Peaks Challenge’. Or go a little further afield and attempt to climb Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Join a club: There are lots of clubs and groups that focus on hiking and trekking for beginners. They will plan easier, shorter treks, with less challenging gradients. Perfect for those with less experience. A quick internet search will let you find the right club for you.
- Join an online group: There are meet-ups for everything nowadays, whatever your interest. Look for a local group who enjoy going on hikes and treks. It’s a great way to find new friends to go trekking with. It’s also a great place to ask questions and get advice.