A solo traveler can find it daunting to venture into hiking and outdoors activities without any company. Luckily, joining groups is a great way to travel solo and still have the opportunity to make new friends. Joining hiking and outdoors groups can provide new experiences, help in exploring new places, and create lasting memories. Here are some tips to have a great experience while joining hiking and outdoors groups.
Research and Find Groups that Match Your Interests
Researching and finding hiking and outdoors groups that match your interests should be the first step before joining any group. With the internet’s powerful tools, it has become easier to find these groups’ online presence. Look for groups that are related to your hobbies and interests, and join social media groups related to hiking and outdoors activities. Reading reviews and other solo travelers’ experiences can also give you a good idea of what to expect when you join.
Attend Meetups and Group Events
Once you have found a group, the next step is to attend their meetups and events. Attending group events, particularly group hikes, camping trips, and other events, is a great way to gauge your interest and, more importantly, meet like-minded individuals who share your passions. Attending these events can provide you with additional experience and confidence while also creating new friendships.
Offer Your Skills and Expertise
If you have unique skills and expertise related to hiking and outdoors activities, offer them to the group. Contributing to the group’s success doesn’t go unnoticed, and sharing your skills and knowledge can help you gain respect and make new friends. Offering to perform tasks like map reading and navigation, or cooking meals over a campfire can help build trust among the group members.
Listen and Learn from Others
Hiking and outdoors activities are best enjoyed in a group, and it’s important to listen and learn from others’ experiences. Everyone has their story, and you can learn from each person’s unique experience. Listening to their stories, advice, and suggestions can enhance your experience and improve your skills. Enjoying hiking and outdoors activities with a group is about shared experiences and learning.
Be Flexible and Open-Minded
When traveling with a group, being a solo traveler means you may encounter different personalities, styles of camping or walking, agendas, and more. It’s essential to be flexible and stay open-minded when traveling with a group. While falling in line with your itinerary is fine, be open to trying out new things and keeping a positive attitude.
Effective communication is key when hiking and outdoors with a group, and good communication can create positive experiences. Make sure to communicate your needs, concerns, and expectations with the group in advance. It’s essential to be clear and respectful when expressing your thoughts and opinions. This ensures that everyone is prepared and can have an enjoyable experience.
Respect the Environment
As a solo traveler, it’s important to respect the environment and leave no trace behind. When traveling with a group, make sure to follow your group’s environmental rules and regulations. All members must respect wildlife, plants, and the natural environment by not littering, damaging campsite areas or creating new trails. LNT or Leave No Trace is a valuable principle that every outdoor adventurer must follow.
Stay Safe and Prepared
When hiking and outdoors, safety should always be a top priority. Make sure to research and prepare for any potential hazards or emergencies that may arise on the trip. Follow the group’s safety protocols at all times, and pack essential gear and supplies like first-aid kits, flashlight, extra batteries, and extra food and water.
Have Fun and Make Memories
The ultimate goal of hiking and outdoors activities is to have fun and make new memories with your hiking and outdoors group. Whether it’s capturing white-water rapids on camera, camping under the stars, or reaching the peak of a mountain, you are sure to have a great experience. Enjoy the moment by taking photos, sharing stories and experiences, and leave with lasting memories and friendships.
Stay Connected with the Group
Don’t forget to stay connected with your hiking and outdoors group after the trip. Join their social media groups, exchange contact information or email lists, plan future trips together, and stay in touch. Maintaining your new friendships and continuing your love of the great outdoors is an excellent way to keep the memory alive. Who knows, your first trip could lead to your next one.