How To Get More Of Your Friends To Go Outside With You!
It’s a very unfortunate dilemma that I have seen many hikers regularly face: “I love all of my friends, but none of them want to go on any fun outdoor adventures with me!”
Sometimes it’s nice to have your go to hiking partner to do crazy things with, but other times it would be really nice to have all of your friends with you while experiencing the great outdoors (instead of them seeing it on Instagram later). Yes, it is possible to go make a whole bunch of friends who also enjoy hiking, but there is nothing like having your hometown or college friends occasionally join you in doing your favorite activity.
While it’s true that some people simply prefer other activities instead of getting outdoors (which sometimes you just have to accept! Different strokes for different folks, after all), there are a few tricks you may be able to try to pull your friends outside with you:
Invite Them On A Hike With You!
This may seem obvious, but sometimes all it takes is an invitation. Start with something small, and MAKE SURE YOU PLAN YOUR ROUTE WELL. I hate to admit that I have gotten a group of friends lost in the woods before and I don’t think they will ever go on an adventure with me again…
Low Effort, High Reward
When taking new faces on a hike, I always try to pick a trail that wets their appetite before taking them on a super challenging excursion. Look for a trail that is on the shorter, and less challenging side, but has a jaw dropping vista or super scenic waterfall. This will allow them to somewhat get their trail legs/ get the hang of the woods in general but at the same time they will be craving another amazing adventure after that great mountain top view.
Let Them Borrow Your Gear
If your friend accepts your hike invitation then let them borrow any gear they need to make their hike easier! If you know you have a big climb ahead, let them borrow a trekking pole. If you have extra boots laying around, let them try them out instead of wearing their sneakers. The more comfortable they are on the hike, the better chance they have of coming back!
Go With A Group
Everything is way more fun when you bring a group of a couple friends, and this sometimes applies to hiking as well. If you’re trying to get your friends into hiking, sometimes planning it as a group event is the best way to get people excited about going.
In addition to planning your route well, make sure you are aware of weather, terrain, how long the days are that time of year, etc. Any unforeseen sticky situations are enough to potentially make a new hiker weary of joining you on an adventure again.
It Doesn’t Have To Be A Hike!
Hiking isn’t as addicting to some people as it may be for you, and sometimes you have to come to terms with that. Luckily, there are thousands of outdoor activities aside from hiking that you can have your friends try. Rock climbing, skiing/snowboarding, mountain biking, kayaking, and car camping are great places to start, but there are tons of options depending on where you live and which season of the year it is! Pay attention to your friend’s interest and pick something that you will both enjoy doing – who knows, maybe you will just find your new favorite outdoor activity!
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