How to Find a Hiking Buddy: A Search for the Perfect Partner

By: Ashley Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023
Discover how to find a hiking buddy that matches your pace and preferences. Enhance your outdoor adventures with the perfect partner today.

Embarking on a hiking journey is always more fun with a companion. We’re here to offer practical advice and resources on how to find a hiking buddy, turning solo adventures into shared experiences that enhance safety and enjoyment on the trails.

how to find a hiking buddy

Embarking on a scenic hike or a challenging mountain trail alone can be a rewarding experience. The tranquility and solitude of nature often serve as the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, sharing these adventures with a like-minded companion can elevate your hiking experience to new heights, transforming the solitary sojourn into a shared journey of discovery, camaraderie, and mutual motivation. This doesn’t just make hiking more enjoyable – it can also be essential for safety reasons.

So, how do you find a hiking buddy? How do you search for and connect with ideal hiking partners that share your enthusiasm for the outdoors and complement your hiking abilities? In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the pathways of finding the perfect hiking partner, turning the daunting process into an adventure in itself.

So, grab your hiking boots and let’s get started!

Why Find a Hiking Buddy?

Before we dive into the various ways to find a potential hiking partner, let’s first discuss the benefits of having one.

Safety

One of the main reasons to find a hiking partner is for safety purposes. Hiking with someone else means that you have a partner to help you in case of an emergency or injury. They can provide first aid, help move the injured person, or even run for help if necessary. They can also help you stay calm and comfort you if you’re hurt.

If you’re hiking in an unfamiliar area, there’s always the possibility of losing your way. Having a partner increases the chances of finding the right path or making good decisions about the route. Two heads are better than one when it comes to navigation and decision making.

A knowledgeable hiking partner can be a life saver if something were to happen.

Additionally, hiking in pairs or groups can act as a deterrent to potential threats, such as wild animals or even other people with ill intentions. Having a partner with you can deter animals from approaching, as animals are usually wary of larger groups.

Companionship

Hiking with a buddy can make your trip more enjoyable, as you’ll have someone to share the experience, take photographs, and engage in conversation with. It also helps to have someone to motivate and encourage you during challenging moments on the trail. We’ve always said that one of the best parts of adventuring is having someone to share it with. It’s just that much more fun and magical.

Skill Sharing

Hiking with a buddy can also be an opportunity to learn new skills and share knowledge. For instance, other outdoor enthusiasts may be more experienced with navigation, while you may have expertise in botany or mycology. Plus, hiking with an extra pair of eyes can help each person notice details they wouldn’t pick up on themselves, such as a small mushroom on the trail or a side trail to a view point.

Accountability

Having a hiking buddy can provide the motivation and accountability needed to stick to your hiking schedule and achieve your fitness goals. They may encourage you to get out more often, and once you make plans you’re less likely to back out at the last minute. The knowledge that someone is counting on you can help you overcome inertia or hesitation due to less-than-ideal weather conditions, early morning start times, or the daunting length or difficulty of the trail.

Not only does this help with regular exercise and routine-setting, but the shared experience and achievements during hikes can be a powerful motivator to keep looking forward to the next hike.

How to Find Hiking Partners

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of having hiking partners or partner, let’s explore some of the best places to find one. Some examples include local hiking clubs, online platforms like Meetup, social media, outdoor stores, and people you already know like friends, family, and colleagues.

Local Hiking Clubs

A great place to start your search for hiking friends is by joining a local hiking group or hiking club. Most cities and towns have clubs or groups that regularly organize group hiking trips, which can provide a perfect opportunity to meet like-minded individuals while you get out there and hike trails together.

Online Platforms

There are several online platforms dedicated to helping people find hiking buddies. Here are a few popular options:

  • Meetup: A website that helps people with similar interests organize events and meetups, including hiking and outdoor activities.
  • Hiking Project: A comprehensive online resource for hiking trails, which also features a forum where you can connect with fellow hikers.
  • AllTrails: A popular app and website for finding hiking trails, which also has a community section where you can find and connect with other hikers.

Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can also be useful in your search for a hiking buddy. Look for local hiking groups, pages, and hashtags related to hiking in your area, and don’t be shy about reaching out to people who share your interests. One of my favorite groups is a “Women Who Hike [insert town name or area]” – they frequently do group hikes and are a great resource for local knowledge.

Outdoor Stores and Events

Outdoor retailers often host events, workshops, and group hikes, providing another opportunity to meet potential hiking buddies. A great example is REI Classes and Events, so check with your local REI to see what’s happening in your area. Additionally, store employees and fellow customers can be excellent sources of information and connections.

Friends, Family, and Colleagues

Sometimes the best hiking buddy might be someone you already know. Ask friends, family members, and coworkers if they’re interested in hiking or know someone who is. You might be surprised by who shares your passion for the outdoors.

How to Choose Hiking Buddies

Once you’ve found a potential hiking buddy, it’s essential to ensure that they’re a good fit. This compatibility can help ensure that the partnership is effective and enjoyable for both of you. Here are some factors to consider:

Knowledge

Remember, the key to hiking safety lies not just in having a partner, but having a well-prepared and responsible one. It’s crucial that both you and your hiking buddy understand the basics of wilderness medicine, safety, first aid, navigation, and emergency response. If you’re purposely taking a new hiker, send them some YouTube videos and articles to read beforehand so they can start researching the do’s and don’ts of hiking.

Experience Level

It’s important to find a hiking partner with a similar experience level, as this ensures that both of you are comfortable and capable of handling the trails you plan to tackle. While sometimes it can be fun to be the one who introduces hiking to a person, you will experience more benefits by going with someone who pushes you.

Fitness Level

Having a hiking buddy with a similar fitness level can help keep the pace enjoyable and manageable for both of you. This should be something you discuss beforehand, but you won’t really know their pace until you get outside. Try some easy to moderate shorter hikes together before committing to something long and strenuous. This will help you get an idea of their pace before tackling something larger or more difficult.

Interests and Goals

Find an ideal hiking partner who shares your interests and goals, whether that’s simply enjoying nature, photography, birdwatching, peak bagging, or nerding out about hiking gear. Your goals don’t have to line up exactly, but there should be some overlap to give you something to connect about. If they are interested in something you now little about, that could be a great topic you could learn more about as you hike together.

One of our favorite interests is mycology – and it’s really fascinating to learn from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Communication and Compatibility

Good communication and compatibility are essential for a successful hiking partnership. Make sure you’re comfortable discussing your needs, concerns, and preferences with your hiking buddy. You both need to be up front in order to keep each person satisfied with their hiking experience.

Tips for a Successful Hiking Buddy Relationship

To ensure a successful and enjoyable hiking partnership, follow some basic tips to keep all people involved happy and satisfied. This includes setting clear expectations, checking in with each other, planning together, and more. These are a few examples of tips for a successful group hike.

Final Thoughts

Finding the perfect hiking buddy can make your outdoor adventures safer, more enjoyable, and more memorable. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to forging a successful hiking partnership. So, gather your gear, find a hiking buddy, and hit the trails for an unforgettable experience!

Why Trust Know Nothing Nomads?

Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

We don’t just know a few things about the outdoors — WE EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE IT.

We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

We are not a “gear lab” that runs tests on gear in life-like conditions. We are the seasoned, “trial-by-fire” experts who have taken the gear into the wilderness and USED IT. Read about our gear testing process here

We started Know Nothing Nomads to share our passion and expertise with our readers to inspire, educate, and enable you to explore the outdoors in the way that we have. And you will be more equipped and capable than ever before with the knowledge you gain here guiding you along the way.

And the best part? We are real people that LOVE our readers and this community. If you need anything or have a question about any of the things we have to write about, just reach out. Normally, one of us can respond within 24 hours, sometimes within minutes. THAT is the approachable expert.

You should also know that advertising does not influence our gear reviews in any way, shape, or form, and it never will.

While we always focus our attention on gear that stands out to us—sometimes we discover that things aren’t up to our standards. This is exactly why we will always talk about the downfalls and compromises that we find while we are testing anything (If we find any).

About The Author

Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, wildflowers, scenic snacking, and mushrooms. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent years enjoying time outside doing things like hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Her goal with Know Nothing Nomads is to make these hobbies easily accessible through knowledgeable content and how-to's based on all the stuff she's learned on her journey. If she isn't writing an article, she's probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.

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Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

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