Finding Hiking Partners (was: My Hiking Spirit)
- "Thanks! The challenge is trying to get people (women) interested
enough in hiking (let alone walking). Any suggestions"
You might try joining the Women's Hiking Yahoo group
Post an intro with your location and hiking experience/desires and
see if you get any contacts.
I have the same problem here in FL getting hiking partners,
especially other women to hike with. Not that I object to male
hiking company, but the initial thought of meeting someone that you
have only spoken to online is easier to deal with with another
female. I'm also a fairly slow hiker and have short legs, so find
that most males hike much faster than my comfort level. Any male
partners I hike with is usually a result of meeting someone either
on hike, or other venues and discovering common hiking interest. A
short test hike is almost always essential with any on-line
potential partner, just to discover compatibility. I wouldn't want
to commit to a weekend long backpack with someone I hadn't met
before - male or female.
Also, look for a local hiking group, even if their usual hikes don't
suit your taste, join them anyway and take an occasional short hike
with them. It's a great way to meet contacts. I joined a group
whose only close-by hike is a 5 mile exercise walk in a local park
on Sunday mornings. It's generally a group of older women, and not
really my hiking style, but I have met a couple of women my age and
hiking style who I have talked with about longer hikes. Best of
all, I got lots of contacts through this group to other groups,
particularly one that backpacks frequently. I recently joined them
for a 20+ mile 2 day backpack in the Big Cypress Swamp
http://www.flashworth.com/hike06/hike06jan.htm - a great weekend,
and couple more great contacts for more adventures!
Of course the biggest problem here in FL once you have the partners
is where to hike. I've committed to tackling the FL trail (
http://floridatrail.org/ ) piece by piece on weekends. I'm doing
another section this weekend with a woman I met from the Yahoo
Women's Hiker group. My preference though would be for some desert,
mountains and more dramatic scenery than FL has to offer. CO and AZ
have been my destination for the past couple of years, and I've been
flying over for the occasional hiking trip (
http://www.flashworth.com/az/feb06.htm ) From all I've read here
Zion is next on my list, probably for a week early this summer. No
firm dates yet as vacation is dependent on my work schedule. If I
get my big spring project rolled out on time and smoothly it will be
late May or early July, otherwise it will have to wait till next
If I can't find anyone to hike with, I'm comfortable hiking solo. I
don't pass up opportunities for great hikes/backpacks just from lack
of someone to hike with. I have an agreement with my otherwise
wonderful, but non-hiking partner, that I stay within whistle
distance of a major trail if I'm out solo. For day long hikes and
shorter trips that's not such a big issue, but for longer backpack
trip I prefer a partner so we can get further out in the wilderness
and off trail.
Just get out and meet people, try small hikes with them, etc.
Eventually maybe we'll all find a "Tanya's perfect partner"!
HUGS - Janette