Getting to explore the world with a bunch of friends is an experience like no other as all the hikers are interdependent. This can help you foster a strong bunch of hikers and adventure lovers. However, outdoor adventures can be an ordeal for someone who has grown up in a big city.

Why Walk Alone?

Every group hike is a learning experience like no other, even when it goes perfectly on course. When you hike with a group, the dynamics are completely different. The group can include people coming from different backgrounds. They will most likely have varying physical abilities and you need to take all of that into consideration. This is exactly what makes group hiking far more exciting than solo hiking, as there are so many more challenges and variables to consider.

There are people out there who tend to feel a bit insecure when they are outdoors. There are people who do not associate themselves with lush green landscapes and prefer staying indoors, gazing at their smartphones and laptops. And then, there are introverts, who feel a bit too shy whilst travelling with a group of hikers. Well, I can only say that you’d have to step out of your comfort zone in order to enjoy a thrilling and life-changing experience such as hiking.

The Challenges

There’s an entire myriad of challenges that might engulf you while you’re on a group hike. There are times when your group might disperse into several smaller groups and it may become extremely difficult to locate them. This is one of the most common problems you’d face while you travel with a group. There are those people who move a bit too fast for anybody’s liking. And then, there are those who hang-up their boots a bit too quickly. No matter how slow or fast you are, you should know how to respond appropriately when you’re on a group hike.

Here are a few tips to be a bit more organized while you’re on a group hike

  • Are your fellow hikers beginners, or more experienced hikers? Choose a trail that suits your group
  • Ascertain what you, as leader, want your group to accomplish
  • Make sure no one is left-out
  • Have a couple of leaders, both at the back as well as at the front. It’ll help you keep an eye on your troop
  • Water crossings, rocky scrambles, and fluctuating weather conditions should be clearly stated on online invitations.
  • Undertake a dry run prior to the group hike even if you’ve done it before, just to keep the variables at bay
  • Carry a first-aid kit and check if there’s phone signal on the route
  • Carry additional snacks and drinking water
  • Before starting the hike, make each and every person sign an acknowledgement stating that they are willingly undertaking the hike

Stick together

  • Move as a group. No hiker should be left behind
  • Take all your breaks together
  • If the group gets scattered or disconnected, stop the trial and let the group catch-up
  • Make sure to count the number of people in the troop
  • Keep groups small, as they’re easier to manage

When you’re a participant:

  • It ain’t no race. So, don’t push too hard
  • Carry maps, compasses etc. Make an effort to suggest a solution if there comes a problem
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses
  • Dehydration and low sugar levels can be countered. Bring water and a few light snacks and bars
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help