On running a rough survey amongst my circle of friends on what they would prefer, hiking in a group or hiking, I found that there are many who enjoy solo adventures rather than in a group. Of course, there were third-party opinions too who opted for neither and would rather sit at home with pizza all day.

Nevertheless, the survey made me wonder, what if hiking was the new weekend hang-out? And, if that is the case, to what extent are we ready to change our weekend walks leading from the bar into the woodland hikes?

In my quest to learn more about the ordeal, I knew there was only one way to seal the deal. The ultimate pros and cons lists are here to calculate the various aspects and to understand what comes first, or in this case better: the advantages of hiking with friends or the disadvantages of the same.


The Bad Side

Autonomy is Restricted

Free-will? That may only be a fable when you are hiking in a group. What you want will at times or most times come after what the group wants. You can’t just stop at a place and rest wherever you wish to if the team does not agree. You cannot click as many pictures for your blog or your gram as you had originally planned. And, if the lone wolf in you awakens, it might find itself to be lost amidst the complications and the needs of others.

The Group Decides and Not You

Having different people in a group means differences in opinions. You would be a fool to think that all minds think alike if they hang out together. Maybe, birds of a feather flock together in a perfect world.  But, in the world where we live, individuality is not only a personality trait but a competition most of us are striving to win.  And, these differences are more noticeable when you perform in a group, deal with contrasting opinions and visions, and fall into a labyrinth of who’s right and who is right.

Risks of Conflicts Arising

If you think the battle of egos is strictly valid only in certain areas, you may find a shocker here. There might be someone who would want to lead or someone who would not want to listen. We have all met such people (or maybe you are that person who neither wants to follow nor wants to listen).

The Good Side

More People = More enjoyment

Yes, yes. We all are well-versed in the good ol' saying: the more the merrier. And, I can't deny it. Some of my best moments in life have been with my best friends by my side. Even if the day was complete trash, the fact that I was sharing it with someone always lightened up my mood. After all, humans are social beings and a few extra laughs never hurt anybody.

Evidently, a happy environment is a successful environment. Sharing travelling experience with someone can also give you ample opportunities to show off a bit of the savoir-faire that you honed over the years. And when things turn monotonous, rely on the drinks. There is nothing that beer can’t mend! Cheers-ing to the accomplishment you made together is happiness on its own.


Safer in a Group

Now that I think of this pointer, I certainly find hiking with friends to be a more sensible option, especially, if you are a beginner like me and walking without tripping is not one of the skills you could mention in your resume. The very thought of falling on my face in front of someone may be embarrassing but at the same time, the image of being stuck after falling and nobody around to help me get up is certainly abysmal. I can survive the shame but how will I ever fight the fear? Hence, the feeling of security with friends is an adequate consolation.

Strengthening the Friendly Bond

For tight-knit groups, nothing can be better than having some time in the woody trails. Even for those friendships which are new, a hike seems to be a good way to hike the strength of the bond. Who knows? Maybe, you will find a bestie in the mist!

The dilemma is strong. To hike or not to hike. Either way, there is one thing I can promise: if you can get up, make the effort, and try a hike (solo or with friends), there’s always a high chance of you returning with a sense of accomplishment.