Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Care & Keeping of Hiking Buddies

So, you want to take your friends on a hiking trip? 

That's wonderful! Giving others the opportunity to get out is a great gift. Just remember these 5 tips as you plan your trip- it will help keep the experience good for everybody involved!

Confession: I did utterly terrible at some of the things I am about to list. Fortunately, my friends don't hate me and (as far as I know) are not terrified to hike with me again... I love you guys.

1.) Make sure they pack enough food
Inform your cohorts how many hours you intend to be out and advise them how much/what sort of food is best for the journey. Pack extra just in case it is needed! My go-to foods for any length of a hike are a large stash of Cliff Bars, dried mangoes, applesauce squeeze tubes, and trail mix. Sandwiches are not my favorite to pack due to their size and ability to get badly smashed en-route.

2.) Bring sunscreen for all
It is one of the most frequently forgotten items, and the one we always regret leaving behind at the end of the day. Be the hero and share your stash! I would even go so far as to set a reminder in your phone to be absolutely SURE that you pack it along with you. It only takes one case of blistered burns to realize how important this stuff is.

3.) Ask if the current speed is ok
It's no fun to be struggling in the back in attempt to keep up with the group, and it's equally unpleasant to get your ankles stepped on. Avoid them both by keeping a good pace for everyone- and if you can't, nominate someone in the group who can (as you can see, I can be bad at this...oops)

4.) Give them breaks
It's important to stop sometimes- it gives people a chance to remember to grab snacks and drink more water, plus allows them to recharge their energy a little. Sometimes I get a bit over exuberant and forget to take breaks when I am really excited about a hike (sorry guys!)

5.) Be willing to compromise
Sometimes people tire out; that's okay. If you don't hike as far as  you hope to, remember that you still got to go out and have a fabulous adventure. Another option is to let the tired parties kick back and relax on the trail for a bit while you run just a little farther - it provides the rest that they need and gives those who still have the energy the satisfaction of exploring more territory. Thanks to my friends suggesting that I go farther ahead on my own, I made it nearly out of the tree line, which made me quite pleased. Yay!