Do you find yourself hiking alone on the trail wondering why you couldn’t find any friends to join you on your adventure?
I totally get it because I’ve found myself in this position many times and as much as I enjoyed the solitude, I really craved those outdoorsy connections. I wanted to find my tribe.
So, in this post, I’m going to share how to find outdoorsy friends for your backcountry adventures.
It can be extremely hard to make new friends as an adult, but you’ll see just how much the effort it worth it.
How to Find Outdoorsy Friends
1. Ask your friends
This one is just too easy, but I’m going to share it anyways. Ask your existing friends! Chances are that you already have a bunch of outdoorsy friends that have some interest in doing outdoor activities, but they either don’t know how to start or don’t want to do it alone. Throughout the years, I’ve managed to get most of my closest friends to join me on my adventures. I’m so grateful that I was able to convince some of them to go on long overnight backpacking trips, or camp in middle of nowhere. Now, I have plenty of people that I already know willing to join me.
2. On the trail
Having you ever noticed how many people are hiking solo on the trail? To be fair, a lot of people hike by themselves for the sole purpose of having some solitude. But there are also plenty of people who are on the trail that just didn’t manage to get anyone to join them. It can be really easy to meet people on the trail. As basic trail etiquette, I greet 90% of people that I see while I’m hiking. This is going to be the first step to making life-long adventure buddies. The best thing about meeting people on the trail is that they’re like-minded, and you already have something in common. You know these people will definitely be down to go on another hike.
3. Meetup groups
Meetup.com is a website that allows you to join a local group to meet people, try something new, or do more of what you love. There are so many different social groups that you can join. I’ve joined different hiking and biking groups and was able to find outdoorsy friends. Plus, they always organize the coolest adventures. You can search for groups in different cities, which is great if you are traveling. If you don’t find a group that makes sense for you, you can start your own. You’ll be proud to build your own community.
4. Facebook groups
Oh, Facebook. Facebook groups are honestly the only reason to keep your Facebook profile active these days. I love searching for Facebook groups to join. From travel groups to mountain biking groups, I’ve been able to make new friends, and learn about new places to explore. Joining a Facebook group can also be a good way to find out the latest trail beta, which is extremely useful in places like Alaska. To join a group on Facebook, just use the search bar to type in the type of group you’re looking for and then click on the “groups” button.
5. Social apps
There are a ton of social apps you can download that will help you find friends. Instagram is a great platform to make authentic connections with people. It’s an easy way to find people in your area and get a feel for what they’re about. Or, you can even use something like Bumble, a dating app. The cool thing about bumble is its BFF mode, where you can find platonic connections in your area. I like to use Bumble BFF while I’m traveling. I’ve made plenty of female friends this way, even if it’s just for one day. You could even find apps that are specific to the type of outdoor activity like SkiBuds, an app that helps you find people to ski or snowboard with.
6. Outdoor clubs
The next step up in social groups is to join an outdoor club. These clubs are typically run by volunteers. There are many benefits to being part of a club, including having a consistent schedule of group events, not being alone in the outdoors, discovering new areas to explore, and being surrounded by people who will motivate and support you when you need it the most. There are clubs like Alaska Outdoors that put on easy to moderate public hikes on a weekly basis. All hikes are open to public with free for members and suggested donation of $1.00 per adult for non-members. They also have monthly social meetings!
7. Outdoor classes
If you’re looking to build your skills and self-confidence in the outdoors, then I highly suggest signing up for an outdoor class. You can choose which skills you are interested in developing, whether it’s backpacking or sea kayaking. If you decide to go on a group expedition, you’ll build community with the group of people you end up adventuring with. I mean there’s no faster way to connect with people then being stuck in the backcountry with them for two whole weeks. There are workshops like Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) that help women grow and build confidence. To see what opportunities are available in your area, just search outdoor classes on Google. You could even make a trip out of it.
From running festivals to learning about bike maintenance, there always seems to be some sort of outdoor-related event going on. Companies like REI offer experiences only for women, and they are often free or low cost. You can learn about how to navigate with a map and compass or the basics of outdoor rock climbing. You might also find other companies that organize bike rides or places that host trip reports. I search through Facebook events to see if there’s anything coming up that I may be interested in.
9. Trail building
Trails provide public health benefits in terms of increased mental health, increased happiness, and increased physical well-being. You can give back to the community while making friends at the same time by volunteering to held build trails! It’s so rewarding to hike on a trail that you helped build with you own hands. If you’re in Alaska, you can look into volunteering with a non-profit like Alaska Trails.
So, now you know how to find outdoorsy friends for all of your epic adventures. I challenge you to make a new outdoorsy friends this month – you’ll thank me later!
Have any questions about how to make outdoorsy friends? Use the comments section below.