In response to a recent blog, one reader commented with a question: Does anyone have ideas about how to find hiking partners? This is actually a common reason women sign up for our trips. That is, they do not have many friends that enjoy hiking (or other outdoor activities) in the same way they do. For some, an “active vacation” is an oxymoron; for others an “active vacation” is exactly what they love about traveling with Adventures in Good Company. On an AGC trip you will be among women who enjoy outdoor activities, but our trips only last a week or two. The other 50 weeks in a year, some AGC participants find themselves without hiking partners to share in their pastime. Also, AGC participants looking to train for trips may not want to do so solo. If that describes you (or someone you know), below are 3 ways to find hiking (or other outdoor activities like kayaking and biking) and trip training partners near you.
1. Sierra Club: Local chapters of the Sierra Club often organize group outings which are generally open to members and non-members alike. There are no fees except for incidental expenses like part-entry costs. The outings are led by Sierra Club volunteers and include a range of activities including hikes, peak scrambles, bicycling, cross-country skiing, bird-watching, conservation-oriented walks, or forays into the remaining natural areas of our major cities. These outings can be a great way to meet people with similar interests. To find a local outing near you, visit: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/
2. Meetup Groups: According to their website: “Meetups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something.” They are grassroots groups started by members of communities, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. It is a way to connect virtually with others in your local community and then physically meet face-to-face to do an activity, discuss a certain topic, learn something new or just socialize. There are over 9,000 meetup groups throughout the world; one community may have meetup groups ranging in activities and issues such as outdoor adventure, running, movies, vegetarian lifestyles, entrepreneurs, scooters, and beekeeping. To find a meetup group (or start one of your own) in your community visit: http://www.meetup.com/find/
3. Your Local Gym: Accountability and a regular exercise/fitness training routine often go hand in hand. That is why many gyms have a bulletin board or even webpage to find training partners. It is a space when individuals can find others with similar schedules, interests, and fitness level to exercise and train together. Often time a local community center, YMCA, or even church will have a similar system; if they don’t, suggest they create one (if you have time, offer to get it started) – it will benefit the organization and its members greatly. For an idea of what a gym “classifieds” section looks like visit: http://ontario.kijiji.ca/f-workout-partner-Classifieds-W0QQKeywordZworkoutQ20partner