Taking a break from your daily routine and embarking on a journey through the great outdoors is one of life’s simple pleasures. From the pure outdoor air to the pleasure you feel from witnessing the natural world, nothing beats planning a hike through your favorite trails — except maybe inviting a friend to tag along with you, that is.
The beauty of nature is an experience best shared. Unfortunately, you may not have much success getting your potential hiking partner to feel the same level of excitement as you do when it comes to outdoor exploration.
If you’re planning a hike with someone who isn’t too fond of conquering mountainous terrain just yet, here’s a list of five simple steps you can follow to make the experience a bit more pleasurable.
1. Remember to Compromise
Just because you love trekking challenging trails from sunrise to sunset doesn’t mean your hiking partner will share your level of excitement in a long hike.
It’s crucial to never push your hiking partner beyond their mental — and physical — limits. Vow to stop if your partner needs to rest. There’s never a need to rush while voyaging through nature, and it’s best to wait until everyone is refreshed and willing to enjoy its beauty instead.
2. Include Your Dog in the Hike, Too
Sometimes, it only takes a set of furry paws and an eagerly wagging tail to motivate someone to want to explore the outdoors.
Considering having your furry friend come along in the journey to give your fellow hiker an added sense of company while exploring a new set of trails. Dogs are much more likely to pace themselves over long periods of time, which makes them the ideal companion for someone who is new to this unfamiliar territory.
Just remember to prepare your dog with a few precautionary strategies before you embark on your journey, so everyone can stay safe and energetic during your travels.
3. Let Them Pick the Route
It takes a bit of time to adjust to the new surroundings of forests, parks and trails — especially when you’re a self-proclaimed indoors person. But all it takes to transform a reluctant perspective on the outdoors into an eager one is a bit of freedom to choose the day’s activities.
If you map the entire course out solo and don’t include your partner in the plans, they’re much more likely to feel hesitant and unwilling to tag along. Prioritizing their happiness should take precedence, especially since they’re willing to go outside their comfort zone while hiking with you.
Allow them to pick the routes and choose their favorite activities along the way, so they can be a happy hiker while encouraging you to try new things, too.
4. Make Hiking an Addition — Not the Primary Focus
The idea of hiking alone may not elicit feelings of excitement in your partner, but taking them on various other outdoor excursions just may.
Try making hiking a part of an overall adventure trip, like rafting your way to your hiking destination instead of trekking the journey entirely on foot. If you tell your partner hiking is only one part of the day’s plans without making it the primary focus, you may find them much more eager to tag along.
5. Prioritize Safety First
You may feel comfortable hitting the trail with just a jug of water and a set of comfy walking shoes, but that doesn’t mean your hiking partner won’t need a few added performance tools to help prepare them, too.
Remember to follow basic hiking safety tips, such as bringing a map along on the journey and choosing to hike only during daylight hours. Bring a safety kit and added snacks along to make your partner feel more comfortable and secure while trekking this new terrain.
Not everyone is a self-proclaimed outdoors person, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the beauty of a hiking exploration. By keeping these tips and tricks in mind, you can enjoy a day of natural adventures — while sharing your favorite hobby with a friend.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington