Spending some one-on-one time in the great outdoors can be peaceful, relaxing and rewarding. But flying solo isn’t for everyone. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable enough yet to take off into the deep dark forest or visit a new country by yourself. Maybe the complexity of the hike you want to do warrants a buddy, or maybe you just love doing things in a group setting. Sometimes finding like-minded adventurers can be hard. For example, some people like to hike and be outdoors but they don’t like to camp… other people can’t bear the thought of having to use…*cough*… Mother Nature’s outhouse, and sometimes people are just busy with other obligations.
Does this mean you will always be destined for solo adventures? Heck no! There are plenty of ways to find a friend for your next great adventure.
1. Join a group: Try joining a site like Meetup.com and search for groups that match your interests (camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, travel). There may also be local clubs or seminars in your area (Sierra Club, Appalachian Trail Club, REI classes etc). Join a group or class and start by attending a local day event. This is a great way to meet in a safe public setting and interact with people who have similar interests, all while discovering local activities, trails or events.
2. Convince your friends: Sometimes all it takes is a bit of arm twisting to get your friends to join in on your adventure. Rave about the great plans you have or encourage them with beer if need be 🙂 They aren’t into hard-core backpacking? Try starting with a day hike or an overnight camping trip. They may just find that they love adventures as much as you do. Always remember that different people like different things so don’t be discouraged if they aren’t all that into it. Talk to your friends and see what their interests are. Maybe one friend has always wanted to skydive, while another friend really loves scuba diving. Your friends can be resources for new adventures as much as you can be for them. 3. Join a tour group: Sometimes you have no choice but to fly solo. Don’t fret, there is likely an opportunity to join a group tour wherever you are headed. If you are looking at traveling to other countries, there are many companies that cater to different age groups, activity levels and travel styles (budget to luxury, active to laid back). Try well-known companies like Intrepid, Gadventures, or Dragoman. You may end up paying a bit more, but safety in numbers in an unfamiliar place is worth it, especially if it involves getting off the beaten track or into the backcountry. The bonus of these types of trips is a setting where you meet amazing, like-minded people with who you may just build life long friendships.
If you want to do a hiking or backpacking style trip, there are many companies that offer guide services and normally provide you with gear and food as well. You will get the safety of a knowledgable guide as well as an amazing and valuable learning experience. Having done this several times, I know what a great opportunity this is to meet people from different places who love the outdoors as much as you do and probably would love to meet people to take future adventures with. My personal favorite adventure guide company in the US is Wildland Trekking Company. Do a search online for companies that offer trips where you plan to travel.
H@H Tip: Lots of companies will advertise that they only run an excursion if they ensure they have a certain number of people. Don’t let this deter you. Call them and see if there are any other single adventurers who are looking to join a group. More often than not, a small group is looking for people to join to bring the cost down on the adventure or to ensure there is enough people to run the trip.
4. Meet them in action: Chances are, there a lot of people out on the trail, traveling in a new country or trying something new who are looking to meet people as well. I have made some great connections with people who I met by chance because I decided to go try something new and fun. Talk to people when you head outdoors. You will know very quickly if they are interesting in engaging in conversation or if they are just looking to do their own thing. 5. Family: So, maybe this isn’t for everyone, but we all have a relative who likely loves the outdoors as much as we do, and since they are family, you already know if their personality will work with your travel/adventure style or not. So why not tap into this resource? Some of my best memories from trips are with my family, and those are memories that you will truly cherish forever !
6. Keep talking: Sometimes word of mouth is your best tool in finding people who may want to join you. Maybe your friend knows a friend who loves to camp or travel. Maybe your coworker knows another person you work with who told them they wished they had someone to go skiing with on the weekend. This has been my greatest resource over the years because I usually don’t shut up about my next adventure or my love for anything outdoors. Don’t be shy to reach out to someone who may be interested. The bottom line is. You won’t know until you ask !
How do you meet people to go on adventures with ? Do you prefer to fly solo ? Post your comments here !