Finding a hiking bud and what they call "trail family" is a bit daunting these days. But is it?
For some it is quite the challenge and they may find it hard to establish a sincere and mutually beneficial partnership. Adding up, even while there are now more options than ever for hiking organizations that cater to various populations, meeting peers to enjoy the outdoors can be challenging, especially for those who are marginalized and are at a disadvantage. This is why we decided to check the internet and after digging for a couple of months, we found some of the "best of the best" when it comes to outdoor communities. You can also check the backcountrysocialclub.com which was founded by Sharadyn Ciota, if you want to level up your outdoor community experience by building up your skills and pushing the boundaries of your technical “know-hows” when it comes to backpacking while gaining friends out there.
With that being said, here are some alternatives to help you get your search going. Cheers!
A website called Meetup was created expressly to make it easier for people to find each other online and enjoy their shared interests and hobbies. Meetup.com is a fantastic resource for hikers looking for trekking partners outside of a major city or in groups with very specific demographics. There are more than 9,000 hiking groups available for hikers of all ages, skill levels, genders, and more. Use Meetup's keyword and geographical search features to your full advantage. To make the process simpler, I advise using terms like "30s" and "intermediate hiking." Also, verify sure the club you're interested in has up-to-date options on its event page because some can be out-of-date or inactive.
Outdoor seminars, day walks, and even overnight backpacking trips are held at REI locations across the US. The company's demonstrated dedication to fostering a welcoming community in the outdoors through programs like Outside with Pride, expanded plus-size gear, and Limitless Sides. Visit the REI website to look for and sign up for activities near you. Some are cost-free, while others have a modest fee in exchange for REI-provided food and equipment. Cool!
WOMEN WHO HIKE
For women who enjoy hiking, this international online community network offers both virtual and actual interactions. Pretty fun for those who are looking for hiking buds online that you can also meet in person if given the chance. There is a regional organized Facebook group for every state in the United States, as well as for a number of Canadian provinces, Europe, and Australia. How’s that for a treat!
APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB
Consider joining the Appalachian Mountain Club if you enjoy hiking in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic United States and care deeply about conserving public lands (AMC). Members get savings on AMC accommodation and goods in addition to access to more than 8,000 annual activities. Additionally, joining the AMC means assisting the efforts of scientists and policy advocates working to mitigate climate change. AMC offers a variety of outdoor activities for adults, teenagers, and families throughout the year, all of which are led by staff members and volunteers. While some events are free to participate in, some do demand registration fees in exchange for the use of club-provided equipment and meals.
Black hikers all too frequently endure the alienating feeling of being the only human in sight for miles, and Outdoor Afro is working to change that reality. The non-profit organization organizes gatherings for hiking and other well-liked outdoor sports in more than 50 towns around the country. The website of the organization lists local chapters, and each chapter uses Meetup and Facebook to coordinate events. Through social interactions, gatherings, and advocacy work that prioritizes inclusiveness and conservation and seeks to enhance Black leadership in the outdoors, Outdoor Afro is dedicated to reestablishing and fostering links between Black people and the environment. Now that's awesome!
As "a diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community," Unlikely Hikers gives a home on the trails for everyone. Founder Jenny Bruso currently leads all hikes for the group, traveling across the nation to do so. The association is working to grow to include regional hiking clubs run by ambassadors all throughout the country. If you want to get updated for the most recent information on their available group hikes, activities and events follow @unlikelyhikers on Instagram.
BACKCOUNTRY SOCIAL CLUB
The Backcountry Social Club is a great way to assist you venture outside with confidence by offering anything from workshops and meet-ups to a welcoming community.
Founded by Sharadyn Ciota, with the aim to build a lasting community that doesn't discriminate against body type, newness, gender, race, sexual orientation, or anything else, it is one of the best clubs out there to start. If you have a few bucks to spare to start your membership, then we assure you that the experience is worth every penny you pay. Check em' out at backcountrysocialclub.com
THE SIERRA CLUB
Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been engaged in the local environmental movement. It currently boasts 3.8 million members, chapters in 50 states, and a desire to enlist additional members from marginalized populations. In order to accomplish this, it offers a variety of free hiking programs and other group activities that allow members and the general public to get involved in environmental issues while fostering relationships and enjoying the therapeutic effects of being in nature. On the Sierra Club website, you can locate your neighborhood chapter and sign up for one of its activities. Now that's convenient and worth checking out right now!
There you have it! We hope we have given you a bit of a head start on your journey to find peers related to our passion for the outdoors. Have fun, take calculated risks and don’t forget to enjoy nature with others. Cheers!