Inviting your friends who are new to hiking can be very interesting because you may not know he or she could be your true hiking partner. However, it can be really challenging for some people to deal with them especially when their pace and style is far different than yours. Here are 8 tips you can hold on to when you are hiking with friends who are new to hiking. Enjoy & do share this around!
1. Be Patience
It is never easy for new hikers to keep up with moderate/experienced hikers like you and it is also stressful when they are not trying too either. Don’t lose your temper towards them as it will only demoralized them as it will make them feel hiking is a stressful sport. Keep yourself calm and encourage them to carry on. If their pace is slow, don’t put on a boring face, try to chat with them every few minutes.
2. Give Them Space, But Not Too Much
You don’t have to always be closely by their side. If you want to pass them and hike further, go ahead. It is always good to do this sometimes, it’s a trick for them to increase their pace and try to keep up with your pace. But you need to remember that you are hiking with someone who are new to hiking, hike with a moderate pace and don’t accelerate too quick and always turn back to keep an eye. If you feel that you are going to quick, stop for a while, set a timer and wait for them. If they don’t show up, you have to climb down and see what’s going on.
3. Take Selfies & Wefies
We understand that taking selfies and wefies too much annoys a lot of experienced hikers who wants to keep a good timing duration for themselves, because taking too many photos does slowing down the time. However, if you are hiking with friends who are new to hiking, they would appreciate if many pictures are taken. After all, it is their first time and taking photos might make them want to hike again. How many people went hiking and did not post a single photo on Instagram or Facebook? None.
4. Lighten Their Backpack Load
For new hikers, carrying too much weight can be a turn down for them as they are not used to carry heavy load. They will mostly struggle and it will not be enjoyable for a first timer. Offer yourself to carry some of the load, even a kilo or two will make a difference.
5. Guide Their Foot Steps
People who are new to hiking are prone to injuries. They tend to make mistakes on which surface to step on. The best way you could do is to guide their steps by telling or showing them the correct step without helping them physically. This way is to let them learn by themselves in finding the right surface to step on. However, if it is too dangerous you may need to physically guide them. Hiking requires two valuable skills, self-dependent and also team work. No one should be selfish on nature trail!
6. Place Them On The Front Line
If you are hiking in a group, it is normal that everybody is positioned according to their pace. Hikers who are new to hiking and the slowest one should be placed on the front right behind the person who is guiding the way. By placing them in this position, they will psychologically make them feel that they need to keep up with the group so they are not left behind or the whole group’s pace is depending on how fast and slow they are. However, the fastest person on the front should always not put pressure on them by going fast, there should be a rest stop from time to and communicate with them.
7. Educate Them About Proper Hiking Gears
There is always a trial period for every new hiker before they are serious in hiking. First of all, you should tell them to find a proper hiking footwear before they buy anything else. Next, if they start to like hiking, you can suggest them the best backpacks and other gears.
8. Teach Them Trail Etiquette & Basic Survival Skills
Every hiker, new or experienced, is responsible of themselves when they are on nature trail. It is important for everybody to learn and understand the rules of not littering and damaging the surroundings. Experience hikers should demonstrate some basic survival skills to the new hikers so that they gain knowledge apart from making new friends.