Backpacking or hiking solo is one of the most eye-opening things you can do, as it allows you to realize things about yourself and the world that you may have never before noticed. While everyone should try that type of independence at least once, there’s nothing wrong with hitting the trail with your friends. In fact, it could make your backpacking experience that much better:
One of the best reasons to travel with friends is for safety. Having another person or several other people there to come along will surely help in case of an emergency. If you’re hiking during the winter and there’s an avalanche, there’s not really a chance of you getting out by yourself. Likewise, if you’re hiking during the summer and you begin to suffer from heat exhaustion, you have others there to help you while the ultimate help is on the way.
Backpacking with friends means less to carry. If you hit the trail by yourself, you have to carry a huge backpack with all this stuff just for one person, which can get rather heavy. But, if you head outdoors with a friend or group of friends, you can split up the hiking gear and supplies.
Whether it’s your first time backpacking or your twentieth, having friends to back you up when the hiking gets strenuous is not only supportive, it’s also necessary at some points. It’s easy to get discouraged when doing a challenging hike or get in a bad mood if less-favorable weather hits. Friends can push you to keep on going.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
Maybe you’re good at navigation and one of your other friends is good at setting up a tent. Having two people together or even a group not only helps things get done faster, but also more efficiently. It’s likely that every backpacking group is made up of people who have a wide array of different skills and experiences, which definitely helps when the going gets tough.
It’s no doubt that backpacking can be exhausting, and there may even be times where you just want to turn around. However, hiking with another person or a group of friends will allow you to be distracted while hiking up those steep slopes or in the freezing cold. Just being able to have a conversation with someone as you go along will make the time go by that much faster; in a good way, of course. Just don’t let yourself get too distracted.
It Gives You Something To Do
Having a friend or friends you can call up to go on a day hike or backpacking trip is truly a gift. Say goodbye to those boring weekends or unfulfilled vacations. A good hiking buddy or buddies will mean you never have free time anymore, which is great if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep busy. It’s especially great if you’ve recently gone through something difficult or stressful in your life, as having friends that make you get outside will certainly change your mood.
It Makes Your Relationship Stronger
Backpacking lets you connect with another person in ways that other things can’t. It allows for real quality time to be spent together, away from distractions that typically prevent people from connecting, like cell phones or even work. Together, you’re experiencing something that not many people even get to do on their own, which lets you bond in such a meaningful way. There’s also plenty of time to share stories, while understanding the strengths and weaknesses of another human being.
It Helps You Save Money
Besides the fact that you and your friends can split up supplies, backpacking helps save a lot of money when it comes to hanging out with your friends. Think about how much money you may have otherwise spent going to a bar, eating at an expensive restaurant, shopping at the mall, or signing up for a gym membership together. Besides the money you may have to spend on gear or hiking permits, backpacking is free!
It’s Good For Your Health
Backpacking with friends is great for your overall physical, mental, and emotional health. Why? Well, think about it. Hiking in itself is a very healthy activity, and having friends that want to do it with you is even healthier. There’s too many relationships out there that can be quite toxic and stressful on our well-being. Having good friends that want to get out outdoors and do something positive for your health with you, is the best medicine there is. Hiking allows you to be active, in a unique setting in which you can really feed off each other’s energy.
The most important reason why backpacking with a friend or friends is that it’s fun! It’ll probably be some of the most enjoyable experiences you’ll ever have, and you and your friends will have memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Backpacking with friends is an awesome opportunity to not only motivate you to get outdoors, but build stronger relationships.