Updated: Sep 9, 2022
The difference between hiking with friends and hiking alone can be huge and can create very different hiking experiences but for newer hikers, finding what style works best for them isn't always as straight forward as you think. If you are someone who doesn't know which one is right for you then have a read and see which one fits you best.
Hiking with friends
There are many things that motivate people to choose to hike in a group over hiking alone. Some of these positives includes the sharing of weight and gear to help spread the load, spending time with friends by connecting in nature and gaining experiences through learning from others.
These are just some of the reasons why people choose to hike in a group and are helpful when making a decision on whether hiking in a group is right for you. There are still some downsides to hiking in a group such as not having the space to take some time on your own and not being able to set your own pace for how fast you hike but these cons may be of greater or less concern based of your style of hiking.
Working as part of a team out on a hike can be really awesome, allowing you all to grow together and connect and understand each other better. While out on the trail, mother nature can throw you many challenged and rising above them can be a lot easier when you aren't doing it alone.
Alternatively to hiking with friends, hiking alone has many differences that set it apart and can change the way you hike. Hiking alone can be a really fun experience that is radically different from hiking with others and for this reason a lot of hikers decide to head out on the trail by themselves.
Having the space to take some time on your own in nature, being able to set your own pace and take breaks when you want can be something that changes how certain people experience hiking. Being able to learn on your own through doing rather than listening can create a unique feeling of self-achievement which makes solo hiking very addictive.
Depending on what type of hiker you may be more inclined to being a solo hiker but just as great as these reasons can sound, they can also be unhelpful to newer hikers. Learning on your own can be really hard, knowing where to start without the guidance of people who have hiked before is never ideal but that doesn't mean it is impossible. Doing lots of research and reading up on all the parts of hiking can help you solo hike while still enabling you to learn but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try some group hikes with your mates first.
So that was a brief overview of the differences between hiking on your own and hiking in a group. Hiking can be a very personal hobby for some, and for others it can be something they want to share with as many friends as possible so no matter how you hike, make sure it's what makes you feel happy and comfortable.
Written by Josh Welch