Experiences of walking or hiking in a group?

Discussion in 'General Walking Discussions' started by Slowandsteady, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Slowandsteady

    Slowandsteady Regular Member

    Assuming some of you have tried or regularly hike in groups, what have you learned from the experience, either good or bad?
  2. Rocky

    Rocky Regular Staff Member

    On the sofa
    Unfortunately I avoid hiking in a group if I can. I like my own company. I prefer to go at my own pace. I also like the peace and quiet of the countryside.

    The nearest I’ve got to hiking in a group is doing the Trailwalker (100k across the South Fowns) in a group of four. I can remember arguing with one group member after about 66k who I thought was ill and should pull out. Needless to say he soldiered on but it caused a lot of tension.
    Slowandsteady likes this.
  3. Paulsb

    Paulsb Regular Member

    Chorley Lancashire
    1st and 3rd Friday of the month we go on a 6-8 mile walk with another couple - we are close friends and neighbours of 30+ years.

    Each person takes it in turn to find and lead a route. We drive no more than 30-45 minutes to the walk start, take a small picnic for a 20 minute lunch stop and visit a cafe or pub afterwards. The whole day takes 6-7 hours.

    It’s a great social event. I would compare it to the Sunday club ride for the cyclists amongst us.

    Once every 2-3 months we stay away overnight with a different set of friends - 3 couples altogether. The same person, a very experienced walker, sets the route. This is always very challenging for the rest of us - Pavey Arc being the most recent. After a night at a local hostelry we have a more sedate 5-6 mile walk before heading home. Always works well.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    Slowandsteady and Rocky like this.
  4. Paulsb

    Paulsb Regular Member

    Chorley Lancashire
    Reading this a second time what I’ve learned, which is both good and bad, is there are times to leave folk alone.

    On our 1st and 3rd Friday walks we are all of equal ability and, importantly, similarly equipped. The result is we all walk together, at most 10-20 metres apart, often swapping pairs to chat.

    On the walks with three couples the ability range and kit is quite wide. One person in particular seems to me to dress inadequately and needs better footwear. When he’s had enough he’ll stride ahead looking to finish the walk ASAP. Equally two of the ladies walk more slowly, lagging behind by 2-300 or more metres. The secret to success is to be aware of but largely ignore these choices, keep everyone in sight and walk at one’s own pace while regrouping from time to time.

    To use the cycling comparison again it’s like the regroup at the top of a long, hard climb. No one gets dropped.
    Slowandsteady likes this.
  5. OP

    Slowandsteady Regular Member

    I think that sums it up for me too. I don't mind an occasional group walk, if it's a particularly leisurely one and everyone is ambling and there's no pressure to reach certain goals by certain times. They're enjoyable, but the pace is a lot slower and I can only take so much ambling before the urge to "crack on" naturally kicks in. :smile:
    Paulsb and Rocky like this.
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