How to Create & Maintain an Outdoor Adventure Group
If you enjoy outdoor activities, if you’re a thrill-seeker, or if you’re simply looking for something new, then cultivating an outdoor adventure group could be a great option for you. An outdoor adventure group is a group of like-minded people who meet up to do outdoor activities together. These groups can be a great way to make new friends, start an exercise routine, explore new parts of your area, or pick up a new hobby. They can also be as extreme or laid back as you want — the key, in either joining or forming a new group, is consensus and communication about what kind of experience you all want. It can take time and patience to build a network of adventurous friends from scratch, but the fun and rich experiences that you can achieve can be well worth the effort.
Enjoy the Outdoors
The first step in meeting people who enjoy the same outdoor activities as you is to start doing those activities. There are several benefits to getting outside, and you don’t have to wait to have a group to get started. For example, if you’re interested in a new skill like skiing, signing up for beginner lessons is a great way to meet people of your same skill level. These lessons could be an easy jump-off point for creating a group that gets together to practice and hone their skills.
Alternatively, simply showing up routinely for your favorite outdoor spots, whether this is hiking trails, fishing spots, or even your local park, is a great way to start recognizing other people who run in your same circles.
Know What You Want
Before you start trying to coordinate a group, you should think about what kind of experience you want. This will help determine the atmosphere of your group, and draw the right kind of people. If you want to improve your skill or athleticism, then a smaller, dedicated group with a structured routine could be best for you.
If you’re looking to make friends or start a new hobby, a more relaxed group with a wide variety of members is a great option. Being on the same page about the goals of your group is the first step to maximizing your and your group’s enjoyment of your meetings.
The internet can be a great tool for connection. Between social media and online forums, there are countless ways to connect with other people online and create a group that works with your interests and goals.
Social media can also be used as a scheduling and communication tool once your group is established. Having a group page where you can share things like events, updates, and equipment essentials or safety precautions for outings is a great way to keep meetups consistent, and stay in contact with group members.
Join a MeetupYou may find that there is already a meetup, group, or local organization in your area. This may include:
- Intramural sports teams;
- Local classes;
- Public groups or forums;
- Community meetup events.
You can seek out a group for your desired activity, or use this as a chance to try something new. Joining a pre-existing group is a great way to make new friends, try a new activity, and meet people who may be interested in joining a new group.
Arguably one of the harder things about gathering or joining a new outdoor adventure group is determining logistics. This is difficult because it depends on a lot of factors, such as your group size, location — you may have group members in other cities or time zones — and each person’s individual schedule.
Seasonal weather in your area can also influence how and when your group can meet. Make sure to prioritize safety and health when planning meetings, and be sure to pack enough water to stay hydrated, and bring the right gear for the weather. Establishing a consistent mode of communication is key to staying organized. You should also discuss with group members the frequency of when you want to meet before you set up your first meeting, as well as making note of any particular weather concerns to be aware of in the area/s. This way, group members can clear time in advance for meetups going forward.
Try New Things
It can take some time to find the right group or plan that works well. During this time, you may find it worthwhile to try new things in an effort to find something that works for you. This could be going on different hiking or biking trails, trying different types of camping (independently or with a group), or trying different sports. Experimenting in this way can help you find exactly what you like, or bring the group together over an unexpected, but enjoyable adventure.
Be Careful & Patient
Many outdoor activities and sports come with a risk of injury or accident. These risks can be amplified when going out with strangers, because communication and trust may not be well-established. This can increase the likelihood of accidents with equipment, sports injuries, and miscommunications. When you’re doing outdoor activities, it is crucial that you can trust and communicate with your group to reduce the possibility of these accidents.
You can build trust by having a casual meet before an outing — meeting outside for an early morning cup of coffee out by a local lake or jumping on a group call and establishing boundaries and expectations for all parties. No matter what your goal is for your adventure group, you should prioritize group safety, both physically and interpersonally, for everyone involved.