Is Hiking A Good First Date? | Hikers University

Going on a first date is often a nerve-wracking experience. So if you love the outdoors, you may wonder if hiking is a good first date.

As a personal hobby, hiking can be a fun and exhilarating experience, even despite scary wildlife encounters, unpredictable weather, and the lack of bathrooms during a long trek. But is it a good activity for a first date?

Although hiking may seem an unusual choice for a first date, it can be a great experience if you already know the person and are aware they share your love of the outdoors. It can be even more fun if you decide to go on a double or group date. Plus, hiking is free and can guarantee an adventure.

In this guide, we can help you understand when hiking is a good idea for a first date, its pros and cons, and tips for making hiking a successful date.

As a lover of the outdoors myself, I have taken friends, family, and yes, even romantic partners on hiking dates and if you take care of a few things, there is no reason why it can’t be an extremely enjoyable first date.

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When Hiking Can Be A Great First Date

Before you decide to take out your interest on a hiking date, it is important to know whether they would feel comfortable in such a setting. Here are some considerations you need to keep in mind when talking your date out on a hike.

You Already Know Each Other

Although there is an extremely slim chance that one of you will turn out to be an ax murderer, it is still a good idea to know each other before you consider hiking as a first date.

You could be casual acquaintances from school or work or you could be friends who have gotten closer with each other.

In these cases, hiking as a first date can be a great opportunity to know each other beyond your usual interactions. You also have a bit of an idea about what kind of person your date is and their likes and dislikes – and so you know a bit more about your safety.

You Have Confirmed They Like Hiking

A first date can be awkward enough without you having an uninterested and bored partner. Sometimes, a person will be interested enough in you to say yes to a hiking date, but they might not feel as comfortable or happy as you during the date.

There is an easy way to find out whether they like to hike by asking them what hobbies they have or simply even straight-forward asking them if they enjoy hiking.

On the other hand, even if a person likes hiking, they may not want to go on an outdoor activity with you on a first date. To be on the safe side, you can give them options on first dates like “We could go hiking or chill at a new cafe shop?” Your date can then choose which option they prefer and it will make them feel more included in the planning process.

You Are Going on a Group/Double Date

A double date or a group date can be a great idea since it can do wonders for breaking the ice and easing the awkwardness of a first date. If you are not very comfortable with going on a hiking date with someone you barely know, you can set a condition that you will go with them on a hiking date if they could invite another couple along.

This will ensure your safety and will prevent any awkward silences. In addition, if you have a shy nature, you will not feel as pressured with other acquaintances around you.

Why Hiking Is A Good First Date

Hiking can be a good first date if you are looking for a natural setting, free from the chaos and noise of urban dwellings, to bond with the other party. Let’s talk about some of the reasons:

Hiking Helps Find Common Ground

Hiking does not just create a beautiful setting for a first date, but it also creates a wonderful opportunity for you to find out whether the person you are interested in does indeed share your love of hiking and other interests.

It is easy to pretend to be excited about hiking, but while you are actually hitting the trails, it is not something you can fake. Therefore, it is a good way to find out whether the person you are interested in is really into nature.

Hiking Creates Conversation

Hiking can help both parties open up their mind and talk about subjects that they would normally fall flat in other social situations.

When hitting the trail, you will find many new and organic subjects to talk about like what type of trees grow on the mountain you are walking on and the wildlife that lives in it. You can show each other animals that you spot on the way, like bears, squirrels and beautiful birds that you cannot see in the city.

Hiking can create a truly immersive experience and presents a great opportunity for a heart-to-heart. Even if you do not hit it off romantically with each other, you can easily make a great friend who shares the same interests as you.

Hiking Enables Natural Contact

For many people, physical contact on the first date, particularly overtones, can come off a s very creepy. Hiking, however, offers a person several opportunities for touching naturally without crossing the boundaries of decency.

You can offer your partner a hand to climb up over terrain. You can touch their shoulder when showing them a bear or other wild animal. It gives you respectful ways to show the other person that you are interested in them.

Hiking Allows You to Take in The View

If you have to look at each other during a first date constantly (like if you are having dinner or sitting at a cafe together), it can be a very awkward experience, particularly if you do not feel any romantic interest in the other party.

However, a hiking date offers you plenty of opportunities to look at the view rather than each other, without appearing you are deliberately ignoring the other person. If it turns out you two really like each other, you will have a splendid view to recall on your anniversaries.

Hiking is an Adventure

Hiking can be a great first date since it allows you to experience some of the most beautiful scenes in the world, discover something new with your partner, and have an adventure of a lifetime.

A hiking date can help the other party realize that you are a fun-loving person who takes joy in exploring new things. It will also help your date associate the time spent together will be filled with happy emotions, which can set a positive precedent if you are interested in forming a romantic relationship.

Hiking Shows How You Tackle Challenges

If you are hoping to find a long-term partner, hiking as a first date can help you take the plunge and quickly find out how the person you are interested in tackles challenges.

It can help you find out how a person reacts when getting soaked in the rain, how much of a fuss they raise over a small blister, and how they handle themselves if they become lost or encounter a wild animal.

If you can live with the kind of responses these situations elicit, you might be able to make a great team who will be able to tackle their problems together.

Hiking Can Spark a Romance

Hiking offers you a setting of beautiful and romantic backdrops, like cerulean lakes, shimmering waterfalls, and gorgeous sunrises. If you want to make your date romantic, you can put in a bit more effort to prepare a picnic lunch which you can enjoy at the perfect valley spot.

If you or your date like to take photos, you can go to the most picturesque spots in the area and capture these memories. It is important to be thoughtful so that your partner knows you are considering their needs and will feel more comfortable with you.

Hiking is Free

One of the best things about hiking is that it is free. You do not have to worry about spending a fortune on a date or feel pressured into making another date. Tand if you want to make the occasion even more special, you can still pack a nice picnic lunch or a flask of hot chocolate which can give your trip a special touch without making a dent in your wallet.

Choosing hiking as a date is a stress-free way to get out in nature and have fun. It is not associated with any awkward expectations, particularly if you are trekking during the daytime. The whole point of a first date is to get to know a person so money should not factor into it.

When Hiking Is Not A Good Choice For A First Date

Although hiking as a first date has a lot of pros, there are several variables that can increase your stress levels. I myself am a big advocate of hiking, though in the interest of leveling the field, I have also added why some people may not believe hiking is a great first date.

Higher Risk of Injury

Now, we are not saying that hiking is a dangerous activity; however, you do have a higher risk of getting lost or spraining your ankle than you would have, say, at a Starbucks. Although a few, small injuries during hiking are quite common and can actually have the added benefit of bringing the two parties close together, it can also increase anxiety and pressure in a single day, particularly if one party is not experienced at hiking.


No Escape

A hike is just a long walk in the wilderness and a couple of hours into your date. If you find you are not as interested in the person as you thought you would be, you can’t just bail out by making an excuse to go to the bathroom.

If you are not part of a group and are unfamiliar with the area, you will need to stick with the other party for a few hours before you see civilization.

Varying Fitness Levels

It is highly likely that your date does not have the same levels of fitness as you. That is usually not a problem if you are a considerate person and are happy to slow down and match the pace of the other party.

However, without some sort of compromise, you will quickly leave the other person behind which can be very irritating and embarrassing for your date and it is not something that will help to endear you to them.

The Outdoors Can Be Challenging

Being in the great outdoors, miles away from civilization, can bring out the worst in people. You may find yourself arguing about directions or throwing a tantrum every time your toe gets stubbed. Some people can have a total meltdown when they have to endure physical challenges, which is not a great look on a first date.

No Bathrooms

When agreeing to go on a hiking date, keep in mind that there are no bathrooms in the wilderness.

Peeing in the woods is just a regular part of hiking so if you are horrified by the idea that your date will know you also have bodily needs, hiking on a first date is not a great idea.

Tips To Making Your Hiking Date A Success

Before you go on a hiking trip it is important that you plan and prepare everything ahead of time.

●     Plot a course across the wilderness and share it with your date so that they have an idea of where you will be going and how you will be spending your day.

●     Make sure to inform other people that you are going on a hiking date. Let them know where you will be hiking and the date and expected time you will leave and arrive back at home.

●     Although it is exhilarating to engage in rough and difficult terrains, it is not the best idea to do so on your first date.

●     If you are a man and have asked a woman out on a date, it is a good idea to take the lead on the trails. This will leave a good impression on your date.

●     Consider the date as more of a bonding experience with your partner that both of you can enjoy.

Is Hiking A Good First Date?

Even better than a first date, hiking can be an excellent second date. That’s because you already know the other party to some degree and feel safer and more comfortable with them alone. A second date will also help show the other party that you have an adventurous spirit, are not afraid to get down and dirty, and like to bond with nature, which is something that outdoorsy people find very attractive.

Whether it is your first date or second date, there are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind, which we have mentioned above. If you take care to follow those, you can make hiking a great first and/or second date.


Peter Brooks

Peter Brooks

I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.

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