Disclosure: I am compensated for purchases made through some links on this site. Click for details.
Are you trying to come up with a first date idea that will be fun and memorable? Thinking about a hiking date?
Making a great first impression is important and there are lots of things that can be learned about a hiking date when out on the trails.
But is it really a good idea to go out in the woods for a few hours with someone you don’t know well or that you’re meeting for the first time through a dating app?
Hiking on a first date is usually a terrible idea. It’s especially bad when meeting someone for the first time. It’s not safe and who wants to be trapped for hours in the woods with someone you aren’t feeling a connection with?… Who has misrepresented themselves?… Or who’s weird, creepy, annoying, or boring?
Why Hiking on a First Date Is a Bad Idea
There are too many unknowns to go on a hiking first date.
Meet in a public place for safety. It’s far better to go for coffee, get to know them a little bit, and possibly discuss a second date that involves hiking.
I’ve been on many first dates with people who misrepresented themselves, I found boring, downright crazy, or nice but not my type. Has that ever happened to you?
Coffee or another little first date in a public place gives you an easy out. That friend can’t call you shortly after you get on a hike to give you an escape like they can when you’re at a coffee house.
First dates, blind dates, and dates off dating apps are never misrepresented, right? Ever met anyone older, shorter, or rounder than you thought they’d be?
He or she, “has a great personality.” One that’s better suited for a special conversation with a lamppost.
What happens if you’re out on the trail and they start talking with you about the time they were abducted by aliens or worse Big Foot?! Maybe Big Foot is still interested in this person! You don’t want that competition, do you? 😛
Ever been on a date with someone that spoke to other parts of your body but not your face? Do you really want that creeper hiking behind you on a trail? They certainly won’t be looking at your face when they’re behind you.
Do you want to be alone on a trail with someone who’s giving you a weird vibe? Who’s suggestive? Who keeps laughing at the word trailhead?
Most rape victims know their attackers. This means that you’re more likely to be assaulted on a trail by a hiking partner than a total stranger. It’s a bad idea to go out on the trails with someone you haven’t vetted over coffee first. It’s just safer that way.1
False Accusations and Liars
People can lie and accuse you of things you never did. It’s on the nightly news all the time. Don’t open yourself for trouble.
A “What If” Situation
I went on a hiking date… not a first date but one of our first… with Ashley, who’s now my wife. We came across a large copperhead sunning itself on the trail. I was in the lead, yelled, “snake!”, and threw my hand out behind me to stop her. I played the big hero and removed the snake from the trail (with a very long limb) and we proceeded down the path.
I kept thinking about the situation after I got home. I’m sure I put my hand on her breast when I reached back to stop her. I was highly embarrassed. I apologized to her. She hadn’t realized. Adrenaline was pumping. We were focused on the snake.
We laugh about it these days.
But, what if she accused me of misconduct instead of being understanding?
Have you ever been on a first date where things got awkward? If that happens on a hike, multiply it by 10. It’s hard to pull some people back once they get uncomfortable.
When you’re out in public, other situations going on around you can defuse awkwardness like conversation lulls. Or some situations that can occur on trails never happen in public.
Let me tell you about an awkward hike…
Example of an Awkward Hiking Situation
My wife and I were friends before dating. We would often go on hikes together. Just the two of us. On one of the first hikes we ever went on, we stumbled on a half-naked couple having photos taken in the stream beside our hiking trail.
The weirdest stuff I’ve ever encountered on hiking trails has always happened near urban environments.
Missing the Right Hiking Gear
If one or both of you are lacking the proper hiking gear for the trail you want to take, it can be disastrous. Proper hiking shoes, clothes, water bottle or hydration pack, and first aid kit are a minimum for all my hikes.
You can buy all of these at BAckcountry through the links provided or visit a local outfitter, especially when choosing the right hiking shoes. They can help get you fitted properly.
Maybe visiting REI or a Cabela’s that serves coffee would be a better fist date? You’d sure find out if your date’s into the outdoors.
When Is Hiking on a Date a Good Idea?
Hiking First Date with Someone You Know
Okay, I’ll concede.
If you want to go on a first date with someone you’ve known for a while, hiking might be a good idea. If you’re both athletic and into the outdoors, it is a great way to learn more about each other.
For example, going hiking on a first date with someone you know from class, church, club, organization, work, or social group might be okay.
Your Hiking First Date Is a Double Date
If you’re on a double date whether it’s a blind date or other and you know two out of three of the other people on the hike date it might be all right. You’re still stuck if you don’t like your date. But at least you’re safer.
Exercise good judgment. If you don’t know two out of the other three, I’d opt for the coffee shop again.
Hiking Date on the Second Date or Beyond
If you’ve already gone on a date or two, hiking is an awesome idea! Especially when you can work in a romantic picnic too. Pick a hike that isn’t overly difficult. Maybe around water or one that leads to a waterfall.
Whether I have a hiking date with my wife or I hike alone. Hiking around water has always been my favorite.
Check out the 10 Reasons Why A Hiking Date Is A Great Idea. Ten is my hands-down my favorite. Hiking led to my marriage! And now we have a baby on the way! See why it would be my fav?!
Exercise some common sense!
Do I really have to say more? First date hikes are rarely a good idea.
- 10 Reasons Why A Hiking Date Is A Great Idea
- What To Wear On A Hiking Date
- How To Find A Hiking Buddy Or Hiking Group
- Michael G. Planty, Ph.D., Lynn Langton, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics, Christopher Krebs, Ph.D., Marcus Berzofsky, DrPH, Hope Smiley-McDonald, Ph.D., RTI International. Female Victims Of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010. March 7, 2013