One of the most difficult things about living in any city is meeting new people with similar interests. I find this especially true when it comes to meeting people that enjoy hiking, camping or various other outdoor activities. Here are a few ways that I have found that may make that search a little easier.
Good Old Google:
I did a search in Google for hiking groups in Orange County, CA and found that there are several in my area. I don’t really know if this is a method that will work for everyone, but as far as a place to start, there is none better than Google.
Although meetup.com has been around for quite a while, a friend of mine recently introduced me to this site. It’s very easy to use. Simply type an interest and enter your zipcode. Once you’ve done that, a list of Groups and their upcoming “meetups” will appear. At this point you are able to expand or constrict the radius of your search area.
I did a quick search for hiking under my topic or interest…
Below are my search results…
You may be able to find a group that has already been established but one of the good things about this site is if you have an interest in an area and a group does not yet exist, you can start one so that other people can join yours. I think it’s a great idea to find new places to hike (or whatever other outdoor activity your into) as well as meet new people. Best of all it’s free!
Find and sign up for an outdoor skill class. This is a good way to meet new people and even gain knowledge and exposure to a new skill or activity. These classes can be very inexpensive (like $5-10 for a few hours) or quite costly depending upon who is teaching or organizing them. REI offers SO many different activities in their “REI Outdoor School”.If your looking for a little more obscure or specialized class, you will have to do more research. I have been wanting to learn about foraging and recently have learned of a weekly class. It’s inexpensive and the times conveniently fit into my schedule. I am going to attend one of the weekend classes in the very near future.
It constantly seems like their are new social media sites being introduced. There are sites like Pinterest for niche content sharing. Meetup.com is just one site to connect via activities. Of course there’s Facebook for sharing nearly anything. I find that I often learn new things about my “friends” and also learn about new places or activities that I am unfamiliar with. Some of these social media networks allow you to easily connect with people in cyberspace, and YOU then need to be creative to come up with ways to organize physical get-togethers. As much as I enjoy sharing my hiking adventures and photos with my friends and learning about their adventures, unless I can organize a time and place to physically get together with them, I’m still solo-ing it.
There is definitely a time and place for peace and solitude, but one of the things I enjoy most about any outdoor activity is being able to share the outdoor experience with someone else.