The Fear of Hiking with Strangers

I have a horrible time before doing something with a group of people I hardly know or have never met before. It is very common for me to consider backing out of something I was once very excited for right before but usually push myself, or have my wonderful husband talk some sense into me, and I have been repeatedly surprised at how much I have enjoyed the event.

Recent Events I’ve Done With Strangers

There was the meet up where I went to learn about backpacking before having ever gone on a trip and ended up at the wrong venue. Even showing up late I ended up having a wonderful time and won a 1 person tent that Maddie used for our first few years and we still have for other people to join us and borrow.

There was the women’s event that was at Whitney Portal where I almost used the rainstorm forecasted to justify my bailing. I had never camped in the rain before and was worried that I would appear like a total noob. I ended up being absolutely fine, learned to hike in layers, and met a wonderful group of women that I am still in contact with many today.

Finding groups that allow for my daughter participate can be challenging so when I signed up for one the whole family could do Thanksgiving weekend I was so excited. As the hike came closer the forecast said rain, which I had already proven I could survive but became nervous about the rest of the family. Then I got nervous about if we would be able to keep up with the group as my husband and I have fallen out of shape. I worried that Maddie would be bored if other kids her age didn’t attend. I worried I would be judged if I didn’t have everything we could possibly need to be self-sufficient on the trail and if one of them complained about being cold, hungry, tired, or sore. It would be one of the longest day hikes we would have ever done at thirteen miles and include two peaks which was a lot more climbing than we were used to.

The Thanksgiving Weekend Hike

Stonewall Peak – We hiked this after hiking Cuyamaca peak.

 

We arrived an no other kids were Maddie’s age. Greg and I probably carried way too much weight for a day hike making sure we all had a puffy and rain gear and Greg and I had 4 liters of water each while Maddie had 2. Greg’s hip ended up bugging him so he stayed behind for the second peak and ended up being the one who had the first aid kit for the family and we forgot to transfer. Maddie broke a cardinal rule and didn’t stop at a fork which gave the group a quick scare. As a family, we typically break longer and more often which ended up with none of us drinking enough water or eating as much as we should.

And you know what?

One happy group after a great day of hiking. Cheers to new friends!

It was a wonderful day. My daughter stayed with and ahead of the two people that were fast, blowing my mind about her capabilities. She talked to both extensively and they were so patient and wonderful with her. I pushed my self and finished only minutes behind the rest of the group where we completed 13.05 miles and a total elevation gain of 3,211 feet in 6 hours and 51 minutes.
The best thing of all was that we met a wonderful group of people and proved to each other that we are capable of more than we thought even at this point in our training.

In The End

Trying new things is scary. Meeting new people is scary. Pushing your bodies physical capabilities is scary. Don’t let it stop you from trying new things, meeting new people, and seeing what you are truly capable. The reward is absolutely worth it even though I know I will probably go through the same roller coaster of emotions before the next event. Happy Hiking!

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2 thoughts on “The Fear of Hiking with Strangers”

  1. I can totally relate Brit! Spent much of my life pushing back similar anxieties, largely fueled by my mother or remnants thereof. What’s so amazing is that you are phenomenally easy to talk with & you impressed me with how personable you are! Keep compiling your list of successful new outings. Then turn around and look backwards and marvel at all the anxious moments in which you prevailed and were FINE! Xoxo LoJo

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