Going on a first date is an exciting experience, but it also comes with lots of nerves, overthinking what-ifs, and expectations. If you’ve met or matched with an outdoor enthusiast, a great first date is hiking.
There are several reasons why hiking dates will help break the ice and allow you to enjoy the experience of getting to know someone new. While hiking is advantageous as a first date, it can be the perfect setup for disaster.
Why Hiking is a Great First Date
The overwhelming majority of people would say that they have had a great experience with hiking on a first date, and here are some of the reasons why:
1. Common Ground
Meeting up with someone on a first date for a hike not only gives you a beautiful place to meet up, but it naturally creates a memory that you will keep forever. Settling for a regular date in a restaurant or going to a movie is expected and not necessarily an exciting story to share. But going on a hike gives you a beautiful experience that you will remember always.
Sharing an experience that you enjoy with someone will help determine if you indeed share the same interests. It’s easy to be exuberant about hiking, but it’s not an easy thing to fake. By putting on your boots, slathering bug spray, and hitting the trails, you will get a good idea of whether or not your prospective someone is really into nature.
2. Creates Conversation
Hiking can create a more open state of mind and stir up topics of conversation that might fall flat in other situations. Making conversation throughout a date can often be awkward, especially if you don’t hit it off with the other person romantically. On a hike, there are many organic topics of conversation that present with every step.
A great tip is to go to a visitor’s booth, even if you are familiar with the area you are hiking; they may have a pamphlet that highlights edible AT plants, trees, and animals such as squirrels, and bears that you can spot along the way. An immersive experience such as hiking will always present opportunities for opening up, making it a solid first-date choice.
At the end of the hike, if the date hasn’t gone so well, it’s easy enough to call it a night and consider the date a great social connection rather than a romantic one. There is no shame in finding a friend where there is no love connection.
3. Can Lead to Anywhere
A hike as a first date can lead you along trails into the unknown and if you hit it off with your date allows you to extend the date for a longer time. At the end of the hike, you will both be hungry, so you can suggest you get a meal and extend the evening a bit longer.
Better still, pack a picnic lunch, and if things are going well, set up on a flat spot, perhaps a lookout point, and enjoy a romantic lunch in the wilderness. There are few things more romantic than a picnic in nature, but if things aren’t going along so smoothly, hide it away and move on.
4. Does not Lead to Expectations
Unlike with other dates, hiking doesn’t lead to awkward silences or forced conversation as you muddle through dinner at a restaurant. If things are going well, that one thing, but to push a topic with someone you are not clicking with is sheer discomfort.
Often a movie and dinner will lead to the assumption that there will be a kiss or invitation for a nightcap. A hike in nature doesn’t express such romance unless things are kindling like wildfire and a romantic connection sparks naturally. Enjoy your date more by going in without expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised.
5. Costs Nothing
One of the best things about hiking as a first date is that it costs absolutely nothing. Not having to worry about spending a fortune on a date is a huge relief for anyone, but the male is often obliged to foot the bill. As a woman, it is common to feel that pressure to give a goodnight kiss or make another date if the man is paying, but with a hike, the only thing that pays is underused muscles.
Choosing to hike with your date is a stress-free way to get out, have fun, and enjoy yourself. There should be no expectations on any date. But when it is a daytime trek in the hills or mountains, it makes everything a little less presumptuous. The whole point of a date is to get to know someone so there is no need to spend a lot of money, and free is even better.
6. Taking the Next Step
You may already know someone that has been a longtime friend that you have recently developed feelings for, and a walk through nature is a great way to see if there’s a possibility for something more than friendship.
It is not uncommon for friends to become more, but it may be a bit uncomfortable to express your feelings to a friend if you’re not entirely sure they feel the same way. Spending time alone with them is a great way to stray from the group setting you may find yourself in and spend time alone.
Inviting a potential love interest on a hike is also the perfect way to ask them to spend time with you but not have to put your feelings on the line right away. Asking someone for dinner implies you are hoping for more than friends, while a hike suggests you are interested in adventuring together and sharing a common interest. If you flirt and they don’t reciprocate, it’s easier to bounce back.
7. Great Group Date
Some may disagree, but group dates can be a great way to ease the awkwardness of a first date. If you are uneasy about going on a hiking date alone with someone you don’t already know, this is an opportunity to invite another couple along. Another couple on the hike will ensure your safety and help to keep the conversation running if there is a lull.
8. Leads to Other Excursions
If your new flame is interested in hiking, then chances are they are also interested in other outdoor activities. Once you have gone on a date and had a great time, hiking opens up other outdoor adventure ideas such as:
Of course, someone who loves hiking won’t necessarily lead to having everything in common with them, but it does open up a world of adventure.
9. Can be Romantic
Sweat and big bites aside, picture yourself sitting at a viewing point at the top of a trail looking out over the valley below or down upon crashing waves. The journey to the end of the hike may be vigorous and less than idealistic, but the peak can be very romantic and the perfect spot to sit and cuddle while taking in a hard-earned view. Hiking can be one of the most romantic first dates you will ever go on.
10. No Distractions
Unlike so many dating activities, hiking allows you to enjoy each other and your surroundings without the distraction of other people, traffic, arguments, or worrying about making it to a reservation at a restaurant on time.
Hiking allows you to turn off technology and unplug from the office or anyone trying to get in on your relaxation time, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature. Romantic growth can happen in nature because there is little else to distract you from each other, which makes hiking a great date.
11. Determine Length of Time
You can choose a hiking trail that can be short in case things go awkwardly wrong. Committing to a three-hour hike may not be a wise idea. Having the option of a shorter or longer trek depending on the mood is a plan. While hiking dates are often a great idea, sometimes they don’t go as planned and pretending to have fun isn’t an option.
12. Silence is Golden
Because hiking provides a narrative as you go, there is no need for constant conversation. Find comfort in silence for once, and let the sounds of nature comfortably fill any void in words.
13. Slimming Outfits
Hiking has fantastic outfits that shape and mold anybody to look flawless. If you want to show off your muscles or curves, exercise clothes are the right way to go since most of them are of skin-tight spandex or lycra that tend to boost the bust and booty. When determining what to wear on a hiking date, choose a breathable material for extra comfort.
14. Hiking Provides an Opportunity to Touch
If you can’t think of how hiking can be romantic, think about having to climb up a steep rock or down a steep hill. When you need an extra hand to take a big step up or down, he will be there, reaching for you to take. It’s also a great opportunity to playfully swat a bug off their broad shoulders or move their hair off their face.
There are plenty of opportunities to be playfully flirtatious on a hike, so it’s the perfect activity to get to know one another. There are even dating sites for hikers who are avid outdoor enthusiasts.
15. Fantastic Exercise
Outdoor activity for nature lovers is always a good first date idea. Hiking is a fantastic exercise, so even if the date was a bust, you still got a good workout in. Not every date will be a winner, but a day out in the beautiful clean air is always good. Hiking and any outdoor trips in nature will improve mental health, cardiovascular health and boost metabolism.
Here are some commonly asked questions.
What do you talk about on a hike?
What don’t you talk about on a hike? You can go with any topic while meandering through the woods:
There is literally no topic that is off-limits while you are hiking, and the more intimate, the closer you may become, and there may even be a little hand-holding. On the other hand, if you don’t find a lot in common with your date, there is no pressure to talk, as nature fills the silent void.
Is hiking a poor first date?
There are several reasons that hiking may not be the ideal date for you, and that is okay. There are some absolute disadvantages to saying yes or initiating hiking date fun:
1. You will become sweaty no matter what outfit you put on and, your clothes will cling to your damp body instead of being breezing and cute
2. You will be wearing runners or hiking boots and clothes that you will be comfortable in, which may not be the style you want to introduce on your first date (especially if you have never met)
3. It is hard to establish a connection or have a deep conversation while you are panting and breathing heavy on the hiking trails
4. Hiking beside someone makes it difficult to maintain eye contact
5. You are most likely going to get smelly and possibly a dry mouth which may put a damper on any first kiss or intimate moment
6. You may become distracted by insect bites and shin splints than engaged with your date
What food should I pack for a romantic hike?
Keep in mind that you want to pack light when you are hiking because you will have to carry all the weight for a while. Some great food items to pack on a hiking date that will keep well are:
1. Baguette (they sell single-serve ones)
2. Cheese (with an ice pack)
3. Fruit (cut up or berries)
5. Granola bars
Is a hike a good choice for a second date?
Hiking is the perfect second date; maybe even better than a first date because you already know a bit about the person and may feel safer being in a secluded area alone. As a second date, you demonstrate that you are adventurous and willing to get a little dirty, which is attractive to outdoorsy people.
Is hiking on a first date safe?
Typically speaking, you will not end up on a date with a murderer, but there are always concerns that this person you do not know may turn out to be weird in some way. Hiking on a first date can be a wonderful experience and bring two people together, but it can also be scary.
If you want to be safe, choose a hiking trail that is steadily populated with lots of people and choose a peak time to go so that you do not find yourself alone for too long. If things work out, you can always choose a quieter and more secluded location later on.
How can I feel safe on a hiking date?
It is always a good idea to let a friend or family member know where you are going and who you are with when you are hiking, especially if they are someone you just met on a dating app. There is no harm in letting your date know that you gave your route to someone in case of emergency (no need to say because of them). It is also important to pack proper hiking gear in case of a hiking emergency.