There is nothing like hiking with your friends and family. Hiking is an enjoyable hobby, especially if you are on vacation. But the problem with hiking is, it’s hard to keep all of the members of the group together. It’s important to know that in hiking what should be the group’s pacing.
There are a lot of things to consider for managing your group’s hiking pace. Arrange a meeting with your group before hiking and talk about the ways you will keep pace with others. Finding the right pace takes time, experience, and group discussion.
Managing your group can be a little tricky, but it’s definitely not impossible. If you want to learn more about hiking and managing your groups, you should read the whole article.
I am going to provide you a lot of tricks and tips for managing your group’s hiking pace. So, without further ado, let’s get right on with it.
10 Tips on Keeping A Hiking Group Together
Keeping a hiking group together is neither easy nor so hard. I know it sounds confusing, but let me give you some tips regarding hiking that will make things clear. These tips will help you keep your hiking group together and manage the pace of everyone.
Before starting to hike, spend some time arranging a meeting with your group. Ask every person in the groups to keep an eye on the person in front of them. If someone gets lost and cannot find other members of the group, he/she should stop and call out.
Hiking is not a race. It’s important to go slow in the mountains. Dense bush or bad weather can be the cause of losing sight of people. A few meters can make the difference, so it’s better to stop than running.
Let Someone Know Before You Go
Hiking takes a long time, and it’s not surprising that someone may need to go to potty. If you are that person, don’t forget to tell someone before you go, as you need to be long away from the trail and don’t want to get lost.
Wherever you left, leave a trail for the other members of the group. If you do that, the members of the group will be able to slow down a little and look for you if needed.
Headcounts are important
Before every hike and hike interval, do a headcount. This will make sure that you won’t miss anyone on the whole journey.
On every small and large break, spend some time doing this. Enjoy the hike together with your group.
If you lose sight
Ask the members of the group to continue hiking in the right direction if they lose sight of the group. Once they reach the next trail junction, they should wait for the group or the group leader so that they can join the group again.
Look for trail markers
In the US, you will see a lot of trails are marked using blazes and cairns. Those will help you and your fellow hikers to stay on the trail and avoid getting lost.
You will notice that the blazes are unique, and the shapes and the colors differ. So whenever you get lost or find the same trail twice, you will be able to understand that.
Stop at trail junctions and river crossings
If the trails show multiple paths, you should stop right there and wait for everyone. Most of the hikers end up lost when they race against others and do not want to wait for others.
Slow-paced hikers make the way for others, and you should not forget it.
Get ready for challenges
Hiking is full of challenges, and that’s what makes hiking fun. If you are the trail leader, you need to make the group members know about the challenges that lie ahead. Read the map and keep your group members well-informed about the upcoming challenges.
Manage the Group’s Pace
It’s very important to keep the group’s pace stable. Take the pace all of you like and keep hiking at that speed. Do not go too fast or too slow. If you go fast, some people will try to catch up, but not for too long. Soon they will lose energy and won’t be able to finish.
If you go too slowly, some people will get frustrated and will not enjoy hiking as they should. As a leader, you need to manage the speed and complete your group’s goal perfectly.
Be proactive and look after everyone so that no one feels discouraged. Leader or not, this should be the responsibility of everyone in the group.
Schedule and arrange break expectations
There should be some small breaks in long hikes. Plan what you are going to do in the break before hiking. For example, if the break is for two minutes, people can take some snacks or switch layers. For five minutes, people can go to the toilet or check the map.
In case the break is as long as 30 minutes, you can take a meal, do some first aid or enjoy a summit. The whole point is, you need to plan whatever you do.
Breaks without plans go unproductive and people will just mess around without any reason. Set the expectations before taking a break.
Keep Everyone Comfortable
There is at least one person in a group who is new and can’t keep up with other hikers. There are a lot of reasons a hiker can get uncomfortable.
For example, if they put on too many layers before hiking, they will start sweating soon. They should take those off or else they won’t be able to hike comfortably.
Sometimes blisters can pop up on the skin of the feet and ruin the entire trip. Also, people dehydrate too fast during hiking. So they may run out of water very soon even while carrying a large water bottle.
As a leader, you should ask people about their discomforts and try to give a proper solution.
What is A Good Hiking Pace?
This is a pretty common question. Many new to hiking wonder what is a good hiking pace. I know it is actually difficult to determine a perfect hiking pace.
Everyone has their own speed, and you can’t tell whose speed is better than the others. Only you can determine the best hiking speed for yourself.
Speed depends on a lot of things. The curves and the difficulties of a mountain, the weight you are carrying, the amount of foliage, etc. can speed you up and slow you down.
It’s better to start slow and then speed yourself up. Hiking at a faster speed from the beginning could slow you down later, which won’t be good for your adventure.
Remember, the team follows the slowest person in hiking. No one should hike faster than others because people hike in groups. A lot of hikers walk at 2 – 3 mph, and that’s fine. 3 – 4 mph is a very good speed, anything beyond 4 mph is too fast. In my opinion, 2.5 mph can be called the standard pace for regular hikers.
Managing the group’s hiking pace on the trail could be hard, and it requires experience. In this article, I have talked about how you can do that at ease.
Now, I’m sure that you have a proper idea of in hiking what should be the group’s pacing. Best of luck to you on your future hikes. I hope you have a wonderful time with your hiking group.