Making Friends in the Outdoors

Have you ever met someone for the first time at a trailhead? There's something about spending a day outside on an adventure that bonds a group of people together. Making friends in the outdoors has always been easy when a hiking buddy brings along a new hiking partner but this summer I've met up with a few people I've met through social media.

This summer I met Paul Osborn for the first time in real life on the John Muir Trail. We had a blast hiking over 200 miles and by the end we had many inside jokes and many great memories.

This weekend Chris Martin, Sierra Trading Post's videographer, and I did it again. I'd been talking about hiking Colorado's 14ers and 13ers on Twitter with Heather and decided to get a group of people together for a fun fall hike. We quickly found 4 Denver area bloggers who were excited about a day in the backcountry. So we picked a weekend and Heather, Lauren, Lynne and Heidi met Chris and I at the Guanella Pass Trailhead.

The plan was to hike a little over 10 miles and climb three peaks that all reached above 13,000 feet in elevation. We trudged straight up Square Top Mountain (13,794') in strong winds. The bitter cold ripped to the bone. My face felt like it was going to freeze right off.

Friends on the trail

We kept our spirits up and continued on to descend the peak into the valley below. There we were protected from the winds and we started having fun again.

A steep climb up a tough talus slope ensued but when we reached the summit of Mount Wilcox we broke out the High-5s, encouraged each other and there may have been some dancing. Despite a really tough descent ahead of us we laughed and joked around (and of course talked about food.)

Hours later, we were back in the real world eating hamburgers at a local brewery. Around a table of seven hikers, five of which I'd never met in person until that morning, I felt like I was hanging out with old friends. And it didn't take long until we were asking what adventure was next.

Friends on the hiking trail

I have to admit, even though my job is social media, I'd never met up with people in real life that I'd met through social media until this year. Surprisingly, these adventures have been a ton of fun and everyone has been really cool in real life.

Have you ever gone on an adventure with a stranger who became a good friend?

For more information about this adventure check out these additional post by our hiking partners:

Sierra Trading Post Blogger Hike by Laren Martin
Square Top Mountain & Mt. Wilcox: A Hike With Sierra Trading Post by Lynne Petre
Square Top Peak & Wilcox Peak by Heather Balough

This same group of hikers took a winter adventure too. Check it out: A winter camping trip.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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