Starting a hiking club is an excellent way to go outside and meet new people. It can be difficult to find like-minded individuals who share your love of outdoor activities, so why not start your own? But, how do you start your own hiking club?
In this blog post, you will learn how to start a hiking club, what it takes, all the equipment needed and how to get people together on a hike.
How To Start A Hiking Club
In order to start a hiking club, you will need people who also like hiking. There are a few ways to go about this which will be discussed below.
- Form A Small Community First
- Take Advantage of Social Media To Gather More People
- Assign Leaders To Streamline It
- Schedule Hikes Together
Form A Small Hiking Community First
Start out by partnering with your friends or family to start up your hiking club. If you do not have any family or friends in the area who enjoy hiking, simply create a small group of people online to get started.
Make sure you invite others who genuinely want to expand the community at first. This will make it easier on you to make the club bigger.
If you don’t want to create a hiking group of your own, you can just join someone else’s hiking club by going on certain Facebook groups.
1. Create Your Own Facebook Group
Start by creating your own hiking club on Facebook groups. It’s a very simple process to make a group on Facebook, you just hit create a group and it will ask for details, and you just fill them out.
You want to name your hiking club something with a specific city to it. This way it’s more local and a lot easier for people to meet up.
That being said, if you are more ambitious and want to hike all around the world you can create a more general name.
2. Invite Friends and Family
Now you want to invite your friends and family to that Facebook group.
Even if they don’t really live in the city you still want to invite them because you want your Facebook group to organically grow and be pushed.
If you don’t have any friends or family who are like hiking or are willing to join the hiking club then I suggest you still invite people as this will push Facebook to organically show the group to others interested.
3. Grow Your Hiking Facebook Group
There are a few ways to grow your hiking Facebook group. What I recommend though is to view existing Facebook groups and you can add people and invite them over to your group.
You can also make a post on craigslist and message the people to join the Facebook group.
Another option is to create posts asking people if they are interested in joining your hiking club on Reddit.
You can also use Twitter to get more people. You have to search for people within your area by putting a company that is local or just look up the city and those who follow or like those particular accounts.
Start following 10-15 people per day like this from Twitter. Make sure to have a link in the bio to your Facebook group.
Assigning Leaders For Your Hiking Club
After you have a certain number of people in your hiking group, it may be time to start assigning leaders.
This is the best way for everyone to communicate and stay on top of things such as planning hikes or inviting new members.
You will want at least 2-3 leaders so that they can help each other out even if one of them is not available.
The leaders should be able to communicate with each other over any online chatting platform or Facebook group messaging, the more comfortable they are communicating the better.
You want these leaders to make sure everyone is on track and everything is going smoothly in terms of communication for future hikes.
Leaders should also make sure everyone is aware of the hikes and that they are planning ahead of time and getting out with their friends.
How to Schedule Group Hikes?
Now the final step in how to start a hiking club is scheduling group hikes.
There are many different ways that you can schedule hikes but I will just go over three of them here.
The first thing you could do is have your leaders decide when each hike should take place and then they send out emails or messages through Facebook with the details.
Or the second option is to have a calendar and put all the events on there so that it’s easier for everyone in your hiking club to see them and find out when each hike should take place.
You could also use apps such as Hike It (iOS) or Meet Up (Android). They will help you plan the schedule and also help you find places to hike.
You can either have a leader create the events or anyone who wants to go on that specific day can just join in.
Having Clear Rules And Policies For Your Hiking Club
Remember you want to make sure that everyone is aware of the rules and policies of your hiking club.
This way there are no arguments later on about what should be done or how things work in terms of communication between group members.
If you don’t have a lot of people it might be a good idea to have the leaders go through them so that they know what’s expected of them.
You can actually set the rules and policies on the Facebook group where you pin it as the top post so that everyone is aware of it.
TIP: Don’t forget to make the group closed so people have to answer a few simple questions to avoid bots/spammers.
Few things to consider when hiking together
- Make sure you view the forecast and weather 24-72 hours before the hike.
- Make sure you keep track of everyone during the meetup in case someone goes missing.
- Make sure you are carrying essential items like first aid kits, hiking supplies, etc.
- Make sure as the leader of the group you arrive at least 15 minutes earlier so you can greet everyone and explain the plan.
- Make sure you get the parking situation sorted a few days before the meetup.
Tips on Growing Your Hiking Club
You can expand your hiking club to more people by sharing photos of your hikes and uploading them on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram.
Also, ask your hiking club members to share those pictures on their social media and tag your hiking club in them.
This will make it so that you have a larger reach and it will naturally organically grow more and more.
You can do this as a hobby but, if the group becomes large enough you can begin to monetize it and make money from what you love.
As Your Hiking Club Grows
Don’t worry about creating a website at the start however, as your hiking club grows, you want to have an official website with a Facebook page where everyone can stay up to date and get involved.
Doing all this requires time and effort and you can if your goal is to maybe in the future create a business around this you can since you already have a community.
You can sell your own products for hikers online or in person.
You want to make sure you keep the group growing, so what I recommend is having contests or events such as races or challenges that reward people who participate with free gear like clothes and shoes from your website (if you’re an online store).
This will make people want to join in and it will also make sure your group is always active.
As you can see, starting a hiking club isn’t that hard when you know what to do!
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Hey, I am the founder of Outside Origin! I love hiking in my spare time and have gone to various different hikes. You can check out our about us section to learn more about what our team and I do over at Outside Origin.