- Carrie Fifield
Internet Hiking Groups Offer Real World Support, Friendship, & a Trail Squad You Identify With!
The backcountry is a magical place, filled with natural wonders, wild animals, and unique challenges that test your physical, emotional, and mental capacities. For some of us it’s exciting, while for others, planning an excursion into the backcountry can be intimidating. Our minds run wild with questions about food, gear, safety, planning, and navigating. And sometimes a little extra support is all we need to take the plunge.
A first hike comes in so many different ways. Plenty of people have family members or friends that get them out onto the trail for the first time, which can make their transition into an outdoorsy person seem natural, or at least, less like starting from scratch.
But what if, like so many, you ARE starting from scratch? Where do you start?
No matter who you are, there is room in the outdoors for everyone, of every style, creed, and personality - and at this point there’s pretty much guaranteed to be a group out there that is willing to help you take those first steps and provide you with encouragement, love, and guidance. Finding your trail squad can also help you with concerns about safety and put you in a more comfortable place on your first adventures.
While Facebook and social media are huge platforms for hiking groups, we highly suggest checking out MeetUp, Reddit, trail associations, or just even just doing a google search for hiking clubs in your area! Below we’ll list a few hiking groups that cater to and advocate for all different types of people.
At the end of the day, it’s our goal to empower people to feel comfortable and confident in nature, and to encourage anyone and everyone to get out there! So please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, need help finding a local group, or just want to chat. We’re here for you!
Some of Our Favorite Hiking Groups:
All Women, All Trails
Facebook Group for women hikers of all skills and abilities
American Hiking Society
Organization focused on empowering everyone to enjoy hiking
Backcountry Meal Planning for Thru-hikers
Facebook Group for learning about meal planning for long distance hikes
Backpacker Travel Guide
Facebook Group for anyone interested in backpacking and traveling
Backpacking Gear Flea Market
Facebook Group to buy/sell/trade backpacking gear - it’s a great resource for assembling your first backpacking kit
Backpacking & Hiking Gear Deals with Outdoor Education
Facebook Group that helps hikers with educational topics and resources to find quality gear at a discount
Backpacking for Beginners
Facebook Group for those who are just starting out
Backpacking Talk & Swap
Facebook Group to talk backpacking and trade gear
Backpacking with Babies and Kids
Facebook Group for parents
Colour the Trails
Organization & Facebook Group inspiring BIPOC and LGBTQ+ to pursue outdoor activities
DIY Backpacking Gear
Facebook Group for making your own gear (or learning how!)
50+ Hiking and Backpacking
Facebook Group for active, middle aged people
Hiking, Camping & Backpacking Gear Talk
Facebook Group for learning about and discussing all things gear
Facebook Group for novices to experts to talk about anything hiking related
Hiking with Dogs
Facebook Group for any and all things hiking and dogs
I Love Trails
Facebook Group for anyone who loves the outdoors
Ladies of the JMT
Facebook Group for women of all experience levels to discuss the John Muir Trail
Organization advocating for representation of the Latinx community in the outdoors
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Nonprofit organization that teaches about minimizing impact while recreating outdoors
Let’s Trek: Hiking and Camping Tips and Tricks for ALL
Facebook Group that shares all sorts of cool backpacking knowledge
LGBTQ+ Hiking Groups
Meetup.com Groups for LGBTQ+ hikers in locations across the world
Meals for the trails… it's not just nuts and berries anymore
Facebook Group to share recipes and ideas for eating well on the trail
Native Women’s Wilderness
Nonprofit connecting Indigenous Women to their ancestral lands
No Barriers USA
Nonprofit & Facebook Group advocating outdoor accessibility for veterans and those with diverse abilities
Northern Michigan Hiking, Backpacking, & Kayaking
Facebook Group that discusses and plans trips throughout Northern Michigan
Facebook & networking group inspiring Black connections to the outdoors
Nonprofit advocating for the Asian & Pacific Islander outdoor community
Plus Sized Hikers
Facebook Group for like-minded and bodied individuals
Organization that offers nature based programming for those who identify as LGBTQ2SIA+
Podcast & Facebook Group for amplifying women’s voices in the outdoor industry
Single Hikers Connection
Facebook Group for hikers that are looking for that special someone
Solo Female Hikers & Adventurers
Facebook Group for women who hike alone (or want to!)
Tarheel State Hangers
Facebook Group for backpackers and hammock enthusiasts in North Carolina
Travelers of the U.S. National Parks
Facebook Group for organizing trips to explore U.S. National Parks
Facebook Group for anyone wanting to pack lighter
Nonprofit & Facebook Group supporting diverse veterans
Women 50 & Up Ohio Hiking Group
MeetUp.com Group in Ohio for women 50+
Are you part of one of these groups, think we missed one, or have your own group that helps people get into the outdoors? We'd love to learn more about your experiences with internet hiking groups and build upon our list! Leave a comment below or email email@example.com.
This blog was written and researched by Carrie & Steven:
Carrie is the Director of Business Development at RightOnTrek, when she is not on the trail, she can be found jamming out to music, hanging out with friends and taking in the sights and sounds of Chicago.
Steven lives in Portland, OR and is the Head of Wilderness Data and Community for RightOnTrek. When he’s not hiking, biking, or snowboarding in the Cascades, you can catch him eating a sushi burrito and drinking a beer at one of Portland’s food truck pods.