Benefits of Joining Hiking Clubs
There is a way to make it easier on yourself: Consider becoming part of a group that will give you frequent and cost-effective opportunities to get outdoors and exercise. Hiking and outing clubs in the United States have proliferated in recent years. Reasons to join one include the following:
Abundance of opportunities
North Carolina has a wealth of hiking trails and opportunities. Asheville has many local walks, a plethora of nearby mountain hikes, and one of the oldest and most active hiking clubs in North Carolina in the Carolina Mountain Club. While you may not know all the details, hiking clubs are familiar with specifics of local and distant hikes, and they frequently carpool to the trailheads. It is a relief to be able to rely on others to locate an obscure trailhead and stay on a curvy trail.
The perfect exercise
Doctors and others in the health field increasingly advise that walking at least 30 minutes a day, on average, is the single most important step one can take toward good health. A hiking club provides the ideal platform to do that. Regular participation will result in better health and conditioning and will increase your energy level. Walking with a group provides greater safety, especially in the more remote areas.
Obviously, walking with a group provides greater safety, especially in the more remote areas. Injuries can happen.
Many people who exercise in gyms rarely get the fresh air and sunshine they need. The joy of sunshine and fresh air is real.
Supplementing other routines
Tennis, yoga, running, weight training, golf and similar pursuits are worthwhile; unquestionably hiking complements and enhances these activities. Hiking can also give your joints and muscles a needed break, since it involves a minimum of pounding and sudden starting and stopping.
Membership in a hiking club is not expensive, since the clubs are run by volunteers. Joining earlier in the year is the best value, since you receive a larger number of opportunities in return. Most clubs will allow you to participate as a guest once or twice before deciding whether it is for you. As a member, you typically receive a regular newsletter announcing hiking, biking, kayaking and dining/social activities. After several hikes, your fellow participants will be very helpful on what types of clothing, shoes or boots, packs and other items you really need and the best places to buy.
They have few ironclad rules and make a minimum of outright demands on members. If you get busy with work or other commitments and cannot join club activities for a while, no worries - the club will still be there. Opportunities are numerous; even the most active members can participate in only a small percentage of what is offered.
Hiking clubs attract a wide array of interesting people of all ages, traits, personalities and occupations. Hikes, and car trips to and from outings, can result in engrossing conversations and pleasant dining opportunities. Family conversations on hikes can be very useful; a teenager is likely to volunteer more to a parent on a short hike than can be pried out in a month.
Membership in a hiking club sometimes results in members or friends getting together in smaller groups to take hiking and other trips further afield. A hiking club can be a springboard to broadened horizons.