There are many rules and conditions in dating, especially when the relationship first begins. What compounds awkwardness is when you’re on the fence with male friends. Then the lines become blurry and deciphering what constitutes a “date” can misconstrue for a hangout and vice versa. One such scenario is hiking.
So, is going hiking with a guy a date, or just hanging out? It can be a date but it depends on how long you’ve been dating already and how you personally feel about going on that kind of date. In many cases, it’s a means to spend time alone unencumbered by the hubbub of daily life. But, if it’s a first date, it might be sort of weird.
In other words, this will be entirely situational, how well you know the guy and how you feel about him. As with everything in the world of human relationships, context, timing and nuance is everything.
Is hiking a good/weird first date?
To decipher whether hiking is a good or weird first date is going to rely on many layers and factors. Having said that, in general, it’s a weird first date. But, if you both are nature lovers and know each other through that avenue, then it’s not entirely weird.
However, from a social and traditional standpoint, a first date hike is in bad taste. It gives off the impression of being “cheap.” Plus, if you’re total strangers, it may not be safe; in which case it’s weird.
Exceptions to the Rule
Then again, it will depend on where he invites you to go hiking. For instance, if it’s a public place where there will be lots of people, then it should be fine.
Likewise, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys nature and you can trust the guy, no one is stopping you from enjoying yourself. Just make sure you’re being smart about the situation and utilizing situational awareness.
What is the message a guy sends when he asks you to hike with him?
When a guy asks you to hike with him, it could have a host of meanings. This will depend on how well you know him, where he sits in your friend zone and what he says his purpose is for asking you.
If it’s a date or other kind of romantic pursuit, he will either state it or you should have picked up on the clues for it. Regardless, it infers he wants to spend time alone with you.
In the event he is your long-time friend and you’re sure there’s no “feelings” between you, it’s simply to spend time together. However, if it’s a new friend and you’re still exploring each other, it could be some sort of rite of passage to see if you make the grade.
Can hiking be romantic?
Hiking can be a very romantic experience. After all, you’re out amid the beauty of nature. You might catch the most gorgeous sunset (or sunrise) or see a memorable exchange between some of earth’s curious creatures. Views from cliffs, bluffs, mesas and buttes can provide a magical moment. Seeing the full moon or the first spring blossoms can inspire love in the most enchanting way.
Worst case scenario if the “Date” side of things doesn’t go well, at least hiking is great exercise. See this article here. “Is Hiking a good way to lose weight?“
What to wear on a hiking date?
Regardless if you’re on a romantic or a friendly hike, you must dress appropriately. This will depend on the weather, season and general terrain of the hike. But, for deep woods adventures, cover yourself.
Wear long pants, tall socks, a solid pair of tennis or hiking shoes and a long sleeved shirt. This is because you have to protect yourself from bugs, ticks, mosquitoes and other such insects.
Hot Weather Hikes
If it’s the middle of the day, wear a removable coat with a breathable long-sleeved shirt underneath. Also, avoid wearing black during summertime hikes and when the temperature is above 70°F. This will keep you cool and prevent from becoming a sweaty mess.
What Not to Wear
Don’t wear perfume unless you want to attract every blood-sucking bug within 5 miles. This includes shampoo, conditioner and other toiletries you use. Never wear shorts or a skirt between early spring and mid fall. Your legs will riddle with insect bites and scrapes from tree branches or other brush.
If you really like the guy and want to make a good impression, then it is a difficult balancing act between looking good and being practical. If he hikes quite regularly then he will be wearing sensible clothing, so you’d be wise to do the same.
If you’ve never been hiking before, but he has, there is no shame in asking him for some advice on footwear etc.
What should I bring on a hiking date?
Consider this small checklist below to see what kinds of things you should bring on a hiking date. Never bring more than a small backpack, however:
- Bug Repellent
- Hat (to protect from the sun)
- Small First Aid Kit
Taking a hike with a guy can equate to a date. But it really will depend on the situation at hand. If at any point you’re confused, just outright ask him and be honest but polite about it.