You don’t need to live near a National Park to have an excellent hiking date. We love taking to the trails as it can work two ways: you can take a gentle stroll and get to know each other as you chat and take in some incredible views, or if you’re seasoned hikers, you can set off a spark over an activity you both love. Here are tips from the Bumble dating experts on making a hiking date work for you, no matter your experience level.
Planning a hiking date
What type of hike?
Our number one tip is to check in with your date about their hiking habits. Do they hike regularly, or are they new to the whole thing?
This may be the moment to get the gear on and launch into a personal best, or you might agree on something closer to a stroll. As always, communication is vital. Chat with your date and devise a plan for a hiking date you’d both enjoy.
Picking a location
A few ideas: Peaks aren’t essential. You could take a gentle fall foliage hike, an urban hike, a river trail, or check out a nature reserve. We love linking a hiking date with a scavenger hunt—some apps will recommend routes with pause-worthy sights and places of interest along the way.
Be guided by your local area, and check various hiking, trail and park websites for the best hikes near you. And remember—what goes up must come down. When you’re choosing your trail, make sure you take into account the total hike time and not just the way up. Consider the weather, too, as what you can conquer on a breezy autumn day will be very different from a wintery walk on hard ground.
What to wear hiking
Practical hiking outfits can also be cute hiking outfits. After all, there’s nothing cuter than being prepared! We firmly believe that you can hike in any season and in almost any weather with the right clothes. Here are our tips on dressing for the date.
Spring & fall hiking date outfits
Let’s talk about the non-negotiables: appropriate footwear is a must. Dig out your hiking boots, if you have them, or any running shoes with decent traction. We don’t want any slipping or injuries. Hiking outfits should also cover as much skin as possible, and remember to avoid long grass. Ticks may not be as active in the colder months, but they’re still around.
Keep those points in mind, but otherwise, you can have fun with it. Comfort rules in our opinion, but it’s easy to dress up with a nice jacket, sunglasses, and a cap. Spring and fall sunshine is still full of UV, so make sure you’re wearing sunscreen!
Winter hike outfits
Our earlier advice still stands for winter hike outfit ideas: make sure you’ve got sturdy shoes and sunscreen, as the sun still shines on those clear, cold winter days.
Layers are essential for winter hikes, trapping air to keep you warm and absorbing sweat to stop a chill. You’ll want a minimum of three—start with a skin-tight base layer, then something fleecy or thermal, all topped with a weatherproof outer shell. Don’t forget gloves and a hat!
What to bring on your hiking date
Take more snacks than you think you’ll need, no matter how long you plan to hike. Sugar crashes when you’re halfway along a trail are gross and could ruin your hiking date.
If you’re a serious team looking to make good time, choose snacks you can eat on the go like granola bars, protein bars—anything in bar form, really. Of course, we have to mention the hiking OG: trail mix. Sassy alternative names include gorp, scroggin, or schmogle, apparently. Buy it in or make your own, but remember to add slow-release carbs and healthy fats (dried fruit, granola, and nuts in the trademark stuff) to give you a boost.
If you’re more about the journey than the finish time, why not make it into a picnic? Scout out a good stopping point, ideally with a great view, and bring an extra jacket (you’ll cool down once you stop moving). Regular hiker and Bumble dater Georgia, 31, says, “Pack lightweight, space-saving picnic foods like sandwiches and naturally-portable whole fruit.” Agreed, Georgia, this is probably not the time for a hefty containers of your favorite desk salad.
Let’s be real: if you’re taking a popular, busy hiking path in a well-used area, you can forget the map and compass. If you’re looking for the whole experience, please get the compass out. But will you need it? Almost certainly not.
The must-haves are all about protecting you from the weather and nature in general. Remember to bring gloves, a cap with a brim, and stock up on bug sprays. You can also try natural oils like citronella, limonene, or garlic to keep critters away. Well, maybe not garlic. It is a date, after all.
Bring as much water as you can. If you’re really getting into the hiking thing, get yourself a beautifully-named ‘hydration bladder’, which stores water in a pliable, backpack-friendly bag with a drinking tube popping out. Otherwise, a large water bottle (one-liter minimum, please) will work.
Tips for a great (safe) hike
As always with hiking, make sure you let someone know where you’re going, the trail you plan to follow, and what time you expect to be back. It’s just good practice.
Now that you’ve got all the info to make it a great hike, it's time to focus on the caption for the social media post. “A hiking-good time”? “Life’s a climb, but what a view”? “Young, wild and free”? Bring your date into the brainstorm, and you’ll soon know if they’re a keeper.
Looking for someone to throw on their hiking boots and take in the view with you? Sign up to Bumble now to find them!