Hiking is an excellent way to escape the often steady din of everyday life — traffic, television, work, etc — and enjoy a bit of nature’s beauty while getting exercise. As great as this is, however, two is always better than one. Provided you get along, hiking can be vastly more enjoyable when it’s shared with a significant other.
No one knows you better, understands your moods more, or can provide you with support, especially when facing some of the unexpected trials or rigors of hiking the trails. Here are four benefits of hiking with your parnter to keep in mind the next time the two of you hit the trail together.
You Get to Share the Load
Sharing responsibilities is such an important element to backpacking with your significant other. Furthermore, it helps each of you recognize each other’s strengths. It may also mean working a bit more at a particular aspect of backpacking when the other can’t. Perhaps one of you is better at building a fire than the other, for example, while one is quicker at setting up camp. Moments like these can strengthen the relationship, and sharing responsibilities can improve both your moods throughout the trip.
Tackle Problems as a Team
Making decisions and solving problems as a team is a pillar of any relationship, but on the trail, it can mean so much more. Not only does it deepen your ability to communicate and empathize as a couple, but when you problem solve or make a decision together, then you both own that decision together. Right or wrong, that decision belongs to both of you, which means there can be no blame game later on if something should go wrong.
Everything’s Out in the Open
There are no secrets in the wilderness, and there are no convenient distractions to help anyone avoid making conversation; gasp! I know many couples who have told more stories from their respective pasts, shared more concerns, and just communicated more overall during backpacking trips than they typically do on a daily basis at home. This can be an opportunity to learn more about each other and grow closer together.
Share the Triumphs
What better way to strengthen a relationship than by working together to achieve a major goal, like a backpacking trip together? Then, at the end of your trip, you get to say, “We did it,” instead of “I did it.” Whether it’s something as humorous as setting up a tent in the rain, or encouraging each other when climbing a steep, rocky summit, that team mentality carries over into the rest of your life and relationship moments. Who wouldn’t welcome that in their relationship?