This is just an example of some of the many questions and screening I will go through when talking with a new potential hiking partner. The most important things I have found in a successful trail partnership are that everyone has similar hiking styles and expectations of what they want out of the hike.
On my most recent hikes I have adopted a style of maximum efficiency. I am not the world’s fastest hiker, but I am disciplined with a daily routine that starts at 4:30am and typically ends at dusk. I now know the ideal partners for me are ones that are willing to wake up early and grind all day without complaining. It’s easy to see that if you don’t share that style, neither of us would have much fun hiking together.
I have been very fortunate to have many wonderful hiking partners over the years who had a similar hiking style, and we were both willing to compromise to accommodate each other when needed. I have also seen and been part of some crazy combinations of hiking partners on long-trails. We’ve come from completely different walks of life, and you’d never guess we’d get along back home, but on trail it worked. There is sometimes no rhyme or reason why some hiking partnerships work, and others don’t. But, with a little work beforehand you can minimize conflict while on trail, and hopefully get to share one of the greatest trips of your life with someone.
A big shout out to all my past hiking partners! There are too many to name, but you all know who you are. I hope we share some time in the backcountry again soon, making new memories while exploring this wonderful world we live in.