How do You Ensure a New Adventure Buddy is Prepared for Your Adventure?
I just settled into a new area in a foreign country. The amount of opportunity to go out and get rad in the mountains here is endless. I am excited start exploring more locally.
I recently took a short bike trip with someone and they really did not have a good time. Full blown type 3 fun for them, while I was much more on the type 1 through the whole experience. Leading up to the trip I assumed based on some previous discussions we would be all good, no drama. When it came down to it I think I ruined their weekend, and most of the following week.
I know I have been in that position before myself, I was not experienced enough to understand the entire gravity of what I was undertaking, and then I would be the person way outside of their comfort zone. Nothing feels worse than when you realised you're the only person really struggling on a trip. I think we have all been there in some compactly.
The discussion I would like to entertain is, how do determine if a new adventure buddy is up for the task? A lot of the outdoor experiences are quite relative, so what I consider "easy" is actually someone else's worst day out.
Being in a new area and doing things with new people all the time has me wondering if there is a good way to figure this out before I put the people I’m with in danger due to my lack of experience or theirs? I also don't want to seem like I am gatekeeping because that can be equally as discouraging to a less experienced person as just getting your ass handed to you on a day out.
My go to is meetup a couple of days or the morning of before a trip and unpack everything, go through the gear list with one another, then chit chat about navigation and conditions. But as you can see, not always doing the trick of getting everyone on the same page. So I would love to hear and discuss other people process for this.
@movewithmurph There is some good starting off points here! - https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/blogs/ultralight/teaching-the-trail
Good on you for being so considerate, though, and genuinely having a new friends best interest in mind!
I would maybe allow whoever you are wanting to adventure with choose the first outing you do together. I feel like you’ll get a good grasp on what their level of experience is this way.1
@MARK SIREK Thanks for that article good advice in that. Have never really considered going over medical conditions before, solid tip.0
Had some good, better, and best buds. Been teacher and learner. Been reluctant and taken risks. Enjoyed the other person; felt stuck with other person. Had a great time; had a terrible time. Someone helped me; someone endangered me.
BE PICKY, BE CAREFUL!! SELECT others CAREFULLY! Also been solo. Solo easier, but if injured or sick, terrible. Really. Be realistic. Say "no" if you are not 100% especially if you know this person or family member. It's OK. honest!!!
Verify age, gender, life time hiking experience; experience in general; experience here; experience where you are going, expectations, altitude, hills, health, glasses (distance, reading) contacts, or lenses; meds, emergency training, transportation, clothing options, who to contact if they are sick or worse; IDs, passport, cell phone, can he/she navigate maps, topo maps, compass; CORSAIR cards, health insurance; wills, Power of Attorneys, Medical power of Attorney (what if they get sick or die in another state?) Park registrations and or documentations. Does this person understand LNT? How will they carry water; How much weight can they carry. Mileage? Are their vaccinations up to date? Do they drink or do drugs? Are they skinny, fit, or overweight? is this person gay or straight? Black, Hispanic, Indian, Asian or Caucasian; Are they male or female; old or young; Religious or not. It's nice to be open minded and carefree, but you can also be dead.
Are you an introvert or extrovert. Is this other person an introvert or extrovert? Do they snore; do you? Legal stuff can be a real hassle--just getting to see a doc or take another to hospital, or God forbid, die. What is The Plan; What are the limitations? Do they have decent equipment.
It gets complicated, prejudiced, sexist, and just generally gnarly. Responsibility is how you must be: hiking, climbing, cycling or even driving or flying risky: anything happens fast.
All legal paperwork, notarized and up to date; where it is; go to a lawyer even if you are young and fit; get your stuff (estate) together, your family will appreciate it; ditto other person!! YOU too! Help save your own hide; what they may use for money; what will you use for money and what denominations, country of money; mutual budget. Credit cards and health care cards; dental work; are they night owls or morning glories, what they choose to eat, drink. Is this person analog or digital? While some people seem competent and perfectly healthy not all are; your life and sense of well-being can be at-risk.
E-mail, name of family, address, phone #s, EVERYTHING! Share everything with other(s). Cell phones do not always work. What is your mutual Plan B?
Seems judgmental and harsh, but you HAVE to be proactive. You have to be responsible. There is probably more, but you get the drift......
This person(s) can save, hurt, or kill you. Really. Meet with potential person first in a non-hiking place, i.e. restaurant. You will intuit very quickly if you want to place your life in his/her hands; if you are willing to place his or her life in yours.1