Group celebrations and new connections made after 3 days on the trails of Wilsons Promontory
As a young solo woman, the hikes I took were often fraught with fear and very little time to relax into nature as I was reactive to each footstep that drew closer. I’d hold my breath, my ears pricked to the crunching of leaf litter underfoot growing increasingly faster and louder behind me.
My hands desperately searching the jacket pockets for my keys, a clammy fist with steadfast grip held them tightly, keys protruding between each of my fingers in anticipation. The unassuming runner, headphones in would nod and smile and be out of sight before I could bring my heart rate down, un be known to them the angst that their footsteps brought.
I had no mates that were willing or even a little bit excited about sweating it out hiking a summit or 'going bush' for a few days. I was alone in my desire to spend most of my spare time with only the essentials and trust in the elements.
Fast forward 10 years and I met Shan who luckily shares my love of hiking and camping. We have been fortunate to create time for family hikes and 2 out of 3 daughters love joining us. Traveling the remote trails and hike in camps with Shan provides reassurance and security to the young woman in me that feared the wilderness alone.
Other than the security hiking with others provides, there are a number of reasons why group hiking is beneficial;
1. SOCIAL CONNECTION - COMMUNITY
Share your passion of the great outdoors with like-minded people. Often we don’t do the things we love because our partner/ friends don’t enjoy the same things. When you join a group hike you are exposed to people from all walks of life that you may not have encountered otherwise. Find commonalities; enjoy meeting and making new friends. Humans are social creatures and it’s ingrained in our DNA that we feel great when we are part of a community.
Shan guides the group along granite boulders from Sealers Cove to Refuge Cove.
2. EXPERIENCE OF ADVENTURE
Have you wanted to discover new places and not sure where to start or lack the confidence to navigate the trails yourself? Is it an overnight hiking experience that you are after? Adventures create the best memories and give us something to look forward to, reflect on and support a healthy lifestyle. Holistic Hikes offer many different adventures from newbies to the trails to multi-day hike in adventures. Supported and with the reassurance of experienced guides, explore new places in the safety of group hiking.
3. EDUCATION & KNOWLEDGE OF GUIDES
Learn the benefits of hiking in a group setting – like a casual classroom, learn how it supports physical and mental health. Our guided weekend group hikes also offer the gear so no hefty investments are required to have the adventure of a lifetime. If you are keen to purchase your own gear, our guides offer advice based on our collective years of experience so you don’t have to go through the painful process of working out what’s what. We impart our knowledge of not only the trails, nature facts but the best gear to buy and advise what best suits your skill/ abilities and help to achieve your goals – just ask us! We love sharing our knowledge and passion to make hiking part of your lifestyle too.
Shannon explains the use of the Jetboil cooking system and dehydrated meals for multi-night hikers.
4. SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Hiking in numbers is always recommended. There are many considerations when taking to the trails, in particular, is injuries, weather, wildlife, and security. Hiking with a group provides safety in the event that an injury occurs. Our guides are first aid trained, and always carry a first aid kit with Ventolin, epi-pen, snake bite kits, and E-EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacons).
Guides are familiar with trails, what to do when encountering wildlife, factor all weather conditions and safety in numbers to ensure that you feel supported and secure when in the wilderness.
By choosing to challenge yourself in a supportive environment you can build your confidence, abilities and self-efficacy – your belief in yourself. Sharing our stories within a community of hikers allows us to understand others and ourselves better; who we are and how we relate to others. This connection not only strengthens interactions with our new hiking friends but also with our loved ones. When we have an experience that makes us shine from within, it echoes through all relationships in our lives and supports deeper connection with others that supports our wellbeing.
6. HEALTH BENEFITS & NATURE CONNECTION
We all know how great we feel when we have spent time outdoors. Hiking with Holistic Hikes is like a mini nature lesson that helps to educate you as to the connection between nature and our biological, physical, and psychological systems. When we deepen our connection with nature, understand the seasons and cycles, we can better understand ourselves. Humans are intrinsically linked to nature and we feel better when we are connected to it.
7. MOTIVATION & INSPRIRATION
The comradery experienced on the trails is palpable, particularly multi-night hikes. The climb to the summit can be met with a roar of celebration of people cheering others on. We are motivated to push a little harder, walk a little further, push through a little stronger when the group is or when we have an audience and likewise we provide that motivation for others. TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More
The group tracks the granite trails providing motivation to each other as we climb and navigate challenging terrain
8. PLANNED EXPERIENCES
Planning a hike can sometimes feel like a chore. Where to go? Do you know the trailhead or heard that there has been closure to a section of the trail? Does the weather affect your ability to proceed? If it’s a beach walk, are tides a consideration? Group hikes organized by a guide offer the ease of just showing up. With all the arrangements taken care of and in Holistic Hikes case, we even pack the snacks. We know about the tides, know all the river crossings and park closures that can affect the walks. It’s a matter of booking in, a few details provided about your health/fitness to ensure your safety then SMS & Email with all the details you need to know.
Take a hike and leave the rest to us!
Whilst it’s rare that I hike alone anymore, the past 20 years have taught me that I am much more suited to group hike experiences. I love the community connection that our group hikes have. To provide a space for people to connect, learn and experience the benefits of group hiking.
If you're keen to learn more, get in touch with us today!