Is Hiking a Good First Date?


While there are many ways to impress a new prospective partner, you may find yourself wondering if going for a hike is a good first date. After all, it’s a good way to sneak in some exercise while connecting in the beautiful outdoors.

Hiking can make for a good first date as the mixture of being outdoors, exercise, and peaceful setting can make you more relaxed and open to connecting with the other person. However, safety precautions should still be taken depending on how well you know the other person.

With that in mind, let’s dig in a bit further to see why hiking can both be a good and bad choice for a first date.

Why is Hiking a Good First Date? 

Hiking can be a great first date because of the environment’s ability to facilitate conversation. In this way, hiking gives the relationship a sort of testing ground for later on.

A first date is all about two things: getting to know you, and seeing whether or not you’re compatible. If you go on an hour-long date and find that no more than five sentences were exchanged, there’s probably a lack of similar interests and compatibility. 

Hiking tests your compatibility by giving two people the choice between conversation and awkward silence. In this way, hiking is sort of like throwing a relationship in the deep end without floaties. 

Don’t be too afraid of this, though! If it’s meant to be, you’ll probably have a great time talking about shared interests or getting to know one another. 

Movie dates, amusement parks, or bars can be awkward because they often involve a lot of noise or places where you can’t talk very easily. In the beginning stages of a relationship, this is exactly what you’re trying to test.

When you watch a movie on a date, all the other person adds to the experience is their presence, or a bit of intimacy, which you most likely won’t want to try for on a first date. 

Hiking gives you a place to take it slow, take in the sights, and drive the conversation forward, which establishes friendship and confidence with the other person.

Also, hiking is a great exercise. One hour of hiking can burn up to 400 calories, and prove to be a great prelude to a dinner date or trip to an ice cream parlor. 

Exercise also helps to alleviate stress and gets the blood flowing. This can take the edge off during the date and help you stay on your toes to keep the other person talking. 

Overall, hiking provides an excellent place to get to know someone and establish the foundation needed for a decent relationship. It is also a stress-relieving activity, which can take off the edge of an awkward first encounter.

Why is Hiking a Bad First Date?

Hiking can be a bad first date for several reasons, and deciding whether or not to do it is all about figuring out what type of person you’re dealing with. 

One thing you might forget to think about when asking someone out is whether or not that person is comfortable being alone with you. A first date can be stressful because you don’t know what kind of a person someone else is yet, and they don’t have your trust. 

Going far out into the woods with someone you haven’t even talked to in person as of yet can be a big ask, and can make someone feel very uneasy. 

When asking yourself if you should propose a hike, you should consider how well you know the person in question. If you’ve known them for years and have hung out on multiple occasions, hiking is a sensible way of getting quality time with a person you’re already familiar with.

If you’ve just met them you might want to hold off. You may not think of yourself as an untrustworthy person, but the person standing next to you knows absolutely nothing about you.

If you’re bent on the peace of the outdoor date, however, there are a few solutions. There are many nature parks nestled right in the hearts of cities, with easy access to restaurants, bars, and stores. 

Also, some hiking locations are more popular and more exposed than others and can provide a much more comfortable atmosphere for two people who don’t know each other yet. 

One good way to solve this problem is by asking beforehand. Sometimes people leave it up to when they get into the car together to decide where they should go.

This can add a lot of pressure. If you organize a date over text though, you give the other person a chance to suggest an alternative if they’re not comfortable. 

A good thing to keep in mind when you’re dating someone is how they’re feeling, and that applies right from the first date. If you’re not considering whether or not someone is going to be comfortable going where you want to go, you might as well just throw in the towel before the date even starts.

Is Hiking Really a Date?

If you’ve got to ask yourself whether or not it’s a date, it’s probably a date. But don’t get too cocky.

Since we’re not in middle school anymore, we very seldom use the word ‘date’ when asking someone out. Because of this, our relationships can seem very uncertain, and whether or not someone thinks of us in ‘that way’ can be a hard question to answer. 

A good litmus test is to ask yourself how the meetup was arranged. There are a few cases where it’s more than obvious that it’s a date and a few that might be a little fuzzier. 

If the meetup was arranged on Tinder, you’ve got yourself a date. People don’t often go on dating apps just to meet friends, and when they do, they don’t often want to meet up alone. Meeting someone one-on-one after talking on a dating app is a dead giveaway. 

As well, date and time matter. If the hike were to occur on, say, any old Tuesday, you might not be able to determine its date-status. This gets even more unclear if the person you like happens to be an old friend. Maybe they just want to spend some time with a pal.

Place the hike on Valentine’s Day, however, and things start to look a whole lot different!

The number of people in attendance can also tell you a lot about whether or not someone is into you. If you get invited out on a hike and roll up to find the person’s entire friend-circle waiting there with them, they might have just thought you’d be a good addition. 

The implications change a lot when you’re going out with someone all alone.

Going out alone with someone says that, at the very least, they want to spend time getting to know you and only you. This can be a good indicator of whether or not someone likes you. 

If you’re the one asking though, you don’t have to jump through all these mental hoops. Just come right out with it and use the word ‘date.’ It might seem uncouth or uncool, but if you use it casually it could display confidence and a knowledge of what it is you want. 

You might even go so far as asking ‘You mean like a date?’ Although, I probably wouldn’t have the chutzpah to do this. If the person you’re interested in doesn’t have a date in mind, this might make it awkward. Especially if they’re an old friend. 

So, overall, a lot of contextual knowledge is required to tell whether or not any hangout is a date, and hiking is no different. How well you know the person, the number of people going on the hike, and where you met can all be helpful when asking yourself that sort of uncomfortable question. 

So, To Hike Or Not To Hike?

When asking yourself where you should take someone on a first date, you should answer a few basic questions: One, how well do you know them?

Two, what would they be comfortable with? And three, how does your first date location accomplish the goal of a first date? 

Hiking has all sorts of advantages, but by taking these questions into account, you can calculate whether or not hiking will be a good first date.

And remember, every first date is a good one when you just be yourself!

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Hi, I'm Zach Reed and I'm a Colorado-based outdoor lover! For more information about me, take a look at my dedicated about me page.

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