Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Meeting Your Outdoorsy Other

Today I saw a post on the Get Outdoors blog where they quote a climber who complained about how indoor climbing gyms can be a bit of a meat market. I'm going to assume she has a boyfriend or husband.

Let's face it, if you're single and your school days are behind you, it's tough to meet someone new. And if you're an active person, you probably want to meet someone who shares those interests with you. So why not look in the places those people gather?

Sure, sometimes you just want to climb at the climbing gym. But wouldn't it also be nice to find a new partner to climb with? (And do other fun things with!)

When I lived in Toronto, I joined a hiking club. This was partly because I didn't own a car and needed to find other hikers to carpool me out to the trails. But it was also a great way to meet people who shared my interest in the outdoors.

Eventually I set up my own club, which I called "Take a Hike". Many of the people who came on the hikes were single. There were a couple of instances where women got unwelcome attention, but overall it was a nice, casual way to meet new people and get to know them before deciding if you wanted to see them alone.

There were a couple of times when I dated someone I met through these group hikes. While neither of them worked out in the end, I stand by it as a great way to meet singles who share the same hobby. And when I immigrated to New Zealand, the first thing I did (or close to it) was check out a local tramping club.

Whether you are a hiker, climber, paddler, mountain biker or enjoy any other outdoor activity, getting to meet other singles who like the same stuff is hard, unless you actually meet doing that stuff! It sure beats walking around a nightclub asking everyone, "So, do you do any mountaineering?"

The idea is so logical, it's gone commercial. Companies like Meet Market Adventures arrange all kinds of activities where singles can have a bit of no-pressure fun and maybe meet someone worth seeing again. Me, I'm all for it!

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