One annoying thing about hiking with younger hikers is trying to adjust to their hiking pace.
It took me awhile to figure out how to deal with this.
But now I’ve got it down to a comfortable pace.
And no matter who I am hiking with, I stick to it.
Here’s how you too, can find your own most comfortable gait.
Whether you can stick to it when hiking with others is up to you.
I find that the more I hike at my comfortable pace, the less likely I am to “try to keep up” to other faster hikers, even my friends.
So here are some suggestions that might work for you.
1. Go out for a walk by yourself. It is difficult to try doing this while you hike with others
Even if hiking with companionable friends, I find it difficult to “be myself” to find my comfortable pace.
So, if possible, you will feel much more relaxed and get a more accurate measure of the pace that fits you best if you can take a hike by yourself.
Check your odometer while you drive for one mile.
Mark this point as well.
And next, walk that distance measuring the time it takes.
2. Pick a section of trail or road you are sure you know its measurement. There is a trail I have often hiked, on which there are mileage distances on the trail signs. I picked a section that was flat and the trail rises very slightly for a mile and a half.
Without paying much attention sort of idly walk a mile. Measure the time it takes you to walk the mile with your watch or phone. In my case it was a mile and a half.
2. Make a measured mile. If need be, you can take your measurements on a road.
Just drive along a road marking the spots with your odometer where your miles will begin. Then drive to the end of a mile and mark it.
Then of course walk this mile at a relaxed pace measuring the time it takes you to get from one marker to the next.
3. Try repeating this hike along the same route a few more times, measuring it your timing each time you hike it.
Note any differences in those times.
Note especially how you feel about your hiking pace each time. It may take a few times to find the most comfortable.
I used a trail I hiked rather often, which had mile distances already on its signs.
It was thus possible for me to find my most comfortable pace quite easily.
4. Measure your hiking times for a mile on different types of trails, with inclines, rocky spots and such to get an idea of the difference they make. And of course when you hike an unknown trail you will be able to take its temperature with your watch.
It’s a useful measure which you will find makes your hiking more enjoyable no matter who you are hiking with.