yosemite in the fall

You probably shouldn’t go hiking on a first date

For many outdoors people, hiking on a first date seems like a fantastic idea. It allows you to be casual, there are plenty of things to spark conversations when lulls happen, and it’s in your comfort zone.

As an outdoorsy person, I love hiking. It gets you active, shows how people act and react on the trail, and shows what kind of an adventurer your date is. But I don’t think a first date is the time and place for a hike.

Below we’ll dive into why I frown on hiking on a first date, some exceptions, and other activities to get the adrenaline flowing without hiking.

Hiking on a first date – Yea or Nay

hiking on a first date

I’d pass on a first-date hike

Leaving out societal changes for the moment, I still don’t believe hiking on a first date is the best way to do a first date. It can suck up too much of your day, leave you feeling gross (some people don’t like that),

Time commitment

First, it’s a potential time commitment to go hiking on a first date and one that could go much longer than you would anticipate. Long first dates are always wonderful, but for some, you don’t want to spend 2-4 hours with a guy/gal the first time getting to know them.


This is probably more geared towards women, but not exclusively – so put down the pitchforks! Unless it’s winter, you’ll probably sweat on a hike. Usually, not a big deal. But for others, they might have plans after your first date and not have the time to go shower and change.

When planning a date, see if they have anything happening afterward that you need to be aware of.

Safety while hiking on a first date

Now, we get to the main crux of the argument of why I’m against hiking on a first date. In our world, I think it’s safer to establish trust on the first date in a public area. In addition, dating for females can be stressful, and adding another element of anxiety will mean they are not at their best the entire time.

Save the hiking for a second or third date!

hiking on a first date

Exceptions to the no ‘hiking on a first date’ rule

There are always exceptions to the rule. And this is no different.

If you already know them

If you already know someone and have some established trust that they won’t take you into the forest and return without you, then I think it’s okay to broach the subject of hiking on a first date.

I would still ask about it and see how they feel, but common trust is enormous, and already having it makes this much more doable.

Hiking Double Date

If you can plan a double-date hike, then go for it. It’ll be super casual and lighthearted, plus you will have friends to back you up if things get dull or you’re nervous.

Turning to friends for help is a great way to smooth over the nerves and help make a first date successful.

What are some other fun first date activities

Mini Golf

I personally love mini-golf, and it’s a perfect first-date activity. First, it’s light, and there will be plenty of ways to break the tension. Next, it’s still slow enough to carry on a conversation. And lastly, if there is any conversation lulls, it gives you time to relax and not stress.


This one’s less conversational but still allows for many laughs and the ability to bond over something. Ping Pong is an excellent addition to a date, but not the focal point.

Items you need for camping


Another way to keep things light and have fun while still learning about the other person. So instead of hiking on a first date, go place some games, win prizes, and see who’s the most talented person!

Board Games and drinks

Another of my favorites. Games and drinks (or coffee/water/lemonade) are a great way not to have the pressures of a continuous conversation while still sharing laughs.

hiking on a first date

Good questions about hiking on a first date

If I do go hiking on a first date, any tips?

Keeping the hike in a somewhat public area is the first tip. Having loops or exit points for someone to bail is also smart. If someone is no longer feeling the hike, leaving is an easy option and won’t cause any issues.

Is going hiking with a guy/gal a date?

If they ask you on a date, then it’s a date. Feeding pigeons could be a date if specified as a date (crazy to many, I’m sure). Unless you’re platonic friends, I’d assume someone asking you on a hike is a date. However, clarifying is always a great way not to put your foot in your mouth.

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How do you make a romantic hiking date?

This is a hard one. While it won’t be the classic romance, you could bring a charcuterie board or something like it, a bottle of wine, cups, and a blanket. It could be a nice date without spending too much or doing anything extra fancy!

What should you wear for hiking on a date?

Wear comfortable clothes. There’s no reason, in my mind, to get all dressed up to go on a hike. This is also why hiking on a first date can be tricky because you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable immediately. And not everyone’s okay with that.

Wrapping Up – Hiking on a First Date

Hiking as a first date has its pros and cons. I personally believe it’s an excellent second or third date, but not for a first. However, it’s essential to read the situation and as your partner how they feel.

You don’t have to “hike” on a first date. You could walk through a park near a coffee shop or lunch spot. Better yet, tie them into the same event. If it’s not going well, one will probably use the break to split off. But if it’s going well, keep the date going.

Lastly, if they are comfortable hiking on a first date, tread carefully and respectfully! There’s nothing worse than starting a relationship off on the wrong foot.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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