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How To Trek With A Slower Trekking Partner

Published on 15 July, 2022

So you love the outdoors and cannot wait to climb that next mountain but your trekking partner is not ready for the same level of challenge as you?

It can be quite tricky to make the experience enjoyable for both of you, especially when you are going on a trip with people new to trekking, or of a different fitness level.

We have put together a few suggestions

Don’t Lose Your Patience
It is easy to get annoyed waiting for your friend whilst all you want is to keep going. As you dream of the hot drink in front of the fire in the hut, stop, ask yourself if your partner is even trying to keep up the fact is he/she probably is and therefore wishing they were faster too.

Your partner being new to trekking and/or not having the physical ability to keep up with your heck, he/she might even only be having a bad day - makes it tough to keep up. So don’t be hard on them as the odds will not make any difference to the time you complete your trek and will only detract from the experience for both of you.

Try to encourage your partner and do not show them that you are bored or feeling a bit annoyed. Feeling like a liability will only make them feel worse or might even slow them down more. Therefore, try to

Motivate Your Partner
Encourage and motivate your partner with the picture of a hot chocolate and warm fire you have in your mind already. They might not see further than any steep hill they are looking at in right now. Talking to them might also take the focus away from the weight of their backpack, which makes it easier to continue walking.
As well as verbally cheering them on you could try to.

Take Weight Off Them
Not being as fit or athletic, their pack might be an additional slowing down factor. So, if you feel up to the challenge, offer to take the weight off them. Having to carry a few kilos less might just be what they need. Also, chances are your sacrifice will make their backpack appear even lighter and give them that boost they need to finish the trek. It will make your trek a more challenging experience as well.

Let Them Fall Behind But Not Too Much
Doing a multi-day trek you might not want to walk to the pace of your partner all the time and instead challenge yourself on certain parts of the trek. We strongly encourage you to do so! However, enlighten your trekking partner about your plans and do not start to simply sprint ahead.

After having had a good breakfast, just simply let him/her know you want to challenge yourself. Stress that they do not have to feel pressured to keep up and set up meeting points at trek junctions where you’ll wait for each other. This way each of you can enjoy the trek at your own pace whilst not losing contact and knowing someone is expecting you at certain points.

If you are walking through poorly marked terrain make the distance between meet-up points shorter to ensure sure you keep an eye on each other.

Let them have their break as well

Remember Why You Wanted To Share This Experience
When trekking at your own pace, make sure to not only let your partner catch up – but also have a short break. After waiting for your partner for a while all you want to do when they meet you up might be continuing your walk. Remember that your partner has just arrived though and they did not have that sip of water that you just took and eaten the few nuts that will help them go. Give them 5-6 minutes to sort themselves out and then continue your trek.

You Went On Trek With Them For A Reason
And last but not least remember you went trekking together. Reasons for trekking together might vary from simply being your friend to someone wanting to try trekking after hearing all your awesome stories and looking at the pictures. To them perhaps being your new or a long term partner, they want to understand what it is that drags you out into this wilderness. Maybe they also just want to get fit into and thought trekking would be the perfect start.

Whatever the reason may be – remember that you went together and hence you should try to support your buddy and not outrace them.

In Case Your Partner Is Not Willing Or Is Physically Incapable Of Trekking At All
In case you partner is not willing, or is not physically capable of trekking at all for a moment, here are some trip options which let you get your quota of trekking and them their relaxation time.

Let Your Partner Have Some Rest Whilst You Are Out Trekking
Depending on their walking ability, your partner can either trek parts of the trek and catch the water at certain locations.

We hope that these tips will make your trekking enjoyable for both of you.