Dating How-To’s for Outdoorsy Folks


Alright, I dunno ‘bout you, but I’m kinda getting sick of all these “How-To” articles that you see plastered all over the internet these days. Mostly, because the majority of these articles seem lifeless, uninspired, and are often completely un-helpful. As such, this outdoor gal is gonna do her best to make this article, well, NOT that!

This article will not, in ANY way, be like the bizarre article run by Backpacker in October of last year entitled How To Avoid Seeming Creepy to Solo Women Hikers. While the writer’s intentions were good, we’re gonna go into this “Dating-How-To” assuming that readers are neither creepy nor lacking in common sense.

Ok, so, first things first…

Meeting Outdoorsy Folk
‘Cause you kinda gotta meet them first BEFORE the dating happens. That being said, if you’re living in an area known for its outdoor-loving culture, this should be no problem. For example, hit up a beer festival; there will, 100 percent, be a wide variety of outdoor lovers in attendance. From crunchy granola chicks, to lumbersexuals, to just good-ol’ down to earth peeps who wanna enjoy good beer and nature (or “Neature” for Lenny Pepperbottom fans).

Don’t drink? Just hit up your local gym! The climbing gym, in particular, is excellent for ogling men sans shirts. Think my comment is tacky and wreaks of objectification? You’re damn right it does! Because nothing screams “Objectify me!” more than a man with rippling pectorals hanging, half-naked from a rock wall—am I right?

Don’t live in an area known for its outdoorsiness? This is more difficult, but completely doable. Your best option here is probably to get on-the-line, date there, and put every photo you have of yourself romping around in nature on your profile. Literally, all the pictures. ALL. THE. PICTURES. The more shirtless photos, the better. (I’m kidding, please, no matter how ripped you are…NO shirtless photos please. Save the quasi-nudity for the gym).

What to Do Once the Dating Happens
Alright, so you’ve met what may very well be your outdoor soul-mate. Perhaps you met them on a trail, at a bar, or online—either way, you’ve established that you enjoy being active and frolicking through the wilderness. Now what?

I’ve known several folks who, instead of going on an exciting and adventurous first (second or third) date, opted to play it safe and boring. They hit up a coffee shop, have lunch, or just grab a beer.

BOOOO! You’ve established that you both love the outdoors so GET THE F*** OUT! Go biking, hiking, climbing, kayaking. Obviously, you should take safety precautions—the dude or dudette you’re interested in could very well be a serial killer (or a terrifying clown that seems to be popping up everywhere.) That said, take some friends along, hang out on a trail where there are always TONS of people, and always, ALWAYS let someone know where (and with whom) you are going. But, after those precautions have been taken, go have a blasty-blast outdoors in a way that is a hell-of-a lot more exciting than the, “So, what are your goals and dreams in life?” conversations had at every Starbucks, everyday.

Success Story to Illustrate My Point
My mountain-beast of a boyfriend and I met on Tinder (I am not ashamed). Our first date was a 5 mile snowshoeing trek in the mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park. He had never been snowshoeing before and wanted to try something new. I wanted to see if he was as adventurous as he claimed. Not only was it insanely romantic, it was also a great way for me to get to know him in a more intimate way than I ever could over a beer or coffee. I got to see if he could keep up, if he was helpful and patient, I even got to see that he is incredibly kind when he pulled a fellow adventurer’s SUV out of a snowy ditch without being asked and without hesitation! Not to mention, HE got to see how adventurous and open to new experiences I am and that I’m not afraid to take the lead on an adventure (I got to see that he’s cool with this…SUPER IMPORTANT TO ME). Best of all, we BOTH were able to stare at each other’s exquisite bums on the trail (Priorities people!).

Keep the Adventure Going
This is probably the heart of it all. If you find someone who loves the outdoors and adventure like you do and there’s a spark, keep it going for as long as you can! Hike to the top of things and swim to the bottom of others. You’ve heard the cliche, “The family that prays together, stays together”…. Well, for those of us whose religion happens to be the outdoors, it goes like this: “The couples who play together, stay together.”

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