Have you even been the person who has bonked on a hike and made the entire group turnaround?
I’ve been that guy a couple of times and it is a sobering experience. One the one hand, it can be a real relief both physically and mentally to raise your hand and say I can’t go any father. But making the decision to ask for help or admit that you’re too tired to go on can be embarrassing.
You’ll hear leaders say “we hike as a group, and stay as a group”, but have you really internalized what this means? Are you really willing to drive 2 or 3 hours for a day hike and then turn around before it’s finished if someone is not feeling well and can’t go on?
Having been that guy, I’ve learned that the other people in your group are often far more understanding than you realize. Some may have been feeling the same way but not had the guts to speak up. Others understand that group hikes are not always successful and that going as a group is worth the risk of failure because it’s far safer.
Hiking with good trip leaders can also make a big difference. They’re trained to monitor all of the hikers in a group to see that they’re keeping up, eating, and hydrating properly. If they see that one or more people are bonking, they may call the trip and turn it around without having to single anyone out as the cause. That can help make the this kind of experience far less humiliating.
Have you even been THAT guy or gal? What did you takeaway from the experience?
Please leave a comment if you’d like to share your story.