Starting a meetup group for backpackers?
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Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
Starting a meetup group for backpackers? on 07/23/2011 06:53:01 MDT Print View

I live in the middle of nowhere and while I do plug into some out of area groups and forums, I'm considering starting a local meetup group. Is this insane? Has anyone else tried this? Anything I should be aware of?
Thanks

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
other related groups on 07/23/2011 07:23:17 MDT Print View

Are there other groups into the area that you could tap into to find people to hike with? Might be easier than trying to start a group from scratch.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Starting a meetup group for backpackers? on 07/23/2011 07:25:34 MDT Print View

I think that is a great idea. I was a member of a meetup backpaing group for a while before it fizzled out, then I set up a group on facebook (because I didn't want to pay the $150/year meetup fee) with good results. The "new" facebook group interface isn't as easy as the old one (you can't see the trips unless you are invited) but it works OK. The only downside is that there are some people that will not use facebook.


http://www.facebook.com/groups/228683055956?ap=1

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: Starting a meetup group for backpackers? on 07/23/2011 07:46:52 MDT Print View

Have you tried looking at meetup.com or similar sites to see if you're not alone in your search of hiking partners?

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Meetup on 07/23/2011 08:18:38 MDT Print View

I had a pretty cool meetup group for a couple years but eventually I got sick of people who get in over their head with my longer distance weekend trips (even misrepresenting themselves and their hiking abilities). Moral of the Story: make sure the people you go out with, particularly strangers, have the right mindset and trail abilities that you do or your weekend trips might suffer. Now I use a little Google groups concept for a few guys who backpack like I do.

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
re: meetup on 07/23/2011 08:32:41 MDT Print View

Thanks all,
Evan, that's exactly what I'm afraid of. Do you mind if I pm you about the google group concept you speak of?

Edited by leighb on 07/23/2011 08:34:40 MDT.

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: re: meetup on 07/23/2011 08:56:08 MDT Print View

Leigh - if I may, can you have your discussion openly so we all can learn from this?

I recently found that meetup.com site locally and there are a few groups for hiking. One group is definitely more hard core (they go light, fast, and far) than another other group. What is interesting--and appropriate for this conversation--is that in order to join that more serious group, one first must join the other group and do those outings until they see that you 'are' capable of those more strenuous hikes. They admit that it sounds elitist, but also explain that folks have gone over their head and misrepresented themselves, as suggested above; it's the safe and smart thing to do, IMO.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Re: Meetup on 07/23/2011 10:09:23 MDT Print View

Aaron's right: there's definitely a right way to do meetup, elitist and labor intensive though it may be. I personally just got sick of playing cop and quality control guru and eventually felt that meetup's strength as a social activity and network tool is its ability to allow people to self-select into the right group and outing. I would advertise a trip for 20-25 mile days with 5,000 or more feet of elevation gain for the weekend at a 2.5-3 mph pace and have people swear up and down that they have it them. And then they don't. And they mess the group up. And get themselves lost. Etc.

Meetup can be very successful, particularly if you don't know many backpackers in an area. I now have the benefit (thanks to meetup over the past two years) of meeting the right type of folks. So I started a private Google group: http://groups.google.com/group/evans-ul-backpackers

I haven't been at it too long, but I think it'll work. I like the idea of going out with really like-minded (and like-legged) folks. Feel free to PM me if you're in the mid-Atlantic area and would like to join. But please self-select appropriately. :-)

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
Thanks again guys, on 07/23/2011 11:19:56 MDT Print View

Very good information. I wasn't asking about joining the google group, just the logistics of setting it up. Which is why I suggested off post contact. I can see my post was inadvertently misleading. I assume it's like a yahoo group which I've set up for groups before.
I had thought about guidelines as well, and what you both mentioned makes sense. I think I may research it some more before deciding and talk with some others in the larger areas that have started them to get some input as well.

As always, I appreciate feedback.

Edited by leighb on 07/23/2011 11:24:02 MDT.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
re: meetup on 07/23/2011 11:23:57 MDT Print View

Leigh, don't worry. You weren't misinterpreted at all. I just figured I should off up an open invite to any BPLers. If you have a gmail account, simply go to the Groups link and start one up! But really, you might find meetup better for you to find new adventurers.