The good people at Columbia have just unveiled The Hike Society, and have done so by putting on an inaugural Annual General Hike (that had, we’re told, 500 attendees). What is The Hike Society exactly? Well, in short, it’s a new outdoor community and movement created to “unite the next generation of hikers and outdoors people.”
Sounds alright, doesn’t it?
“We’ve seen new voices and young people, from a wider array of backgrounds, feeling empowered to get outside”
Nobody who’s been paying any attention to the outdoors in recent years can argue that it hasn’t gone through a signifcant cultural revolution. We’ve seen new voices and young people, from a wider array of backgrounds, feeling empowered to get outside and bring fresh enthusiasm to natural spaces. It was a shift accelerated by the pandemic and the various lockdowns that went with it. Off the back of this, if a silver lining is to be found, a significant portion of the nation’s youth developed an affinity for outdoor exploration and adventure.
The Hike Society wants to be a platform that provides free community hikes, as well as useful tips and guidelines, to facilitate more time spent outside. It’s a way, it seems, of welcoming the youthful cohort of adventurers coming into the scene and helping them – if they want help – to make the most of it.
To mark the launch, The Hike Society put on a mass participation hiking event over the weekend just gone (15th and 16th of October 2022). It was an event all about mobilising the influential outdoor communities across the UK and, from what we’ve heard from those in the know, really did exceed expectations on the ‘was this thing a success’ front.
“A platform to unlock the outdoors for the next generation of hiker”
The first ever Annual General Hike (there’s more of these planned) saw roughly 20 hiking communities take to the hills, fells and coastlines of the UK. Tickets for the event were free.
As part of this campaign, The Hike Society has partnered up with walking charity Ramblers to survey participants in order to get a better understanding of the motivations, causes and passions driving this emerging audience. The findings of this research will guide the use of a Columbia donation to The Ramblers. This investment in the charity’s campaign and advocacy work will go towards shared areas of interest including inclusivity and access. All in all, nice stuff. We’re into it.
Eoin Treacy, Marketing Manager at Columbia, says:
“The Hike Society provides Columbia with a platform to unlock the outdoors for the next generation of hiker. Through this movement, we will partner with the trailblazers who are shaping outdoor culture through creativity and community by creating content and resources that inspire others to get outside.”
Carmen Spiers, Corporate Partnerships Manager at the Ramblers says:
“We’re delighted to be working with Columbia to open the way for even more people to enjoy the simple pleasures of walking. Columbia’s support will help our fight to protect the places we love to wander.”
For more information on The Hike Society and Annual General Hike, visit the Columbia website.