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Not everyone enjoys hiking, but for those who do it can be a great — and even transcendental — adventure. While it’s typically seen as lonely pursuit, it’s also a great social experience that should be shared. We’ve already written about Backpackr, an app that enables on-the-fly meetups between solo tourists. Now hikewith.me lets hikers find others that share their interests and want to embark on a walking adventure with them.
After creating a profile and answering some questions about their interests, users can instantly see who else is available nearby for a hike or has plans for a future walk. While hikewith.me is essentially a digital social network, it offers limited opportunities to actually communicate via the app. Instead, it uses an algorithm much like OKCupid’s match percentages to give users an idea of how well they pair with others. Putting their faith in this system, those who want to hike together can use the in-app calendar to arrange a time and location. This means that — aside from the trip organization — the conversation is left to the face-to-face meeting. The app offers a couple of prompts such as ‘You both went to the same high school’, ‘You both like Drake’, or ‘You both recently went to Yellowstone Park’ as pointers to potential topics of conversation.
hikewith.me emphasizes making new friends through spending time, rather than the instantaneous and sometimes fleeting connections made online. Since walking is often a good stimulus for conversation, it might just work. Are there other ways to help strangers with similar interests connect in an offline way?