When you are hiking with others, do you soemtimes play trail games? Explain them.
One game I like playing is a simple rhyming game. One person gives out the beginning word, and the rest of us think of words that rhyme. Easy!
Another fun one: Lateral thinking puzzles! Hours of fun while walking! (These puzzles are sometimes called "situation puzzles". The situation is given and others ask Yes/No questions to figure out the details of the puzzle.)
I always forget and make it more complicated than it needs to be...it's just walking.
"I'm lost - or am I?" If you have a mixture of experienced and inexperienced hikers, and a stretch of trail that forks, stop about a quarter mile from the fork. Send two experienced hikers out, tell each to go about a tenth of a mile down each fork, and stop the inexperienced ones as they arrive. Then send the inexperienced hikers down the trail, with enough information (and maybe a simple, non-topo trail map) to be able to figure out which fork to take. (Don't say, "take the left fork" though.) Send them, one by one (about 5 minutes or so apart) down the trail. If they take the wrong trail, your "catcher" stops them and sends them back. The "catcher" on the right trail stops everyone, moves them off the trail, and eventually the group gets back together. (You come down the trail last.) The point is, everyone gets to hike alone, and make a critical decision that they then have to live with for awhile. (Most have never had to do this.) They should get a taste of that feeling we all have, when we're not 100% sure we've gone the right way, just on the verge of maybe being lost. Better they get it in a controlled situation, than the first solo trip they take.
Scavenger hunt: prepare lists before you leave, give one to each hiker, and see who can find the most stuff. Suggestions: something green that isn't grass, something hard that isn't a rock, something wet that isn't water, something that used to be part of an animal (decide whether scat counts), etc.
The "catcher" usually waits quietly, about 15 or 30 feet off the trail, not hidden but not in the open, either. There's usually at least one hiker who walks right on past (the catcher lets him go 20 yards, then calls out to him.) That provides an opportunity to discuss with the group that you might want to look around once in a while.
Another game that I also play frequently on the trail -- though it works best with creative people -- is a game I called Backwards, Morally-Ambiguous Fairy Tales. It's really just a variation on a common backwards story-telling game used frequently in acting classes. I've also explained the rules to Backwards, Morally-Ambiguous Fairy Tales here: http://withoutbaggage.com/essays/west-coast-trail-backwards-fairy-tales/
Finally, there is a third game I play sometimes, especially if there are children present, because it's a little easier. It's similar to the common memory game I'm Going to Grandmother's House. The way it works is as follows. One person says "I'm Hiking to the Top of the Matterhorn and I'm bringing a... guitar." Then the second person needs to add to the list, and what they add must connect to the previous word in a common way. For example, the second person might say, "...I'm bringing a guitar, pick." The the third person might say, "...I'm bring an guitar, pick, pocket." The the fourth might say, "...I'm bring a guitar, pick, pocket, calculator."
Whoever forgets something first is eliminated until only one person is left standing. For people with good memories, this can take a very long time, but the fun is really in the wacky stream-of-consciousness of it all.
Shoot, we just try to hide the heaviest rocks we can find in each others packs and see how long it takes them to find out... and for the truly clever its about finding a heavy item that doesn't belong on the trip, and that can't be left on the trail, so its a game of passing it along to others without their knowledge. Last year it was a 12" crescent wrench! Needless to say at every trip start we are all very observant!
the other one is that we try to out do each other with descriptive phrases..... only the catch is that it has to be in the lingo of Louis Lamour! "his steely blue eyes and lantern jaw.... and rode his dun colored sway backed roman nosed etc... until we are laughing to hard to breathe and have to stop, only to start again!
Edited by idahosteve (01/20/1003:19 PM)
I dare you to move, like today never happened... -Switchfoot-