Hiking activities 101

Whilst acknowledging that a weekend of putting one foot in front of the other for hours on end is more excitement than most med students get in a lifetime, here are some extra activities to make the time pass.

Card games

Cards, the vice of both hikers and gambling addicts. Perfect for med students as our non-competitive nature means friendships are unlikely to be lost. Some games include- 500, hearts, snap, jim rummy, poohead, sevens, presidents and assholes and many more.

If you need to brush up see https://www.pagat.com/alpha/


Whilst Talley & O’Conner is undoubtedly one of the greatest literature pieces of the modern day it is probably not that suited to hiking. Instead if you do like a weekend read maybe try for something a little lighter in both content and weight. Also a lightweight Roald Dahl is probably better then a thousand page Tolstoy.

See https://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/short-reads for a list of short novels.

Group singing

Done with great caution and an awareness of your fellow walkers always remember you are not in primary school (Most people don’t care how many bottles of beer there are on the wall). At the campsite this is permitted sometimes…

Bit of A Cappella inspo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEwzFF4HeB8


A great game to play at camp. Great for discovering which of your friends you can trust and those that are sociopaths.

See https://www.playwerewolf.co/rules for the rules.

Story Telling

A great way to show your friends how experienced you are. An unspoken rule is to talk about all the times you have done something and then mysteriously disappear when its time to show off your skills. Examples include- making dinner, putting up your tent, carrying more weight, packing up the tent, playing the ukulele.

For tips on telling a good story see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HuXKaCt89g

I Spy

This is a risky one and should only be embarked upon in times of great boredom or a last-ditch effort to forget blister pain. It must not be overdone and stringent rules need to be put in place so the game is not abused. A few simple rules such as not allowing spying of ‘emotions’ help the game run smoothly and prevent violent attacks from fellow hikers.

For some other walking games see https://www.hillwalktours.com/walking-hiking-blog/trail-games-walking-games/

Taking in the wilderness

Can be done at any time. A little trick here is to open your eyes and look at things. Walking is not all about reaching your destination, make sure at some point you slow down and take in the view. For some tips https://www.wikihow.com/Appreciate-the-World-and-Nature-Around-You

Politically and philosophically charged chats

Hiking is the perfect time to show your pals that you read widely. Even if you’ve only had the chance to skim buzzfeed or browse a I F##king love science article this is the chance to show it off. If you have had been ensconced in the med bubble this may be a great opportunity to learn about life outside.

If you’re stuck maybe subscribe to the New Yorker https://www.newyorker.com/subscribe

Finally some activities not to do

Playing music from a speaker whilst walking

Should NEVER be done. If it is done the speaker is to be submerged until peace and sanctity are restored.

If tempted please read https://www.mountaineers.org/blog/the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music-and-im-not-happy-about-it

Of course these are just a few activities and definitely bring your own ideas. Hiking is a special opportunity to rewind, reflect and find a bit of solace in the outdoors and often this is all the entertainment you need.


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