We have all been in the situation of being on a hike with someone who is more experienced than us, more fit than us, didn’t drink as much as us the night before, or just seems hell bent on flying through the terrain. You can’t perform as impressively, yet you love their company and want to encourage their companionship and positive opinion of your hiking ability. Walking with someone like that without ripping your chest open with exertion AND without seeming like an undesirable walking wuss requires some premeditation and planning. Here are some of the ways I suggest you can use to get the rest you need on a strenuous hike with a superwalker without constantly whining and begging.
1) Shoelaces always need to be retied. I retie mine one at a time, buying me at least two stops.
2) The easiest but also very obvious excuse is the possessing need to photograph something beautiful. Use sparingly as it gets harder to convince your companion that things like cows and yet another patch of ponderosas are beautiful.
3) Water. Water is the building block of life. You can’t be denied a need for a drink of water.
4) The need to write down an important task you can’t forget to do when the walk is over. “It will bother you all day” if you don’t.
5) Past knee injury. No one wants to imagine the possibility that they may have to limp you down the mountain. A slight gesture of knee discomfort is worth a few rests.
6) Questions about flora or the names of surrounding features. Most walkers love to share their wisdom.
7) Need to pee. If you are female, you can get some time here.
8 ) Need to shed/add layers of clothing.
9) Paralyzation by an overwhelmingly hearty laugh at something they said. It does, however, have to be at least a little bit genuinely funny to get away with this one.
10) The desire to talk about something very difficult and intimate requiring full attention. Good for awaited confessions, childhood trauma stories, and deep relationship issues. If you can cry for this, you’ve got a good long break.
11) The check for the car keys. It WOULD be the end of the world if you left your car keys at the last rest stop.
12) The pointing out of other hikers or wildlife. if they’re not actually there, you get a longer rest while your companion keeps following your finger looking for them.
13) You happen to have their favorite sweet treat in the pack and would they like a bit? (obviously requiring some premeditation)
14) (desperation only) Fall. Just slip. Don’t hurt yourself of course. Make it fun.
15) (lovers only) Desire a kiss. Who can say no to that? (well I guess if you were desperate, you could use this one with someone you aren’t already lovers with. You’d definitely get SOME kind of break out of it)
16) Intentionally lead down the wrong path. Get a little lost. You’ll have to look at the map to reorient.
17) If your superwalker is male, ask him what elevation he thinks you’re at, or how many miles you’ve already walked. He won’t be able to resist pulling out the map and figuring it out.
18) Lip balm. Chapped lips are horrible. Do not have it conveniently in your pocket.
19) See an imaginary tick in their hair requiring you to find it and pull it out. You are now also a hero!
20) Forget to turn off your phone and have to to take a call. You will probably have to turn off the ringer at that point though if you don’t want your companion to avoid you in the future. Apologize profusely.
21) Adjusting of pack straps. You can appear to suffer a bit first to add authenticity.
22) Socially engage with all other passing hikers.Petting/playing with other hiker’s dogs buys time too.
23) Request demonstrations of favorite gear items … “Is that an anemometer around your neck? ” or ” How did you get your shoulder straps to agitate with your hip belt like that?” or “How do you layer your socks with those shoes on a day like this?”
24) Walk into a bog.
25) Just a couple of times, actually just ask if they mind if you rest. This will greatly decrease suspicion the rest of the time.