Teamwork on a washington trails association work party at franklin falls. photo by erik haugen goodman lq2dzd

Trail repair with WTA.

Philanthropic Friends

Seattle-based Washington Trails Association organizes day, weekend, and weeklong volunteer outings. Do trail repair during the day, then sleep in bunkhouses or backcountry camps, earning free wilderness passes or a personalized WTA hard hat. Single-day stints are free. 

Studious Friends

Formed 110 years ago, the Mountaineers are the local heavy for climbing, scrambling, and backpacking classes, and teach everything from how to pack your lunch to how to splint a broken leg with twigs and duct tape. Their searchable activities database lists trips that any dues-paying member can join, plus advanced outings that require experience. 

LGBT Friends

Member-run OutVentures is a casual collection of dues-paying outdoor enthusiasts, a crew that’s happy to organize potlucks and car camping along with strenuous hikes and backpacking treks. Activities depend on the interest of members and can include bikes, sails, and photo-specific hikes. 

Techie Friends

There are social networks for hookups and knitters, why not for outdoors people? Gociety users propose trips on the app or site, as well as day jaunts to climbing gyms or to stand-up paddleboard on Lake Union. Seattle is the site’s second-biggest market, with more than 2,000 local profiles. 

Vanagon Friends

Driving a VW van isn’t a transportation choice; it’s a lifestyle. The WetWesties listserv is ironically named, since these van campers stay dry inside tricked-out campers when it pours. The mailing list isn’t exactly modern, but there are no fees to join a group camp. 

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