The Hike

flickr photo shared by lorenkerns under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license


Nature is both a great teacher and the perfect classroom for learning. Observing the natural patterns we understand how the world functions and how much different elements are intertwined. Where else can we learn more about recycling and reusing if not in nature? Nothing goes wasted, each part of the living beings is eaten, digested and degraded. And as a new cycle starts, dead matter becomes a source of life.

What nature also does is that it frees our minds from social constraints and urban distractions. This activity provides the opportunity not only to explore the natural environment and reconnect with it but also to improve our social skills and understanding of ourselves.

Activity Type

Group / Experiential


From 2 to 6 days of hike based on the group’s choice.

From 2 to 4 days of preparation depending on the route.

Learning Outcomes

  • To understand and appreciate other people and social diversity, to be socially engaged

  • To learn about ecosystems and natural patterns

  • To develop leadership skills and personal stamina


Required Materials and Tools:

  • Detailed information on the chosen place: maps, hiking routes, GPS optionally, etc. information on weather conditions in the area. Information about individuals in the group (health issues, if any).

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. The hike can be in local nature or can be a trip to another area. All planning and discussions are included in the task and are a part of the social challenge. Ensure that the hike is feasible, but sufficiently tough to develop the qualities described above.

  2. Organize the group for planning the hike. Prepare some options where the hike can be, which are affordable for the group but provide enough challenge and duration.

  3. Together with the group, decide on the location, duration and general requirements.  

  4. Prepare different roles which can exist throughout the hike: path organizers, people responsible for food purchasing, cooks, pharmacists, sport activities organizers, game organizers, timekeeper, discussion facilitator, photographer, bloggers, etc. Tips: check if people in the group have special skills like video making or music players. Turn on the creativity! Also include a role which will support learning from observing the nature.

  5. Disseminate the roles and create the roles rotation scheme as during the hike everybody will change their role. It can take from a few hours to a few days for people to organize the hike according to their roles (the path, food, activities and so on). Facilitate the process and keep an eye that the hike plan remains safe and joyful.

  6. Consider which activities from other modules in this course can be implemented throughout the hike. Check the group planning and preparation.

  7. Go for the hike! Remember to facilitate, but let the group dynamics emerge.

  8. Observe and document what is happening during the hike, paying attention to the roles rotation processes.


  • What did you learn?

  • What was the most challenging for you?

  • What ecosystems services did you observe?

  • What social activities played a big role for you?

Instructions for Submission

Upload 1 picture of the hike and submit a short overview of the trip in Moodle. Feel free to mention challenges and what made the biggest impressions on the group. Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

Related Topics

  • Gaia walk

  • NVC

  • Deep Ecology

  • Pick any activities from other modules to have during the hike, for example in the evenings or at the breaks

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