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|Hayley Matthews • 8/25/17|
The Short Version: Outdoor Duo is a social website designed to cultivate outdoor friendships and dating opportunities in the US and the UK. Members can search through local profiles, join activity-based events, and post in public forums to meet fun-loving people with similar interests. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, sailing, or skiing, Outdoor Duo can introduce you to individuals seeking an active companion like you. The friendly atmosphere of the site has inspired many friendships and relationships over the years. You can register as a member for free and start mingling in the niche community. Outdoor Duo equips visitors with all they need to join a group of outdoor enthusiasts online and in person, so finding a partner to explore nature with you is that much easier.
Steve Howie, Founder of Outdoor Duo, is a true outdoorsman. He likes roughing it in the wilderness and challenging himself to go to exotic or remote places. Sometimes, however, becoming closer to nature means growing apart from friends or significant others. Over time, Steve saw how the extreme hobbies and passions he shared with his friends could push less enthusiastic people away.
“I had numerous friends who’d meet someone who thought of themselves as outdoorsy, but really they only meant a short potter with the dog through the woods,” Steve said, “or a stroll along the clifftop before a welcome coffee in a café.”
This disconnect would quickly become a sticking point that ended the romantic relationships of many of Steve’s friends. After all, if you can’t share your interests, what’s the point of dating? If one person enjoys hiking up mountains and the other person prefers sitting at home watching television, that’s going to become an issue. “For my friends, there would then be a look of resignation, loss, and sometimes even mourning in their eyes,” Steve said. “They would end up alone again.”
Over a decade ago, Steve founded Outdoor Duo as a social solution for outdoorsy folks interested in walking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, canoeing, sailing, and cycling together. “I started the site for my friends,” he told us, “so that they could find someone else to pursue their passion with and enjoy a full life relationship, not just a weekday partner.”
Today, Outdoor Duo serves as a go-to networking platform for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK (with a growing membership in the US). Whether you’re looking for a friendly hiking buddy or outdoorsy dating prospects, this website has the community-driven resources to make you one happy camper.
Outdoor Duo fosters an engaged community of singles browsing member profiles and posting in public forums. The majority of users are over 30 years old, living in the UK, and in the market for a romantic partner who enjoys outdoor activities. Outdoor Duo serves as a bridge between individuals with similar interests.
Adults often have a more difficult time making new friends or finding lasting relationships because everyone has already coupled up, so to speak. This can put people in a lonely state of mind. “I have had members talk of the terrible isolation they felt,” Steve said, “and how they withdrew from the world, often withdrawing from the outdoors as well, not wishing to walk or cycle alone.”
Steve runs Outdoor Duo to connect people to one another through a love of nature and outdoor activities. He runs the social website on his own out of sheer passion. It’s a small operation with big ambitions and a growing membership base. “I view the site as a service rather than a money-making scam,” the Founder said. “For me, the photo section and the forum make it all worthwhile. Happy faces in amazing places!”
Many members post pictures of group meetups by rivers, in the mountains, and deep in the woods. Steve loves seeing his members enjoying themselves in the outdoors and hearing their stories about how they met someone through Outdoor Duo’s open forum. Steve keeps the membership fee low because his main mission is to open up a world of social possibilities to singles who enjoy an active lifestyle and want an active partner.
“I encourage everyone to get involved and enjoy the company of the people you meet,” wrote alpine hiker in a forum post. “It’s far more rewarding than just dating online in my view.”
The Outdoor Duo community is tailored to serve hikers, backpackers, cyclers, and all sorts of adventurous folks. “People who love the outdoors — and I mean truly love the outdoors — are peculiar,” Steve noted. “We are happy to walk for hours, often in the rain. We love high places, scary drops, rock and ice. We love the challenge of the rough sea and crashing waves, spray in our faces. The call of the outdoors is powerful.”
Outdoor Duo is about doing — going out and actively seeking friendship, love, and adventure. You can find events happening all year round on this social platform. The Invitations Calendar gives you the chance to put yourself out there and meet outdoorsy folks in your neck of the woods.
“In the UK, the Invitations section has taken off,” Steve said. “It provides a way to meet others without the stress and commitment of a one-to-one date with a stranger.”
At an Outdoor Duo event, you don’t have the pressure of a real date. You can meet a whole bunch of singles in a low-key event based around an outdoor activity. When you get home, you can contact the people you met through the site, thus maintaining boundaries while making friends.
Going to an event is a chill way to get to know the outdoorsy people in your area. Filled with page upon page of invitations, Outdoor Duo’s events calendar encourages new members to find a group with whom to wander the hills, explore a national park, or go biking.
“One of the consequences of the Invites section is not only new love, but new friendships too,” Steve said. “I love the photos that result and the stories that I hear.”
In the coming years, Steve hopes to expand the site’s reach in the US and give members more meaningful opportunities to come together in the great outdoors.
Steve feels sentimental about all the good that Outdoor Duo has accomplished over the years. He has seen the active community bring happiness and companionship to many people, and that brings him a great deal of satisfaction. “When I started the site, I didn’t expect to weep so often,” he said. “I would receive thank you emails telling me of years of aching loneliness and feelings of worthlessness after acrimonious breakups being cured by joining the site.”
The What Has Outdoor Duo Done For Me section gives users just a glimpse of the personal connections forged within the website’s community. “Was genuinely only looking for a hiking buddy,” wrote Outdoor Duo user Dewnansek, “but seem to have found a soulmate, lover, best friend, and mad hiking partner too — quite literally the best £5 I’ll ever spend.”
“It may take a year or two of attending Invites before love blossoms,” Steve said. “We’ve had members in their late 60s who thought their randy lover years were over, only to find themselves getting married.”
Outdoor Duo has even seen members embark on the life-changing adventure of starting a family together. Steve spoke with awe about the couple who met on his site, fell in love, and had a baby. “That was seriously a weird feeling,” he said. “In our second year, we had our first baby born.”
“Thank you for a nicely done website and service. Indeed, I am leaving now because I have found someone.” — Adventure Beckons, a user on Outdoor Duo
Though he’s successful now, Steve told us he had to fight against the negative stigma of a dating site in the early days of Outdoor Duo. “I was already weird for liking to traverse ice-encrusted Alpine ridges in the middle of winter,” Steve said, “and now I had started a dating site — doubly weird.”
He persevered because he believed in the power of the web to tie people together, and he wanted to give outdoorsy people a space where they could connect in dynamic ways. Seeing Outdoor Duo’s growth and success over the years has kept him going. He works hard to maintain a friendly online space where daters from all walks of life can mingle and meet one another.
“After 10 years, I sometimes wonder if it’s time to move on,” Steve said, “then I hit the site and see the happiness. It has me feeling warm and fuzzy.”
If you’re like Steve’s friends and growing tired of hiking on your own, you can join Outdoor Duo’s community to find active partners going on excursions across the UK and the US. Geared toward outdoorsy singles, Outdoor Duo gives members the opportunity to build relationships based on common interests.
“The outdoors singles market isn’t huge,” Steve explained, “which is why it can be so hard for outdoorsy types to find others like them.”
Outdoor Duo helps adventurous singles come out of the woodwork and connect with one another in a casual social setting. On days when you feel stuck in a rut, browsing the site’s profiles and attending calendar events can help you meet hundreds of people who enjoy the outdoors as much as you do. The site is always growing and evolving to better serve nature-loving singles in their search for companionship and camaraderie.
“As for what’s next for Outdoor Duo, a redesign is starting to become very necessary,” Steve said. To fit the needs of his users, Steve wants to adapt the website for a mobile audience seeking an adventure while on the go. Wherever you are, Outdoor Duo helps you explore your dating options and discover social opportunities in your own backyard.