The Hiking Un-Fit Hiking Club (THUHC) started, so the “unfit” could get out into nature without judgement… now they collect food for animal shelters too.
Johannesburg, South Africa – Don’t you hate it when you finally get your lazy butt off the couch and head out with your friends to do outdoor activities, and they all do it with ease, but you can hardly breathe?
Well, there is a group for unfit hikers where the aim is to get together and enjoy the outdoors without the pressure of needing to keep up.
It all started when Jon-Jon Pietersen and his long-time friend Chris Olley began hiking together in 2016 as a way to get fitter and lose a few kilos. Jon-Jon was 156kgs and desperate to lose the weight, Chris was 60 at the time and just needed a reason to take it easy.
The pair started walking up mountains together. After a while, they thought about how many other people were out there in need of a group activity that was unfit-friendly. That was when they launched ‘The Hiking Un-Fit, Hiking Club.”
Like most sporting clubs, there is the standard idea of collecting fees. However, the guys didn’t want to take people’s money. So they joined their passion for hiking with their passion for animal welfare. Instead of monetary fees, club members have to pay in pet food, blankets and toys.
“We care about domestic and wild animals and their well-being is a really big deal to us at THUHC and therefore we don’t charge a club fee however we do ask our members to please donate Pet Food, blankets and toys that the club distributes to animal shelters.”
Jon-Jon and Chris have created something fun to do on the weekends. We love it and will definitely be joining on our next free weekend.
“Every time I go to a shelter that we can help I get so emotional, knowing that we can make a small difference makes all of this worthwhile” says founder Jon-Jon
You can follow their Facebook page to see when the next unfit hike will be. They usually arrange treks between 5km and 10km. They are family friendly and the only requirement to join is to take a donation for their animal shelter of choice.