Hiking With Geeks lures nerds into the great outdoors

Geeks love nature, too. Mendel Kurland, a self-professed geek, figured that out in a hurry after hiking with a co-worker last year. The two talked about the fun of spending time outdoors, and on a whim afterward, he snapped up the domain name hikingwithgeeks.com. Then, last October, he started a Hiking With Geeks meetup group, hoping to lure a few nerds from their computers, labs and classrooms into the great outdoors.

“Over that weekend I had 200 people sign up. I was just blown away,” says Kurland, who works in community relations for GoDaddy. “We went out for our first hike shortly after that, and a bunch of people showed up — all of them legitimate geeks from all over the city.”

Geeks of all stripes, ages and backgrounds, from developers and designers to scientists and programmers, felt the tug of Mother Nature.

“Geeks have a lot in common with each other, whether it’s being introverted or the type of work they do,” Kurland says. “It’s almost like the hiking is the second part of it and the relationship stuff is the important piece. A lot of developers don’t go out and aren’t super social sometimes.”

In less than 30 days, the group grew to more than 1,700 members.

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