I told the group lead that I was new to hiking and the group on meetup. The terrain was very rocky at almost every step and there was no way to let the lead know because she was way at the front and was not paying attention. There were about 15 of us. I was assured before going on the hike that no one gets left behind and the group takes break. Unfortunately, for me the breaks didn’t happen and I was fine until we started to head back to our cars. So, I communicated to a few members of the group they stayed with me until I got to my car. The hike leader was waiting for us as we approached the trail head. It’s a learning experience and I have signed up for other hiking groups and it’s not her fault that I didn’t bring enough water. However, a ten minute break in the shade would have been nice.
I'm glad that that experience didn't dissuade you from continuing to go hiking. It sounds like you had a good group of people, but varying skill and experience levels. This forum, and the REI Co-op Journal, as well as the REI stores are all great places to learn new things and expand your horizons. And nothing beats experience. Keep learning, and keep hiking, and if you are ever in the Mid-Atlantic region, you are welcome to join our hiking group!
Hydration is very important when hiking. You may want to consider a hydration reservoir for your day pack so you will not have to stop to take a drink. Electrolytes are available in a variety forms including gels when you are on the trail and unable to stop. It may be a good idea to have a few packages with you.
I went to the local REI store and the rep was very helpful with helping me select a backpack. We talked about backpacks, hydradation, and trails in the area. So, I'm glad that I went to the store.
Thank you for the invitation. Thanks