Hiking not only introduces you to a highlight reel of remarkable natural wonders, but the trails also attract a collection of hiking personalities. And sometimes, the people you come across can be just as entertaining as the views. Just think about the over-eager friends and family members enthusiastically leading screaming hike-haters up challenging inclines or the shorts-wearing dude embarking on a technical route, surrounded in a sea of trekkers rocking legitimate hiking attire, poles, and boots.
While you may think that this article is heading in the direction of mocking the broad scope of hiking personalities dotting the trails, its sole purpose is for you to pinpoint which personality you are. Maybe, if you want, you can call your friends or family members out on which character sketch they mould into.
Read on to find out which profile fits your hiker personality!
Hike-Hater with Severe FOMO
Let’s face it; you’d rather watch adventures unfold on Netflix than participate in this stupid hike. Who cares about a view, anyway? But your friends want to go on an adventure, snap some cool photos, and you want to be a part of it.
On the steep descent, your tread-less sneakers lose grip multiple times, propelling slippage and pulsating screams of, “I HATE HIKING! WHY AM I HERE?” But when you’re finally back at your car after winding amid soaring peaks, you pull out your phone and can’t help but fall in love with the pictures of you and your friends standing on top of sprawling valley views. It’s now, when you’re in the car, that you start to think, “Hmmm. Maybe that wasn’t so bad!” And then you try it again next weekend, have the worst time, but the pictures are great, and the memories are fun, resulting in a rampant cycle that somehow keeps you going back to the trails.
The Super Prepared Group Member
Sally inches up the steep ascent. She can’t do this anymore, but Matt, the Super Prepared Group Member, pulls out a natural energy drink and a granola bar from his backpack that mirrors the Weasley’s tent in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and hands it over! This adds pep to her step, and she’s able to navigate the trail alongside her friends.
Josh drinks his last sip of water before realizing that he’s only halfway through the hike. Matt, the Super Prepared Group Member, dips his hand into his magical backpack and grabs a full bottle of water and hands it over to Josh, who savours some sips before giving it back to Matt since Josh doesn’t have a backpack to put it in.
At the top, Matt, the Super Prepared Group Member, opens up his backpack and hands out a picnic lunch to everyone. He pulls out his mini tripod and snaps a photo of the group. Suddenly, gusts of wind sweep across the exposed area, but Matt, the Super Prepared Group Member, pulls out an extra sweater, putting t-shirt-wearing Sarah’s shivers at bay.
The Super Unprepared Group Member
The Super Unprepared Group Member typically shows up without a backpack and expects sheer will to power their hiking adventure. They also expect Matt, the Super Prepared Group Member, to help them out a little bit. You know, provide the snacks, the water, the first aid kit, the bear spray, and the encouragement to continue and take the pictures, navigate the trail, and carry the backpack stuffed with anything and everything. It’s common for the Super Unprepared Group Member not to offer to help out with carrying the load, despite utilizing most of the treats, gear, and hiking necessities in the backpack. At their worst, the Super Unprepared Group Member shows up at the trailhead in casual sneakers (think: Converse or Vans).
Spiteful Dad rolls his eyes when mom suggests a family hike. He knows it’s just going to be another journey where mom trail-blazes, leaving him to huff and puff in her dust. Spiteful Dad will take any opportunity to pause and pretend to marvel at the views etched below. And then, when he finally reaches the top, mom, to his absolute horror, finds a secret path and forces the family to continue. He throws his head back and musters the strength to keep his hatred for this outdoor journey quiet. Some would say that his lack of complaints directly results from respecting mom’s love for this particular outdoor adventure, but most know that his pride prevents him from admitting that he’s unfit to continue on.
The outdoorsy family is the epitome of cool to other hikers winding the trail. They boast of kids who rock high-end gear and are eager to explore. Throughout the hike, the kids unveil their knowledge of everything around them: they can name the types of trees, discuss the best soil for growing plants, and don’t ask, “are we there yet?” but instead say, “I’m loving spending time outside!”
Okay, they might not say that, but it’s implied through their actions. Meanwhile, the parents are enjoying wandering the trail without complaints! To top it off, each child knows it’s their responsibility to carry a backpack with water and a snack.
No sign of a Spiteful Dad/Partner here (from what we can see)!
Unscathed Casually Dressed Hiker
You’re navigating your way through a technical trail, utilizing your poles and thanking your past self for investing in top-notch hiking boots when a couple rocking shorts, run-down runners, and holding coffee cups in hand pass you on the trail. You stop to catch your breath while this casually dressed couple walks by you, enthusiastically claiming, “Great day for a hike, isn’t it?” And then they pass you again on their way back, exclaiming that you don’t have much further to go and the momentary pain is worth it.
The Unscathed Casually Dressed Hiker propels a fusion of admiration, concern, and annoyance, but it’s tough to brush aside their happy-go-lucky trail ‘tude.
The Overly Positive Hiker
It’s raining out, but that doesn’t stop The Overly Positive Hiker from declaring it a wonderful day for an adventure. Think of Ned Flanders and place him on a path, and you’ve got The Overly Positive Hiker! The Overly Positive Hiker is the type of hiker who reaches the top of an intense, long hike only to find a blanket of fog covering the scenery below. They then force you to stay at the top, despite the downpour, because they know the fog will dissipate eventually. After 30 minutes of listening to the Overly Positive Hiker discuss the extraordinary journey you just had, the fog splits, providing a sliver of a window into the views below. When you get back to the car, the Overly Positive Hiker says, “Well, hey! At least we got some fresh air in the Great Outdoors while getting our heart rates up!”
Lifelong Hikers are basically trail royalty: they come prepared, they always step aside to let others pass, and they generate friendly passing-by conversations about the hike, the views, your dog. You can’t help but feel like you’re sipping hot chocolate on a cold, snowy night when you interact with the courteous, friendly Lifelong Hikers.
Other Hiker Personalities
That person/group who plays music
Does this hiker personality need much explanation? If they play a song you like, awesome, but other than that, this person is the Voldemort/Joffrey of the trail.
The dog parent
“Okay! No one is around—I can let my dog run off leash!”
Every once in a while, you’ll pass by a group of friends wearing sundresses, white shorts, collared shirts, and the list goes on. But they’ll somehow make it to the top, much like the Unscathed Casually Dressed Hiker, snap content tailor-made for social media, and down they go—with their hair and make-up magically intact! It’s hard not to admire this hiker personality, especially when you’re huffing and puffing, and tripping over roots and collecting cuts on your hands.
The Optimistically Lost
“The path has got to be around the corner!”
“I think I can hear the stream! We must be close to the main trail!”
“The top has just got to be around this bend. I can feel it!”
The Solo Walker
Forrest Gump, is that you? The Solo Walker is another hiker personality worth admiring. They pack the right amount of stuff, rock the right gear, and leave the entertainment to the hums, whistles, vistas of the trees, creek, and scenery.
Which hiker personality are you?! If you don’t fit on this list, you’re probably someone who comes decently prepared, which looks like: GPS mapped out, the right footwear for the journey, the right clothes for the weather, bear spray (depending on where you are), water, a snack. For the sake of this article, we will call you the Typical Hiker. You’re definitely trending in the Lifelong Hiker, Outdoorsy Family, Solo Walker direction.