Hikers come in all shapes and sizes. They hike for different reasons and hike in different ways. Here are six types that you're sure to see.
1. Inspector Gadget
Have you ever walked through the camping section and thought "Who would pack all this stuff!?"
This guy. He's proud of that ridiculous 50-pound pack with days' worth of rations, a tiny shovel, miles of rope, a purification kit, and more jammed inside. These hikers basically invented rucking.
Going for a quick jaunt through the woods for an hour or two? That bloated tick of a pack is coming regardless. Don't you dare ask if they've ever had to use any of it, because chances are it's all brand new.
On the bright side, you don't have to pack a thing! The opportunity to finally get to use something they convinced themselves they absolutely needed to have is like sweet candy. Just be prepared for the inevitable "I told you this would come in handy!" speech that's sure to follow.
2. OMG! Selfie!
Selfie hiker looks ah-may-zing. Their hair and clothes are on point. They may not be appropriate for the weather or area, but they look great.
Selfie hiker didn't know there would be bugs or walking involved. They are not pleased, they're sweaty, and struggling to have a good time. But their photo roll tells a story of deep reflection, good times, and perfect lighting.
Often they may be the new boy or girlfriend of an experienced hiker. If you are trying to convert a selfie hiker to an experienced hiker, be sure to bring bug spray and advise jeans. Chiggers have broken many a selfie hiker, who often thinks shorts and tall grass go together.
Selfie hikers may seem like a lost cause, but show them something truly breathtaking and they may just forget their phone for a moment.
3. Pack of Bros
The Pack of Bros are never alone. They always seem to be in a group. Usually one or two of them are shirtless, and two-thirds of the group is way into rock climbing.
They will eat a tremendous amount of food, sometimes lining an area with granola bar wrappers and either beer cans or sports drinks (depending on your variety of bros).
Terms of male endearment raise like a choir of coyotes in the summer. "Dude" and "Bro" spoken in normal tones soon swells in volume and in uses per minute, until the entire pack is absolutely howling and whole conversations are carried on using almost entirely these terms.
At the end of the day there will be a moment of quiet, and the pack of bros will experience a deep feeling of group bonding, usually followed by a plan to travel somewhere exotic and take a bigger trip.
4. Ultimate Traveler
The Ultimate Traveler hiker has been everywhere. They did it all with nothing but a sharp rock and one good water bottle.
Their experience seems god-like and their stories sound like fables. They seem to have control over space and time because they have spent weeks pounding the trails from one end of the planet to the other.
How can they afford it? When do they find the time? No one knows, but wherever you've been, they've either been there or somewhere better.
5. The Collector
The Collector starts their hike with a mostly empty pack. They have an uncanny ability to find fantastic things, like antler sheds, arrowheads, morel mushrooms, even good fishing spots.
They somehow are able to walk straight toward what others would spend hours canvassing the area for.
They've honed a sharp eye because they love the details. Taking home a souvenir feels like the goal of each hike. They may enjoy taking track molds or meticulously photographing certain things as though they are cataloging each excursion.
Collectors spend a lot of time hiking alone since they want to go over an area carefully to make sure they didn't miss anything, but if you get to hike with one you may learn a thing or two if you watch carefully!
6. Mostly Lost
The Mostly Lost hiker comes in two variants: The Mostly Lost Solo Hiker, and The Mostly Lost with Kids Hiker.
Solo Hiker comes out of nowhere, asks for directions, and disappears back into the woods with either an inability to see trails or a disregard for them by choice. Like the Mostly Lost with Kids version, they look a little out of place.
It's not that they aren't dressed for hiking, but they're a little too brightly colored and a little too neat. The Mostly Lost with Kids Hiker is usually a family with at least two children. They wanted to get their kids out in nature, but at this point lack the experience to feel confident with the situation.
What kind of hiker are you? What kind of hikers do you encounter and who did we leave off the list?