Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the world. It encourages you to step away from your desk and step back out into nature. It’s a chance to experience the world without a filter. You not only get to enjoy scenic views but also meet various types of hikers. This adds an extra bit of fun and makes your hike more exciting and memorable. But not all those hikers you meet will have the same approach to hiking like you. It’s because hikers come in all shapes and sizes. Plus, choices and preferences of each individual hiker vary from one another.
It’s difficult to categorize all different types of hikers in a list. So, I will attempt to explain at least 8 different types of hikers that you may meet on the trail. There is a lot of diversity of style amongst hikers so bear with me as I take you through the list below.
Here’s a quick rundown of 8 different types of hikers:
1) The Gadget Hiker
If you see a guy with a big bloating backpack on a hiking trail and think “Who would pack and carry all this stuff?”, then you’ve seen a Gadget Hiker. Gadget Hikers are a proud bunch of guys who don’t see any problem carrying a 50-pound backpack on steep terrains. It would be an understatement to say how prepared they are for a quick jaunt through the woods.
Everyone loves Gadget Hiker. Mostly because they will bring all the latest and greatest gadgets you can think of for even a short single trip which might not last a day. Gadget Hikers carry all the essentials from an emergency first aid medical kit to a whole plastic bag full of food supplies. So, it’s always a good thing to have one with you on a hike.
2) The Social Hiker
This hiker is the type that usually spends all his/her time chatting up with other hikers on the trail even if they are total strangers. Social Hikers prefer hiking with a group instead of going solo because hiking is their way of making friends. They’ll spend weeks searching for upcoming hiking events and try to find out who’s available to go hiking with them.
Encountering a Social Hiker won’t be of much nuisance but you do have to withstand having a lot of conversation. Social Hikers are socially proactive and never step away from initiating a conversation. They will not mind talking about their favorite food or lifestyle while hiking. The plus side of having a Social Hiker in your group is that they will bring extra snacks to share with others. And they will also won’t mind lending their equipment if you ever need to borrow one.
3) The Fitness-fanatic Hiker
In its core, hiking is like any other form of outdoor adventure which can let you test your physical limit. While some may like to keep their hiking trip simple with a slow pace and as many breaks as possible, the Fitness-fanatic Hiker will have nothing of that. This type of hiker will come sprinting on a pace your legs can’t keep up. It’ll look as if they are immune to gravity.
Fitness-fanatic Hikers always look forward to hiking no matter how old they get. They prefer doing solo hikes instead of being a part of the group. And if they are in a group, they will likely rush their way ahead of the pack without taking breaks or even waiting for others. It’s just the way they are.
4) The Survival Hiker
The Survival Hiker often goes hiking every chance they get. How can they afford to do so? How do they find the time to go hiking? No one knows, but wherever you’ve been, they’ve either been there or somewhere a lot better. They usually wear clothes that let them blend in with their surroundings. And carry a large backpack with gears and equipment that you’ve never seen or used while hiking.
This type of hikers are often the fittest people in the group. They will have no problem planning a weekly trip to uncharted trails. Because they live to conquer and survive places no one else would go. Survival Hikers are very serious about hiking. And they will not hesitate to question others (many times) on why they are not concerned about their safety.
5) The Photo Hiker
The Photo Hikers are those types of hikers who will never go hiking without their camera or smartphone. They spend most of their time clicking pictures. So, every hill, mountain, river, and the forest will become automatic subjects. If you find yourself in their group, then you should expect to be bombarded with a huge number of tags on photos in social media.
Usually, they prefer bringing a DSLR camera and start photographing from the moment they wake up. You will see them clicking their cameras before even reaching the starting point of the trip. Most hikers will take a few pics with 20 at most but not these hikers. They’re passionate about their photography and will be looking to capture at least 100 pictures with some videos by the end of the day.
6) The Minimalist Hiker
Unlike the Gadget Hiker or the Survival Hiker, the Minimalist Hiker will only bring one or two things for a hiking trip in the woods. Minimalist Hikers are the ones who take things to a bit extreme by only bringing stuff that they think is truly necessary. That means, no camera, no gears, no rope, no extra food, and no map.
Oftentimes, it’s scary to have a Minimalist Hiker with you if are planning a trip that may take more than a day or two to complete. These type of hikers don’t care where you plan to go or how much days you plan on spending out in the wild. They will only carry a small backpack with things that you think won’t be enough for the whole journey.
7) The Mostly Lost Hiker
There are those hikers who plan every bit of their trip weeks ahead and try their best to learn all the trail routes to their final destination. But the “Mostly Lost Hiker” is not that type of hiker. No Sir! They will come up to you every now & then and ask for directions before rushing to god knows where with very little idea of where they actually need to go.
This type of hiker will likely be the one who decides to go solo without a map to follow. They are confident that they won’t get lost but they will nonetheless. You’ll most likely see them dressed up in their casual attire with a look of total confusion on their faces. Their inability to find their way does some time take a toll on them.
8) The Whiner Hiker
Without a doubt, the most irritating type of hiker to go hiking with is the so-called “Whiner Hiker”. They are not good at anything except for ranting and whining on even the smallest things. You’ll have to get used to hearing stuff like the trail is too long, my legs are aching, the sun’s too hot, I’m hungry, when will we get there, and I want to go back.
Having a Whiner Hiker will not just frustrate you and the others but it will also make you lose your own motivation to complete the hiking trip. Your momentum will get lost. And you’ll eventually want to leave them behind and continue on without them even if you’re a good person at heart. But the funniest thing about these hikers is that these hikers will be willing and hyped up to go on another hiking trip despite whining all the time.
As mentioned earlier, hikers come in all shapes and sizes. But I’m sure that you’ll encounter at least a couple of these hikers mentioned in this article.