There are certain people that you are bound to run into while you are out on a hike. Do you fall into any of these categories of hikers?
On just about any trail you are bound to meet this person. The Backpacker is a serious hiker and has a trekking pole in at least one of their hands. They are often dressed in cargo shorts or pants and they top it off with a bucket hat.
They probably have at least ten days worth of equipment packed away in their fixed frame backpack. The Backpacker may or may not actually be overnight camping; but if they are, they probably are not carrying a tent because hammock camping is better for the environment.
This is the person that makes sure that you never forget that they reached the highest rank in Boys Scouts. If you run into this professional outdoorsman on the trail, he is bound to tell you anything you need to know.
If you need help starting a fire or with setting up a tent, the Eagle Scout will be over in a flash pushing you out of his way.
Because after all, he is an Eagle Scout.
This is the person who thinks that hiking looks and sounds cool, but is not prepared for the actual act of hiking. They quickly realize that to get to the top of the mountain, you actually have to walk there.
You can find them showing up to hike to Half Dome in the heat of summer in running shoes and jeans with no solid plan for hydration.
The beginner shows characteristics of extreme sweating, shortness of breath, and an expressed disdain for nature.
Don’t be surprised if this person turns around a half of a mile in because they just couldn’t do it.
Don’t worry though, there is a reason that there are places like Stone Mountain that have a gondola ride to the summit.
The complainer chooses to take a hike but ensures that they tell you about everything they hate the entire way. The Beginner often takes on the character traits of The Complainer.
You may hear phrases like:
“Oh my goodness this is so tough.”
” Are we there yet?”
“It’s so beautiful! But I am going to be hurting tomorrow!”
“When do we get to eat s’mores?”
Part time photographer and part time model…at least that is what they seem to think.
This is the person that gets to the end of a trail and doesn’t even take the time to enjoy the view. Instead, they take out their phone to snap a million photos.
This is usually followed by a photo of them gazing off into the distance, throwing a peace sign, and if they are feeling really fancy, maybe even taking a Boomerang.
I know, I know what could be more romantic than nature? But come on now, if you want to have your hands all over each other, maybe you should go scurry off into the woods.
We’d all like to enjoy Mother Nature without seeing her in action.
This is probably my favorite person to meet on a trail. If you’ve spent any time whatsoever out on the trails, you have met him too.
The Old Man is the retiree turned hiker. He may even be accompanied by a dog. He can tell you the ins and outs of every trail, his favorite spots, and maybe even a few secret trails.
He is friendly, and loves to talk to anyone. If you run into the Old Man out there, my recommendation is to take time and talk to him. You never know what you might learn.
Okay, maybe you won’t actually meet this guy. But we did.
I will spare you the details, but one day while out for a hike in the Smoky’s there was quite the surprise waiting for us at the end of the trail.
We came off of the ridge and thought our eyes were deceiving us. There was a Viking standing at the viewpoint! I don’t think that it could get any more random.
The moral here is that other than the types of people you are bound to see along the trails while hiking, you never know what you will experience when you are out there.
So get out there and explore. Happy hiking!