Whether you have been on a couple of hikes or consider yourself a seasoned hiker, you probably have realized there a few different types of hikers out there on the trails. From the fastest badass and the “I take a million pictures of the same plant”, to the gal who takes her time to smell the roses and enjoy the views; there are so many different types of hikers. Some of us may like to hike in groups where others may prefer solo hikes. Some of us prefer those challenging, “I almost died” type of hikes (guilty as charged), and others prefer a nice leisurely stroll on a picturesque trail. One of the wonderful things about being on the trails is that you get to meet different types of personalities during your trek, all sharing a love for nature and the mountains. We can’t help but poke fun at these different types of people because we know somehow that we belong to these categories.
The Pack Leader
The head of the group is also usually the one who organizes the climb and stands as the alpha in the pack. Oftentimes, you will feel secure and in great hands with these people because you know that they have been tested by time and experience. They often do the talking with the locals, do the logistics and discuss expectations and make crucial decisions in case of emergency. I am this hiker. I tend to be the leader on hikes. I enjoy planning, I am extremely Type-A, I have my first-aid wilderness certification, and I have had enough “oh shit” situations on the trail that I have learned to adapt to the journey and hold it together during an emergency.
The Flip-Flop Wanderer
Oftentimes, these types of people are novices in the mountain hiking and climbing scene, which is why they usually do not have complete/appropriate gear and apparel, to begin with. You can see them in their casual attire, jeans and tennis shoes and maybe even a sundress and flip-flops. I even see some folks in dress slacks and dress shoes! They may even have six ounces of water on a hot day (always offer water to these poor souls). Hey, we all have to learn somewhere right? Errrr, this is actually one of the reasons why I chose to start to this blog so I could help spread the importance of safety in the wild.
The Selfie Expert
These types of people love taking pictures of themselves with the mountains in the background. Their monopods are a must-have gadget when going to the mountain and their main goal is to find their best angles while showcasing the beauty of nature behind them
Somewhat similar to the Selfie Expert is the photographer. Although both are trigger-happy when they go climbing on mountains, this type of hiker usually takes pictures of others or of the view instead of focusing on themselves. When you climb with them, you are sure to get bombarded by a huge number of tags on photos posted on social media. This is my favorite type of hiker! Shout out to my photog gals who always take the best photos and actually make me look good.
The Speedy Gonzalez
Their goal is to get to the top the fastest. They are ALWAYS timing their miles, and may even be running up the mountain with their hydration vest and trail runners (kudos to those kickass runners), however, trail running is not hiking. We all know THAT person who hikes SO fast we can’t look anywhere but down because we are afraid that if we check out the views, we will fall flat on our faces because we are trying to keep up with Ms. Speedy Gonzalez. Speedy hikers, who try to get to the top the fastest, actually irritate me because they never take a moment to enjoy the view, share conversations with the group and they tend to stress the rest of the group out (usually without knowing it). In my opinion, fast hikers make great solo hikers!
The Glam Squad Hiker
This is the gal with perfect make-up, hair down and the cutest matching hiking outfit. She probably has a stellar Instagame too. This is the hiker who I envy the most because I am always a hot mess on the trail. I am always in no makeup (by choice), top bun (my hair is out of control) and I am lucky if I am wearing matching socks, let alone a matching outfit.
This person is usually at the back of the pack in a group and I LOVE IT. These are MY people. Since I am usually leading hikes, I always love it when I have a sweeper, to make sure everyone is accounted for. The back of the pack is usually the most humble hiker of the group. They love the views, enjoy the moment and truly care about teamwork. They are often labeled the “slow hiker” and unfortunately, this term holds a negative tone. 1) There is NOTHING wrong with being a “slow hiker” so let’s stop the competitive nonsense 2) These people are seriously my people and Ms. Speedy Gonzales can definitely learn a lesson from this type of hiker.
The Tourist Family
I know this is strictly not one person, but it operates as a unit and will thus react as one. The unit is usually too distracted and fraught with internal dilemmas, herding its younger units away from ledges, negotiating terms with its teenage ones or grunting at its elders’ lack of pace to even notice your emergency. You’re better off trying to signal the attention of a rock. Just say “hello” and allow them to pass, if you are even able to get around them.
The Kitchen Sinker
This person brings everything. It’s only a half-day doddle up the local peak but they’ve got a picnic blanket, a basket of cheeses, cutlery for six and two books because they’re not sure what mood they’ll be in at the top. They rarely make it to the top. If you get down quick enough there might still be some leftover cheese in the parking lot.
I just returned home from a month-long adventure in Peru and I cannot wait to decompress and share some of my experiences on the blog. Trust me, I met every type of hiker while trekking through the Andes and the Amazon.
Hope to see you on the trails,