Have you come across these different types of hikers on the trail?
Hikers come in all shapes and sizes, with different hiking styles, personalities, ambitions and drives.
Bump into some and it can be like meeting a soul mate, bump into others and they’ll help you reach record-breaking speeds just to get away.
From the old fella with crazy stories to tell and the gear-fanatic parading the latest tech, to the Instagram couple posing off a cliff, the uber-competitive trail jock and the hiker you spend all day worrying about…
You’ll know exactly the ones I mean
How many have you come across AND which one are you? Tell us in the comments at the bottom!
The Inspiring Teen
This young blood has opted against getting drunk in the park, shoplifting and sexual pestering to instead spend their free time in the hills. Well done them!
They’re brave, fresh-faced and inspiringly naive. Don’t you wish you’d made similar lifestyle choices at that age? We certainly do.
The Old-Timer With a Story to Tell
You spot the old-school backpack, weathered hiking sun hat, map around the neck and battered hiking boots… it’s the Old-Timer with 1,000+ stories to tell.
They’re still burning a hot pace but will gladly join you for part of the trail, sharing tales from the Himalayas in the 60s.
It’s a humbling encounter, but, be warned, it can be hard to slip away once they get talking!
The Adventure Family Unit
Mum, Dad and their child prodigies are experienced, driven and will eat up 7 miles before breakfast.
They’re probably from an Alpine country, seem to exude healthiness and share a humbling smile as their 8-year-old daughter shoots past you. These type of families spawn the Inspiring Teen.
Want to start hiking? We put together an epic beginner’s guide!
The Enthusiastic Group Leader
“Come on guys, you’re doing great… just 3 more miles and we can rest… it’s going to be fantastic…”
This high-energy individual is the perfect ambassador for hiking. Shame their partner/family/colleagues/friends being dragged along don’t share the same enthusiasm.
The Ones With Speakers
This hiker is controversial. Some will hear their music blaring and want to throw them off a cliff (the speakers I mean…), others will respect their freedom on public land.
Either way, the music is normally bad enough to make your ears bleed.
The Instagram Couple
She’s wearing a long, flowy dress and a metre-wide sun hat, precariously standing on a cliff edge. He’s in the tightest jeans you’ve seen, ready to run and hoist her in the air once the camera timer is running.
You don’t know whether to smirk or just be impressed they made it there in those heels and skinny jeans…
The Competitive One
“How far are you going today? I’ve already done 15 miles; should hit 25 before lunch”
This dude has his game face on and is working up a sweat. If you cross paths, prepare for some unnessarily detailed info on their hike, heart rate, average pace, planned total distance and just general outdoor accomplishments.
PRO TIP: Wait for them to tell you how far they’ve hiked and say you’ve already doubled their distance, then watch their blood boil!
The No-Shits-Given Hiker
You watch, gobsmacked, as the No-Shits-Given Hiker walks through blizzards and storms in nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, cheerful and completely oblivious to the weather.
They’re tough, slightly nuts and it looks like their nips are about to slice through that top.
The Nature Lover
Sporting binoculars and a bird spotting book, the Nature Lover bounds from mushroom to lichen, stream to woodland. As long as they’re surrounded by nature, they’re happy.
Get chatting and their attention will shoot off anytime a bird flies overhead or wildlife noises are heard, followed by them excitedly telling you what it could be.
There’s nothing the Rambler likes more than spending a day walking through the hills and finishing in a good pub.
They know the trails, they know the history and they probably know the pH of the soil too. Don’t let the shadow-casting gut throw you off, the Rambler can hike all day long, and intends to.
Armed with a 20-kg pack filled with dozens of lenses and filters, the photographer is battling the conditions and chasing light like nobodies’ business.
Most don’t understand why they go through all the hassle, but for the photographer, it’s all worth it for that perfect shot.
READ MORE: The Brutally Honest DISADVANTAGES of Hiking
The Foodie Hiker
Somehow, the Foodie has brought a full picnic spread to the most unlikely of places. You don’t know how they packed it all into a day pack.
If you’ve forgotten lunch this can be the worse hiker to encounter. That is, unless they’re Generous Foodie Hikers, in which case they become your new best friends!
The All-the-Gear-But-No-Idea Hiker
You’ve never seen outdoor gear quite like it, or lycra so tight. This one looks like NASA developed a prototype hiker and let them loose on everyday trails.
You quickly realise they only recently picked up hiking as a new weekend hobby but just have more money than sense.
The Dog Walker
You can’t beat the companionship between a hiker and their dog(s). The dog is having the time of its life and so is the owner, because they’re with an awesome dog. They’ve got each other’s back, they share support and hiking is just SO much better when they’re together.
You’re immediately jealous of this hiker because you don’t have said dog.
The Chatty Women
Power walkers who have taken to the trails. The Chatty Women walk at a serious pace, water bottles in hand, and are entrenched in very animated conversations.
If you can keep up, you’ll quickly become part of the gang, debating whether auntie Nora should have bought that second car.
The Good Samaritan
The Good Samaritan is there enjoying their hike, litter picking and cleaning the trail from others’ rubbish.
We should all be more like the Good Samiritan.
The Hiker You Worry About
This hiker is happy as Larry, bumbling along with ambitious plans but with little gear or experience. Equipped with trainers instead of hiking boots and a £20 tent, they’re still planning on climbing a technical peak and wild camping up high, even with a storm forecasted…
No matter how persistent you are, this hiker knows best and will shrug off any suggestion of changing plans.
The Trail Runner
Finally, after hearing the tales from the Old Timer, envying the husky with the Dog Walker, frustrating the Competitive Hiker and getting inspired by the Good Samaritan, you’ve finally got into a flow and are making a good pace.
Then you get overtaken by the Trail Runner. This infuriating individual has taken the already strenuous task of hiking and is showing the world how easy they find it by running past with a smug hello and barely breaking a sweat.
Are there any other types of hikers we missed out? Tell us in the comments!