Girl standing by lake watching the sunrise

Really wish someone had told me about the disadvantages of hiking before I started…


Everyone seems to be going on about hiking this and hiking that but I don’t get what all the fuss is about. And I’ve done my fair share of hiking… enough to know that whilst people are always harping on about the advantages of hiking, there are SO many disadvantages people seem to completely overlook.

Life is so completely different now, all thanks to hiking, and so I wanted to warn others what they’re getting themselves in for. Here’s a list of some of the major bummers you’ll likely experience if you get involved in this whole hiking malarkey…

Hiking disadvantages
Why is hiking bad for you? I’ll tell you why…

1. Time indoors will never be the same

By far, the biggest issue with hiking is actually when you get back inside. After spending days or weeks hiking across valleys, scrambling along ridges, cooling off in waterfalls and just generally embracing inspiring natural landscapes, getting back inside can just be pretty sh!t.

I used to really enjoy being surrounded by four walls, the artificial lights and being detached from the elements but now I can barely stand it. Thanks a bunch hiking.

2. Prepare to daydream

This has actually got me in a bunch of trouble at home and at work. I CAN’T STOP DAYDREAMING ABOUT HIKING.

Everyday tasks, conversations, cycling to the shops… during pretty much all non-hiking activities I just drift off to the trail in mind. Friends think I’m going off them and my boss thinks I’m on drugs. They just don’t understand.

3. I miss my cuddly friend

Back before my hiking days, I used to have a nice plump belly but now it’s long gone. I eat and eat but all this hiking has my metabolism so high it all just seems to disappear. Sure, some people pick hiking for weight loss but now I barely fill out my t-shirts, and this is just as Leo makes the dad belly popular. Typical.

What a waste of a gym membership

4. Don’t be surprised if your gym membership stops getting use

State of the art equipment, air conditioning, a sauna… even with all that there’s something about lifting weights and running on a treadmill which just seems pretty pointless when scrambling up a mountain is such a good whole body workout and completely free of charge. What a waste of money!

5. Sometimes I miss the angry me

I once put good use to my stress, anxiety and anger but now I seem to be running dry of it. Ever since I started regularly hiking I have this calm, level-headedness I just can’t seem to shake. Must be all that time spent absorbed in nature.

Sometimes I just miss a good spot of road rage…

6. I can’t stop going on about hiking

Without me even realising I’ve turned into one of those hiking enthusiasts and my non-hiking buddies are getting sick of the trail talk. Even when the conversation starts about something else I end up relating it to hiking somehow…

  • Friends “the weather looks good for the weekend”, me “It looks great, I’m actually off to climb…”
  • Friends “I’m getting really stressed with all this work”, me “I find hiking a GREAT stress-buster”
  • Friends “I had such a nice relaxing weekend” me “the weekend was great wasn’t it, I went on the most incredible hike…”
  • Friends “I’ve always wanted to go to France”, me “oh yeh, France has some great hiking

What I’d really love is to just have a nice long chat about gear. The pros and cons of hiking boots Vs. shoes… any takers?

After having lunch here, the park will never feel the same…

7. Lunch in the park will never be the same

Enjoy eating your lunch in the park? Believe me, after you’ve scoffed some trail mix by an alpine lake surrounding by snow-capped peaks the park just loses its appeal.

Note. park lunches are a safe-zone for the hiking daydreams so you can take yourself back to that alpine lake, even on a 45-minute lunch break!

8. Prepare for potential relationship issues

Hiking is all fun and games if your other half is on board but, TRUST ME, if they’re not, say goodbye to problem-free weekends and hello to ‘all you ever want to do is go bloody hiking’.

I mean, come on, why would you spend your free time in town or shopping when you could be out exploring the great outdoors? On the positive side, you do turn into the master of persuasion!

9. What are you to do with all the excess energy?

The health benefits of hiking are pretty impressive but nowadays I find myself with so much energy I struggle to sit still for more than 20 minutes at home.

Besides picking up a bunch of other outdoor pursuits, I’ve found focusing on unnecessary tasks particularly helpful. Now we’ve got a new shed, new shelves all over the house, a compartmentalised loft, a new system to our equipment room, a hand made spice rack, bookshelves alphabetically organised and that was just last weekend.

Really starting to feel protective over these places

10. Am I turning into an eco-warrior!?!?

Since spending more time outside I’m becoming so precious about the environment. It’s just like, now I’ve experienced these incredible things whilst hiking, I want to protect the landscapes that make them possible.

On my last hike I even asked some other hikers to pick up their rubbish. I think it shocked me even more than it shocked them!

11. Those legs can cause lots of unwanted attention

I know what you’re going to say, surely you can’t complain about the hiking benefits for legs, but, I’ll warn you, all that stepping and lunging can result in a pretty dazzling set of pins, and a whole lot of extra attention. The other day I caught my reflection in a window and couldn’t believe it, as impressive as it is, I did not sign up for a booty like that!

12. Say goodbye to TV series, movies and lazy days

Before I got my hiking boots I used to love lazy days, binge-watching TV series and the latest movies. Now, when I know there are so many unclimbed peaks and hiking possibilities I just can’t bring myself to do it. My god, I miss those lie-ins and wasted days!

I’m so far out of touch with new films and shows I get lost with my friends’ conversations. I guess I’ll just talk to them about hiking…

13. The flashbacks!

If you don’t know the hiker’s flashback then let me tell you: they can strike at any point, no matter the time or place and there’s no known cure.

You’re particularly susceptible just after an epic hiking trip when you’re back in the midst of everyday life and trying to complete a monotonous task. The worst is during mundane conversations when the hiking flashback strikes and your mind is transported right back to the wilderness. Just try and remember to smile, nod and occasionally say “ohh, yeah”.

Pin me!

13 Disadvantages of Hiking Nobody Tells You About

Think you can put up with those negative impacts of hiking, as terrible as they are? Well, if you think can then maybe, just maybe, hiking might be worth your while picking up. If that’s the case then I guess these articles might be pretty useful too…

The Complete Guide to Hiking for Beginners

10 Steps to the Perfect Hike

A Day Hiking Packing List for Summer and Winter

Outdoor fanatic? Vegan adventurer? Nature lover? Sign up for our mailing list and you'll also get the Ethical Adventure Planning Guide!

24 Responses

  • Those disadvantages are my advantages. I began hiking last year the tender age of 55. Hiking has literally saved my life. This could be the first winter in 40 years I won’t be suffering from debilitating depression. Bring on the flashbacks!

      • When I returned to my laboratory work I usually noticed how the work load, the tedium and negative emotions were abundant among my peers. My hikes and canoe/kayak trips were physically tiring. After yrs of heading for the triumphs and disasters of my sojourn I became increasingly aware of how my stress was among the lowest of my peers. Like what, this job is a piece of cake. I realized that slowly, over time, I loved my Leitz microscope and achieved close to a flow experience. But without a why, it would not have taught me the value of a continual transformation with regards to the confidence which the practice of begins and ends with humility. Somes balls, somes strikes; but they ain’t nothing till I calls em. Conversely, I felt purged, renewed, that experience most or all of us knew about but lose the behavior which is necessary to, once again to become inspired. There are no real differences. Hopefully we are speaking of metanoia, a transformation which can easily become our daily focus.

  • I have hiked approx 5000 miles since 1968 including the A.T, parts of the CDT, Alaska and many wilderness areas. You are 100% right about the wonderful disadvantages of hiking. Now in my late 70’s l still enjoy it but not as frequent as before. Great article!

  • I am only a beginner to hiking but most of the disadvantages here are my advantages when I started to run 15 years ago. Running in turn gave me the fitness and confidence to start hiking.
    So heres to many more hikes in the near future

  • I live in Washington state & we are pretty spoiled with some amazing & gorgeous hiking terrain. I thought “now what kinda person could really think that hiking could have so many disadvantages” before I started reading the article. Great article because its so true. Sadly this summer we didn’t get out like we wanted due to Covid restrictions. But I’m lucky to have a partner that enjoys the great outdoors too.

  • Hiking and spending time outdoors are the pleasures of being alive. One improves the quality of one’s Life by engaging in these activities. Even a walk in a urban park can do that also. You don’t have to climb a mountain or do an ultra trail run. But getting out to the Nature trails offer the best delights. Happy Hiking!!!

  • OMG!!! I freaking love this article!! I have to admit, I was a little pissed when I saw the title, but glad I read it anyways!! I’m new to hiking, just arrived in Colorado in May and I’m in love with the mountains and everything it has to offer!! I can’t be depressed with this magnificent views and the calmness I feel inside is unexplainable!! Thank you for such an awesome and witty article that describes me to a “T”!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *