Hikers are just like everyone else—they come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. To help you find your place in this new world, we’ve provided a quick guide to the five most common types of hikers:
1. The berry burglar
These types of hikers are not one to be messed with. They’ll stop at nothing to find a wild berry patch and make off with as many hucks, saskatoons, or thimbleberries as they can fit into their mouth at one time. They are sneaky, fast, and quiet. They may not know where they’re going, but they’re sure to get there with a full stomach of berries. If you see a berry burglar coming your way, it’s best to just offer them a berry or two so they don’t swipe your whole pack.
Pros of hiking with the berry burglar: If you ask nicely, they might share with you.
2. The sherpa wannabe
These types of hikers carry around so much stuff—and so much stuff you didn’t even know existed—that every step they take sounds like a horse clip-clopping along. They think they can carry everything they want and still make it up the mountain (and surprisingly, they usually do!). But don’t judge them too harshly—they just want to feel prepared for every possible outcome. Which is great, as long as you don’t have to carry any of their gear.
Pros of hiking with the sherpa wannabe: They can share their sunscreen since you forgot yours.
3. The rookie
The rookie is easy to spot because they’re the one with their backpack on backwards and their socks pulled all the way up over their knees. They’re fresh-faced and easily excited by anything to do with the outdoors. They’ll also try to steal your stuff when you’re not looking—keep an especially watchful eye over your bug spray and Band-Aids.
Pros of hiking with the rookie: Their eagerness, energy, and willingness to learn is contagious.
4. The macro-meister
You’ll find these type of hikers on the trail with a camera dangling from their neck and a bag full of lenses, one of which is specifically designed to take pictures of rocks. They pause every five feet to snap a picture of literally everything they see, from the wildflowers to the bugs. They aren’t here for the hike—they’re here for the photo ops.
Pros of hiking with the macro-meister: They’ll help you see the world in a different way.
5. The trailblazer
You’ve seen these types of hikers before, the one who shows up looking like a walking MEC ad and whose main goal is to adventure off the beaten path. They’re looking for the next big thing, and they’ll go to any length to find it—including through snowpack, brambles, or even over a cliff face, if necessary. They don’t have time for “well-established paths” or “popular routes,” and they definitely don’t want to meet any hikers along the way. If you see this type of hiker coming towards you on the trail, be sure to jump out of the way or risk getting trampled.
Pros of hiking with the trailblazer: You’re always going somewhere new.
So which hiker stereotype are you? Whether you’re the newbie or the weekend warrior, you’re contributing to a healthy and vital community of people who are getting outside and enjoying nature. Trek on!