While Eric and I were in Yosemite, we were marveling at the variety of people you meet on hiking trails. There are people there from all walks of life, and while they are all very different, they all have one thing in common: they are there to admire our beautiful mother nature. Take a look at the 8 stereotypes we identified on the trail.
1. The Wise Trail Veteran
How you’ll spot them: An elderly, tranquil person with a bucket hat and trekking poles. They may be 70+ and keeping up with or passing you on the trail, try to keep up with them because the wisdom they share will be invaluable. They will tell you incredible stories of the adventures in their lives and share with you a beautiful outlook on life.
What you’ll learn from them: ALL THE THINGS! They will teach you to foster a sense of adventure throughout your entire life and that age is just a number.
2. The Hiker Bro
How you’ll spot them: They’ll be wearing chubbies, won’t pack out their trash, and likely will be doing something stupid/dangerous “for the gram.” They will also probably be playing music on the trail like an idiot.
What you’ll learn from them: How not to hike.
3. Empty Nesters
How you’ll spot them: This couple has taken up travel and hiking as a hobby after their children moved out or after retirement. If you’re around the age of their kids, they will find you and they will adopt you. Let it happen, we have met so many amazing “travel parents” in this fashion.
What you’ll learn from them: Call your parents, they miss you and they worry about you.
4. Trail Parents
How you’ll spot them: At first you may think they have a 70L backpack on their backs, then you’ll spot two little eyes peeking out at you and realize THEY ARE CARRYING A BABY (and often they’ll be passing you with said baby on their back)!
What you’ll learn from them: Life doesn’t end after having children. Also you should stop crying about the weight of your pack, at least you don’t have another human on your back.
5. The Summit Collectors
How you’ll spot them: They’ll breeze past you, seemingly not out of breath, and then they’ll pass you 30 minutes later on their way back down from the peak. They will not stop for pictures, except maybe for a brief selfie at the top.
What you’ll learn from them: They will make you feel massively out of shape and will teach you that you should probably step up your cardio game.
6. The Nature Photographer
How you’ll spot them: They will have a fancy DSLR around their neck and a pack full of photography gear. They will stop multiple times on the trail to take pictures.
What you’ll learn from them: Always stop to take in the view. Also if you pick their brains, you can learn A TON about photography, they are usually very open to sharing their knowledge.
7. The Ill-Prepared Hiker
How you’ll spot them: They may be hiking in jeans or a dress, with a purse instead of a backpack, and have no water on their person. If you pass them on the way down, they will ask you how much further when they are only 1/2 a mile in.
What you’ll learn from them: The value of spreading knowledge about preparedness and the dangers of the wild.
8. The Local
How you’ll spot them: They’ll be hiking in flip flops and will never reference their map, you’ll find them in low traffic areas.
What you’ll learn from them: Where the best hikes are and when the best trails open.
Which hiking stereotype do you fall under? Any group that we missed? Let us know in the comments below! As always, subscribe and follow us on our social media channels for more updates!
Keep wandering friends,
The Wandering Michiganders