If you’ve heard of Mitch Albom’s book, you’ll probably think that this post is inspired by it. However, the similarities end with the title as the we will be talking about: (a) people still on Planet Earth; (b) hikers; and (c) traveling on terra firma.

Tell us in the comments if you’ve met any or all of the following types of hikers already!

The Rookie

Photo taken at Chamonix

Just beginning to get his trekking legs on, the newbie views the trail with wide-eyed interest and amazement. Although some of his gear (particularly the shoes) may not be appropriate for the hike – he may even lack an essential equipment or two – his curiosity and enthusiasm somehow makes up for it. He may find the whole activity physically challenging and may even complain every now and then, but he can take cues from the more experienced people in his hiking group and just grin and keep hiking and learning as he goes.

The Veteran

The hiker with a lot of notches on his walking stick, he is the one who has virtually seen it all and constantly seeks new summits and challenging trails to conquer. He already knows the essentials to bring based on the terrain, climate, and other environmental factors involved so he’s got all the right stuff in his backpack, which most likely is the appropriate weight based on his body mass and height. He doesn’t overpack nor underpack, although he may go minimalist on short hikes. He’s the one with all the answers and practical solutions, but isn’t necessarily boastful about it. He also isn’t easily fazed by surprises on the trail. His presence can be a reassuring and educational one to the newbies in a hiking group.

The Leader

This person is a natural leader, taking the lead when situations call for certain decisions. He is the one who rallies people on the trek and is seen as the alpha figure in the group. He could seem controlling, bossy, or cocky, but he’s the one a group reflexively turns to when crucial calls need to be made.

The Photography Buff

Photo taken at Kandersteg

The hiker who likes documenting the outdoors with his camera is also most likely a nature lover and naturally takes on the role of group photographer. That considered, it’s no surprise most of his photos do not include him. But that’s okay with him. The perfect shot is all that matters to him.

And then there is that person who is rather fond of selfies, taking photos of the scenery with his smiling face (and/or a couple others) in them. He typically wields a smartphone on a selfie stick or in a protective casing for this purpose. His penchant for selfies can be annoying for some (he sometimes blocks the wonderful views) but handy for others who like documentation but are not as committed to the task of taking snaps every few minutes or so during a hike.

The Gear Lover

You’ll know one when you see him, thanks to the branded gear he brings. He doesn’t do with makeshift equipment or tools, he virtually has everything for every hiking need (and in the latest model, too). He amazes you with his nifty gear and schools you on the best shoes, backpack, walking stick, crampon, and tent on the market. He’s a good source of information of gear with his encyclopedic knowledge of such. While he tends to bring a bit too much on the journey, you’d be thankful for his presence as he is the kind of person you most probably borrow things from on a hike.

Have you met any of these? Or do you see yourself in any of these 5 types of hikers? Tell us!


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