The 10 Types of People You Meet on the Trail

We embrace the stereotype to salute the characters who add a little personality to all the backpacking trips we’ve ever taken

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

The outdoors are for all of us, and all kinds do show up. Setting out on a stroll in nature means we will almost inevitably come in contact with not-so-polite, socially strong-willed, or otherwise memorable humans. With our combined years of hiking, Outside staffers realized that there a few trends in the humans we’ve encountered on the trail.

#1. Speedwalker Who Breathes Down Your Neck But Isn’t Going Quite Fast Enough to Pass You Gracefully

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#2. Gear Junkie with Immaculate, Expensive Stuff That They Very Clearly Just Bought in One Grand Trip to REI

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#3. Superfit Old Dude Who Says What a Beautiful Day It Is

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#4. Hiker with Carabiners, Bear Bells, Hiking Poles, Visor, and Wraparound Sunglasses on Very Normal-Length Hike

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#5. Neverending Boy Scout Caravan

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#6. Small Child Who Is Absolutely Going to Die If They Have to Go One More Mile

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#7. Mountain Biker Who Runs You Off the Trail and Definitely Doesn’t Mean It When They Apologize

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#8. Annoying Dog Person Who Says “He Usually Comes Back to Me Right When I Give the Command!” Also, Leaves Their Dog Poo Bag on the Trail and Does Not Intend to Retrieve It Later

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#9. Person in Jorts and Toms Who Is Probably Going on Their First (and Last) Hike of the Year

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

#10. Bro with Boombox and Affinity for Bad Pop-Country Electronic Remixes

(Illustration: Erin Wilson)

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Thru-HikingHiking and BackpackingMountain Biking
Lead Illustration: Erin Wilson
More Adventure