Who NOT to go Hiking With (On Second Thought, Bring them Along!): 5 Stereotypical Hiking Haters

Who NOT to go Hiking With (On Second Thought, Bring them Along!): 5 Stereotypical Hiking Haters

Brent Johnson
By Brent Johnson / March 17, 2016
Smartphone Zombies Take Me Out Hiking Please

You finally made it here. The meadows sway gently along the horizon with peaks that loom overhead and steal your breath. This is your happy place. Nothing can shake you from living in this wonderful moment in the outdoor world. Until, that is, your unpleasant companion brings you back from your place of high with their own narrative encyclopedia of complaints. The sweat on their brow, the ache in their legs, and their lack of smartphone signal is a melancholy yodel echoing through the hills, left completely unanswered by the natural world.

Before you regret extending the hiking invitation or pity yourself for being stuck with any of these hiking haters, try to see it from all sides of reality; which happens to be theirs, yours, and the environment you’ve tried so hard to escape to.

City People

Where’s the nearest cafe? I need a triple espresso shot if you expect me to walk up that. And there’s no sound out here. I miss people. Um, what’s that crawling on my Gucci bag? I’ll just wait here for the next taxi.

Hate the Hiker

You should immediately regret inviting someone from the city to hike with you. People from big cities are useless in the outdoors. Although they might be used to a bit of walking, they won’t see the purpose in walking just for the sake of it. In the city, the only way to get around is by rushing and shoving your way with head down, intentions forward. Chasing time and stressing out between points A and B has become the familiar life for people calling cities ‘home’. So, when you invite your city friend to hike in the great outdoors with you, how do you expect them to feel in these foreign woodlands without convenience, commotion, and crowds?

City Hikers Are The Worst

Love the hiker

On second thought, help them feel at home. Point out old geological formations and compare the ancient architecture found in cities. Work up your appetites along your hike and have them try some simpler meals as opposed to the hodge-podge flavor explosions in cities. Discover the sounds of the environment and make some noise of your own to create harmony; a fusion of humans and nature. Most importantly, take your time and take it all in. You don’t want to whiz by this moment of peace in the outdoors. When they do finally make their way back to the bright lights of the city, they will have a new, fresh, and healthy perspective that is bound to affect others in a good way.

Children

Wah! Carry me! My legs are tired. Wah! I need the bathroom. I’m hungry. Wah! Can I play games on your phone? Wait for me! Wah!

Hate the Hiker

You must be kicking yourself by now for bringing children on this hike. Children are the ultimate takers. You can just forget about what you would like to do and any of your personal goals. They need your attention constantly, they need to be rewarded, and they need to be taught lessons often. All this and much more, without any thanks. Whining and complaining are their finest, natural skills and they never tire of using them. Walking on uneven terrain is hard for their shrimpy legs. The elements don’t shudder at the shrill of a toddler. And predators, both microscopic and larger-than-life, lurk around every bend. So, why would you even consider bringing a small version of a human on a hike?

Hiking with kids is the best fun

Love the Hiker

On second thought, take this opportunity to hike with children and release your inner child along with them. Children are seeing the world for the first time, all the time. So, they have this contagious magic in their enthusiasm which you can share together. Whether before their school years or already attending, they can learn a lot about the natural world that they wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to. Their imaginations can run wild as their physical selves try to keep up. And nothing tastes better than a sweet treat they’ve earned hiking up and over the undulations of land.. They won’t soon forget this whole experience with you in nature, shaping who they will become.

The Elderly

Back in my day…what was I saying? Oi! My back! I need to sit down. Oh, I can’t get up! Can you pass my dentures? Nature called but I didn’t answer quick enough, if you know what I mean.

Hate the Hiker

What a stupid idea to invite grandpa on this hike! A bit similar to children in a lot of ways, the elderly go at their own pace. However, the big difference is they don’t have to listen to a word you say. In fact, you might be the one doing all the listening. With an ear full of fact and fiction mixed into stories from decades ago, the elderly could go on and on with no end in sight. And of course, age has slowed them down to a snail’s pace. Your hike could be more of a crawl. Bowels could also have a mind of their own. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind invite a senior to go hiking with them?

Old man hard-core hiker

Love the Hiker

On second thought, their wisdom is unmatched. The advice from a life lived long has priceless value. So, open your ears and mind to the voices of those who’ve seen it all, done it all, thought of it all. Also, think of this hike as an opportunity for service. All of us owe elders our time and respect. We can learn a lot from them, whether it be about our past and future, our world, or ourselves. Hiking in the outdoors has the ability to make us slow down and appreciate what’s in front of us now. So, stop and listen to your elders. They know a lot more than we think. They’ll be glad to have someone to share a conversation with, too.

Don’t want to lose Granddad in the Woods? Check our writings on Affordable GPS devices and give hime one.

The Obese

I’m sweating like a pig and I’m chaffing. This is torture. What do you mean we’re still in the parking lot? I know I just ate, but can I have half of yours?

Hate the Hiker

Worst idea to date: inviting the fat guy on a hike. Leading large tummies into the forest sounds like a bad idea in so many ways. Ever had to bear bag your food before? You might need to consider a similar technique to keep your food away from your overweight companion. They will probably complain a lot since this could be their first time exercising ever. The trail might even suffer under their heavy load. Other hikers might find getting stuck behind this fat traffic a bit frustrating because they take up the entire trail. What are you to do with Jabba the Hut when you still have plenty of trail to cover today?

fat dude in the middle of nowhere

Love the Hiker

On second thought, you can start by taking the expectations down a notch. Plan on something small, hiking a short distance to make an achievable goal. After all, they are people who get self-conscious, just like the rest of us. A confidence boost wouldn’t hurt anybody, would it? The most exciting and familiar part of the hike for the larger friend will be the sustenance and snacks. They’ve earned every right to devour their food after working hard. But, take this time to talk with them about their diet-exercise ratio and try to encourage this outdoor experience to become a more regular activity. Shed some light on what options they have to improve their way of life. Words of wisdom from a genuine friend can leave a lasting impact on listeners. All of this taking place in nature can make for a powerful experience. So, give the larger people some love and food for thought. We all need it.

Want to prep your fat friend for a hike? Read here about how one of our colleagues did it.

“Smombies” (Smartphone Zombies)

I can’t get any connection out here. Oh wait, I’ve got one bar…..(typing)……Oh, it’s gone. Well, let’s take a few selfies then. I can’t wait for everyone on Facebook to see this …… (typing)….Did you say something?

Hate the Hiker

Why would anyone in their right frame of mind invite a “smombie” on a hike? Braindead from relying on their devices, “smombies,” or smartphone zombies, wander aimlessly in civilization with their eyes fixed on their screens. Technology has got so many people wrapped around it’s digital finger that they have forgotten how to accomplish anything for themselves. People on auto-pilot go out into the woods expecting their technological devices to hike for them. Out here in the wilderness, they look and sound pathetic without their addictive devices, being unable to surf the web at a given moment. So, why bring a “smombie” into the woods to spread the disease?

Smartphone Zombies Take Me Out Hiking Please

Love the Hiker

On second thought, see this hike as an opportunity for smartphone users to detox from their obsession. It is hard to live in this current world and ignore the technological advances taking place. So, try to have meaningful conversations with those smartphone users to get them breathing the fresh air and looking up at the world instead of down at their hands. Reminisce about times before modern advancements. If you don’t know the answer to something, don’t immediately try to find the answer at your fingertips. Rather, recommend turning the device off and enjoy being detached from that world for a little while. It won’t be going anywhere without you. We all need to recharge our mental batteries and hiking can bring that refreshment to our lives.

Truth be told, there are tons of people in the world that make terrible hikers. It’s a sport and lifestyle that brings you far from your comfort zone. Any creature of habit will find it challenging. So, it’s easy to get fed up with these hopeless amateurs, but remember to have compassion. After all, we have been children, we will reach our elder years, and we will detour somewhere in between most of our lives. Chances are likely that we’ll be each of these hiking haters or hated hikers sometime in our lives! So, have empathy, love the hiker, and share the wonders of the outdoors with everyone you meet. Everyone deserves to feel the magic of hiking, so invite all the hiking haters you can think of! There’s always room for more conversions.

About the author

    Brent Johnson

    Brent is busy bouncing around the globe, scribbling pen onto paper along his way. He finds inspiration in nature, extraordinary people, and the experience of adventure from challenging hikes and boardsports. He also likes to play guitar and is traveling with his fiancee, Kirsty.

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