9 Signs That You Are NOT a Hiker

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When I was a little kid, I used to be ALL about the outdoors. We're talking tree forts in the woods, swimming in mucky ponds, and hunting for nightcrawlers in the rain.

And then I grew up. And I'm not sure what happened.

These days, I still enjoy being outdoors. But you won't find me regularly camping under the stars (I am SO not a camper), bathing in streams, or embarking on any sort of adventure that would have me doing either of the aforementioned things. I'll take half-day bike rides and a warm shower at night, thanks.

I also am NOT a hiker. Sure, I love a good sweeping landscape. But give me a way to get to it that doesn't include carrying myself up a mountainside on my own two feet, and I'm ALL about it.

Here are some signs that you – like me – may just NOT be a hiker at heart.

Signs you might not be a hiker

1. You are kind of unfit

Let's face it: most of us are not as fit as we'd like to be. We dream about “getting in shape,” but never really get around to it. So when a friend invites us to climb a small mountain and we realize we've spent the last handful of months more or less connected to a laptop on a comfy red couch (this is totally hypothetical, of course…), we don't have the greatest of times.

2. Climbing uphill makes you want to lay down and die

Climbing uphill for more than an hour can really do a number on your calves. Even the best of calves can be afflicted, and trying to walk DOWNhill with jelly-legs never ends well. Trust me on that one.

Hiking in New Zealand
Extremely fake smile there, folks.

3. You don't like to sweat

Because it's sticky and slimy and smelly and makes you not want to take any photos proving you've completed the stupid hike because you look so gross.

4. The views/landscapes do not entice you (enough)

Sure, I like the IDEA of seeing the Incan ruins along the trail to Machu Picchu. But those ruins and sweeping views don't entice me quiiiiiite enough to ever want to hike the Inca Trail.

5. You get bored seeing the same scenery for more than 2 hours

Similar to the above item, some hikes just have the same scenery for hours on end. Sure, it might be great and novel for the first hour. But by hour six you are so bored that you start thinking about all the things you hate about hiking – boredom of course being one of them.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
Sand dunes are awesome. At first. But after a few minutes of hiking through them, they become not quite so awesome.

6. You're not really that outdoorsy

You might like LOOKING at the outdoors (you know, out of a nice window), but actually interacting with it is a different story. The outdoors can be hot and dirty and filled with bugs and other things that might bite you. And peeing outdoors? OMG NO.

7. Hiking clothing/shoes are hideous

It's just a fact.

8. You don't like “the burn”

People always say to “feel the burn” and that “it will all be worth it in the end.” Well, will it? What if I'm perfectly fine going through life WITHOUT feeling the burn?

9. You don't appreciate encouraging pep talks when your are wheezing and sweating from your knee caps

Pep talks at the best of times can be annoying. But when you're dripping with sweat, out of breath (from being unfit, remember?), and feeling like the scenery was NOT worth the effort, the last thing you want to hear is someone trying to encourage you along. Especially if that someone is NOT sweaty or wheezy or miserable in the slightest.

Hiking in New Zealand
Not in the mood for a pep talk.

If you can relate to any of these, then you might not be a hiker either.

But that's totally okay. There are plenty of ways to appreciate the world (even the outside one) without hiking!

(In case you didn't catch the sarcasm here, I don't actually completely despise hiking. I go on hikes fairly frequently on my travels, but have yet to fully plan a trip around it.)

If you want to read some tales of hiking from a relative non-hiker, check out these posts:

So where do you fall? Are you a hiker, or do you hate it as much as I do?

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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81 Comments on “9 Signs That You Are NOT a Hiker

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  1. You are a hiker. That’s great! You seem to enjoy it. But it’s a little disingenuous for you to write about being a non-hiker when you’ve done hikes like Angel’s Landing.

      To be fair, Steve, this post was originally written before I ever did any hikes like Angel’s Landing. But also, I still don’t consider myself a “hiker.” Am I physically capable of doing some of these hikes? Yes. Do I do some of them to get content for this website? Yes. Do I overall enjoy the act of hiking? Still no!

    I’ve tried it several times in different areas and Hiking is just so stupid to me. Nature isn’t even interesting. Super boring. I see the same type of nature crap walking down the street to the gas station. I’ll pass thank you. 🤷

    I’m much more of an urban hiker. Love walking city neighborhoods and can go for miles. Since covid though I am so sick of the only thing anyone comes up with to do is go hiking. I hate going straight uphill. It’s like hell and isn’t enjoyable to me. I usually say no.

    Absolutely, and why do my hiking friends nag me to hike all the time!?

    So funny! I’m totally a hiker. Started in Jan and am totally obsessed with it. I Love to see what’s at the top, around the corner, down a new trail. I’m sooo hooked. But I’m on here looking for hiking g stories because I CANT hike right now… haven’t been on a REAL hike (8 miles or so) since June 7… yes, I know the raw act say. You and I am so completely opposite on how we see it but hey to each their own. You are one heck of a traveler! I’d love to get family on board for that! Not wanting to go it alone :(. Can’t wait to hike again once my knee is fixed. Can’t believe I’m sidelined after 6 mos!!’n ok well I’m thinking my body wasn’t ready, not strong enough, even though I had the endurance… sucks!!! On th other hand, getting stronger legs/hips/butt SO I CAN HiKE!!!!’n is the Strongest motivator to get strong that I have ever had in my life and I’ve been wanting to use 10 pounds or so for all let’s see 20 years or so? Only now I need to lose even more like 15-20… ouch!!! But… if it gets
    Me hiking again!!! yESSsSSs!!!!

    I am not the outdoorsy at all. Being in my backyard is as close to nature as I care to be. Especially the time I came face to face with a large hidden paper wasp’s nest while removing an ugly juniper shrub from my yard, and getting stung so badly my face looked as though I had Botox from all of the swelling. My only course in “hiking” is periodically walking up 15 narrow steps to my attic to make sure roof rats haven’t chewed any new holes in my shingle roof. It’s never a nice thing to have nature’s rain making an unwelcome call inside of your bedroom! I’ll gladly spend my time indoors and hopefully what’s outdoors doesn’t find its way into my home!

    I am not a hiker either.
    I love a good landscape, as a child I knew the name of every wild flower and tree, and I love looking around gardens, but hiking makes me miserable. It’s tedious, uncomfortable, and I soon get bored with walking across endless fields full of cow pats and stiles.
    I am wondering if there is some kind of conspiracy out there, funded by the fitness and outdoor industry…like some kind of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ story where you don’t dare admit you don’t like it for fear of being thought lazy or uncool.

      Haha, well I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t love it! I’ve forced myself to hike more in recent years, but it’s still not something I love.

    I am a hiker. It’s the beer + food enjoyed at the end that pulls me through. 😉

    Ps. Just commenting this time so I can put a tick in be notified of followup comments.

      Ah but I don’t have a good excuse for being so terrible at hiking! I think you should still get out there and do it if it’s something you love!

    Pure admiration . I’m asthmatic and huff puff and wheeze. I sound like I lead a sedentary lifestyle yet I’ve walked half marathons. I get so embarrassed that I’m too scared to go on walks with groups because I’m so slow. Thanks for such a great article.

    I’m in decent shape but I still despise hiking. I’d rather be on a treadmill for 2 hours than hiking for even 30 minutes. It’s mostly the part about the scenery not changing fast enough — I’m just much too ADD for that, and at the gym I can listen to a podcast or watch a movie.

    I live in San Francisco, and everyone I know is constantly wanting to go on hikes. It’s the worst thing about living here.

      Haha I’m glad you can relate! Though I AM forcing myself to get more into hiking. Slowly.

    Found your blog while researching my trip to NZ in May. I am SO not a hiker either, but I’m going to hike the Hooker Valley trail (the whole shebang, if weather permits) at least. Every wheeze is going to condemn me for doing this to myself! Nobody’s arm-twisting me, but I just wanted to do the fun “touristy” things while travelling NZ. Dear God, I seem to have discovered a latent masochistic streak! This post resonated so deeply with me, I had to comment!

    P.S: I have deliberately kept 2 extra days at Mt. Cook after the trek. So I can at least get up from the bed and move around before heading out to the next destination!

      Haha a fellow non-hiker! Love it!

      You’ll be happy to learn, however, that the Hooker Valley trek is not that bad! It does take about half a day (it took me about 4 hours round-trip because I stopped to take tons of photos), but it’s on an easy, mostly-flat trail. It’s also a GORGEOUS hike, so I don’t think you’ll regret it!

    […] and is so easy it’s considered a “walking track” — meaning perfect for a hiking pansy like me. It also comes complete with some epic mountain views. And I am never one to turn down epic […]

    […] don’t really like hiking. In fact, sometimes I would go so far as to say that I hate it. I don’t like climbing uphill or walking for hours on end and I’m just not very GOOD at […]

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