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. Haha – I can DEFINITELY relate to some of this! But mainly it all boils down to the same thing: I’m so totally unfit. The puffing, the panting… I’ve got it all. Urgh. Yup, definitely need to do more exercise!

      Yup. I’m working on it, but I think tough hikes would have me puffing and hurting no matter what kind of shape I was in!

    Hilarious and totally accurate.

    This time last year I would have said this post perfectly describes me but my boyfriend convinced me to help with his scouting troop last year. I went from enjoying the outdoors but requiring a bed and shower, to full on outdoors woman in-training. But I still agree with you on the sweating and ugly clothes.

      Good for you! I might be convinced to like hiking a bit more someday, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a true outdoorsy girl!

    I think hiking clothes are really cute… and often spend more money on those then I would on something like a nice dress… I’m such a nerd! Oh well. Thats still awesome that you hiked and I tend to feel similiar but I just keep doing it anyways. You never know, you may wake up one day and just want to do it all the time… 🙂

      I would LOVE to wake up one day and be in love with hiking! But it doesn’t seem super likely in my case… haha.

    Great post! I don’t think I ever realized what a non-hiker you are! Of course I don’t relate to any of it because I am a huge hiker. 🙂 And I have to say my last pair of hiking shoes were super cute. 🙂

      I mean, I’ll GO on hikes. And every once in a while I won’t hate it (like, I did one short hike in New Zealand that I really loved). But yeah… not a huge hiker like you are!

    So not a hiker. There’s a picture of me on my most recent (and last, ha) hike, pretending to be dead atop a tiny New England mountain. I’m not a camper either, but I enjoyed staying in the Amazon overnight so much that I’m willing to try it again – Tikal sounds like an amazing place to do so!

      Haha, I’ve done the “pretend to be dead” photos before on hikes, too! It’s not that difficult to pretend, though… 😉

    Great to wake up this morning to The Husband In Tow saying “see? A Dangerous Business says we should not be hikers!” Ha!

      Hahaha! Glad to know I have such influence. 😉

    “You get bored seeing the same scenery for more than 2 hours” “Hiking clothing/shoes are hideous”

    Ahahah, both of these are so true! I enjoy working out (or used to, before we started travelling), but hiking is just sooo boooring, and I only want to sweat that much when I’m near a shower—what a priss!! As a city girl I can say, nature is okay… in moderation! Camping is slightly more tolerable, but only when we’ve gone wild camping and it’s a nervous challenge to find someplace safe and secluded.

    But if you’re feeling out of shape.. make an effort to get some exercise! Your body is not only for hiking and naturey stuff, and the difference a little physical fitness makes in the rest of your life is really astounding. 🙂

      Haha, yeah, I’m the same about wanting a guaranteed shower after doing anything like this!

      And as for the getting in (better) shape part – I’m working on it!

    7.5 out of 9. This doesn’t help with wanting to go to Nepal and Bhutan this year.

      Well that’s good! It didn’t stop me from doing some short walks in New Zealand… but I don’t think I’ll be ready for true trekking or mountain climbing anytime soon!

    Haha this was me prior to the point when I became a keen hiker, about 7 years ago. What I wil say is that the more you do it, the fitter you get and the more enjoyable it becomes. But if you aren’t interested then that’s fine, we don’t all have to have the same hobbies 🙂

      I’ve hiked in all states of fitness (though, to be fair, never longer than like half-day hikes) and never fell in love with it. I just don’t think it’s my thing! And I’m perfectly okay with that. 🙂

    Having just spent 3 weeks hiking to and from Everest base camp this made me laugh. And was me until I for some reason (damn you Everest and your siren call) I forced myself to become a hiker over the course of those 21 days. There were times I hated every single second but there was no other way to go but forward. Only once my lazy ass got into hiking shape after the first week did I really start to enjoy it (after 7 days of hell). Also I found I hate going downhill 20x more than I hate going uphill. And I REALLY hate going uphill.

      Yup, I suppose 21 days of an EBC trek would force you into hiking shape! I’m sure you were glad you did it though, in the end.

      And yeah… downhill is always so hard on my old-lady knees!

    Great post!
    I read the title, thought it would be about me, kept reading and found out it was indeed about me 😀
    The only problem is that I do enjoy the views and that’s why sometimes I make an effort cursing myself on the way for ever coming up with such an idea.
    The last hike I did was in fact the one to Machu Picchu (though not the Inca Trail) and it was a strenous exercise – I promised I would get into shape… I will… one day 🙂

      Haha, glad you liked it, Monika! And good on you for doing the hikes anyway. (I’m pretty much the same… I HATE the actual hiking part, but the promise of good views usually is enough of a draw to get me to the top/the end.)

    So I kind of relate to all of these. But I still enjoy hiking. Does that make me weird?

      Hahaha not at all! These definitely apply to me, too, but there are *some* (easy) hikes that I’ve actually really enjoyed.

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