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. “Incredibly unfit” is a nice oxymoron. I might even be “amazingly unfit.”

    I would say I am a reluctant hiker, or a dabbler maybe. Basically all of these things apply to me! I do enjoy hikes as long as they are not crazy hard, not crazy paced or more than a couple of hours.

      I’m with you! For example, I did the Hooker Valley Track at Mount Cook (which is flat and only about 3-4 hours long) and loved it. But anything going uphill? Uh uh. No thanks.

    This is awesome! I love to hike….until I’m actually doing it. Then I start to curse myself and rotate thinking about all of your points above. Once I get to the end or see ‘the view’ then I love it. And start planning the next one. It’s nuts.

      Haha it’s a vicious cycle!

    Sometimes the hiking part are difficult. But the promise of good views gives me the power to walk till the end. Good post !

      Good for you! Usually the views can convince me, too – but only to a certain point! Haha.

    I’ve learned that hiking alone can be much more pleasant. In SLC there’s always other people on the trail but no one to vocally judge my slow pace, panting or sweaty knees. But I am prone to altitude-induced migraines around 10,000 feet and altitude sickness around 14,000 feet, so I have to be well prepared, so sometimes a quick hike on skis to find fresh powder is the best option. And I hope you don’t encounter a toilet stall that just has a concrete slab and a hole at the back because then you’ll love peeing in the grass immediately!

      Yes, I would imagine that hiking alone without a companion to judge you WOULD be slightly better. Though definitely still not my favorite. 😉

      (And yeah… I suppose peeing in the grass definitely tops some of the squat toilets I’ve used in Asia!)


    I’ll try not to hold this against you.


      Haha. I’m still a good person, I promise!

    Ha! Ha! Cool post Amanda. I don’t like walking uphill, getting dirty, camping in a tent, or cold water but I still love hiking. And because I have a 12 year old son in the Boy Scouts of America, I go camping once a month even in the freezing cold and rain. They’re boys you see and they like stuff like that. Sigh!

      Well good on you for going camping even though you don’t really like it!

    Hehe, great post! I could relate to so many of these! I have done a bit of hiking now and then (though it’s usually when I’ve been persuaded by my hubby rather than of my own accord!) I do like the views but as for the rest…. 😀

      I agree – the views are really the only good thing about hiking!

    This is seriously the story of my life! made me laugh and nod ‘yes yes’ so many times. Although I’ll admit I do really like camping I am sooooo unfit and hiking is my worst nightmare.
    The last one I’d add to my list is ‘you make up ever excuse why you aren’t fit’.
    -‘Oh but I’m sick this week’
    -‘I donated blood last week that’s why I’m breathing like I can’t get any air going up this massive hill’

      Hahaha! Glad this made you laugh!

    After a 3-month stint in New Zealand I realized I’m not a hiker either. I definitely recognize the boredom part. Though I still consider the Tongariro Crossing as a highlight of my trip and it was even unbelievably misty that day! Then again, the hike there is very versatile which is probably why I enjoyed it so much (I had an uncontrollable smile on my face) so I’d really recommend it.

      I haven’t done Tongariro yet (which is crazy considering how much time I’ve spent in New Zealand), but it’s one hike I definitely WILL do one day, even if I die a little bit in the process.

    I love hiking! I’m not a “fan” of sweat, but I’ll take the sweaty photos at the top of the mountain to prove how hard I worked. I’m totally with you on the pep talk thing though. I’m also a runner but I’m slow and have asthma so I get a lot of pep talks during races and training. The best of them are annoying and the worst of them are offensive. Though the people standing on the sidelines of races are usually encouraging!

      Ugh. I might hate running more than hiking – so good for you for tackling both! I probably SHOULD take more photos of myself on hikes. But I hate looking at them afterwards so much. Lol.

    I had a right laugh reading this, so funny Amanda! I love to hike but I’ve definitely experienced a few of those things when I’ve been slogging up hills. My husband has been threatened with divorce a few times when he won’t stop with his pep talks!!

      Haha oh no! Well hopefully the threats were enough to make him stop!

    Haha, I’d be the “I’m all for it!” type because I love doing outdoorsy things, even while being unfit. I’m too darn stubborn, and I enjoy myself too much. As well as making fun of myself along the way. I had to laugh at your post! Always enjoy your humor, Amanda. ;D

      Haha well I’m glad this made you laugh! That was definitely the point – it’s good to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes!

    I remember walking the Maryland Heights Trail in Harpers Ferry, WV on a high school AP US history class field trip. Boy, that was a trek! Not to mention my classmates and our teacher got scattered throughout the trail.
    I was exhausted by the time I reached the overlook where you can see Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

      Sounds like a pretty cool class field trip, though!

    This made me laugh. I definitely don’t understand the appeal of “feeling the burn” and hiking shoes/boots are ugly. Generally, unless it was a pretty leisurely hike and I could get there and back in an hour, I probably won’t hike it, but that’s all right with me.

      I’m pretty much the same – though I’ll agree to easy hikes up to 4 hours round-trip if awesome scenery is involved.

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