The 8 Types of Backpackers You’ll Meet on the Trail

The 8 Types of Backpackers You’ll Meet on the Trail

The 8 Types of Backpackers You’ll Meet on the Trail


While you might have a lot of common with other backpackers, sharing the same passions and love for the outdoors, each person you hike with brings a different attribute to the table. At times, it might be hard to determine what kind of backpacker you are, but if you hit the trails often, then there’s no doubt you’ve met some of these amazing backpackers along the way:

The Enthusiastic Backpacker

The Enthusiastic Backpacker

While it’s no secret that we all can’t get enough of being in the outdoors, the enthusiastic backpacker won’t let anyone forget just how excited they are. They will be telling friends and family months before the trip as if they’ve been waiting for it their whole lives. When they complete a hike, they will never stop repeating “how awesome” it was and “how great” they feel. Ultimately, we need these backpackers to help us remember why this sport is awesome.

The Overly-Prepared BackpackerThe Overly-Prepared Backpacker

The overly-prepared backpacker always makes sure that nothing important gets left behind, meaning their backpack will be twice the size of yours, packed with everything they need ‘just in case’. Even if you are doing a 5 mile day hike, they’ll be sure to bring enough supplies for a month. This type of backpacker is essential, because no matter how ridiculous you think they’re being, they always seem to have that one item you desperately need but never considered bringing.

The ‘Chill’ BackpackerThe Chill Backpacker

The Chill Backpacker is the experienced gal or guy who’s been doing this whole thing for a while, and will keep reminding you that “you don’t need to worry”, “it’s all good”, and “we’re gonna be fine!”. There could be a rattlesnake crawling near your foot or a flash flood on the rise, and this person will continue to be calm, making you feel crazy for “overreacting” so much. However, without the Chill Backpacker, we would freak out in dangerous situations where we should be relaxed.

The Environmentalist BackpackerThe Environmentalist

Anyone who backpacks could consider themselves an environmentalist, but this backpacker takes it to a whole new level. They’re the ones picking up litter on the side of trails, promoting the protection of animals, and attending board meetings on declaring more national monuments. They’re up to date on every current event involving the place you are visiting, and they are EPA’s spokesperson in a nutshell. We all need someone like this to remind us what being outdoors is all about.

The ScoutThe Scout Backpacker

The Scout Backpacker is an expert on everything. They’ve been in the outdoors since they were five years old, and they know all the tricks in the book. They are the navigator, the leader, and the doctor all in one. They know which berries are safe to eat, and how to survive a bear attack. They seem to be able to start a fire with a stare and they can set up a tent with their hands tied behind their back. If it’s your first time out in the backcountry, you’re going to want The Scout as your guide.

The Stylish BackpackerThe Stylish Backpacker

The Stylish Backpacker is the one that still looks good even after days of not showering. Their hair is always clean, they never get red, ugly bug bites, and they carry themselves in such a way that they might as well be on the front cover of a backpacking magazine. Of course, they always have the most fashionable gear on the market and basically, they make you feel much dirtier than you actually are just by looking at them. Don’t fret though; the backpacker who looks good, feels good, always keeping up the morale of everyone else in the group.

The Risk-TakerThe Risk Taking Backpacker

We all know that backpacker who’s the adrenaline junkie. The one who has no problem jumping off of cliffs, likes sleeping in the vicinity of bears, and doesn’t mind taking ‘shortcuts’ through the backcountry. Their the ones who peer pressure you into doing crazy things, and make fun of you when you say no. While this backpacker can certainly give us a run for our money, they are the ones that make the whole experience as exciting as possible.They keep us on our toes, introducing us to aspects of the outdoors we may never otherwise try.

The Spiritual BackpackerThe Spiritual Backpacker

The Spiritual Backpacker is the one who really connects with nature. They like to do yoga at sunrise on top of mountain peaks, and they always make time to meditate with the sounds of waterfalls or birds nearby. They never complain, and they always stay positive. They seem to be able to talk to animals and they get uplifted by the simplest things. They are one of the best people to hike with because the Spiritual Backpacker will make sure you never take any part of the experience for granted.

Next time you meet one of these fellow backpackers, make sure to say ‘thank you’.

hanalarock I'm Hana- a freelance travel writer and teacher who currently lives in South Korea. I'm originally from New York, but have spent the last two years traveling and living abroad. My first time hiking in the US was when I traveled around the country as a teenager. Though, my first adult backpacking trip was a year ago, when I hiked from Thailand down to Singapore for a month. I'm looking forward to many more adventures in the future. Visit my site for more information.