The 6 Different Types of Hiker (and hiking)

There are many forms of hiking, and hikers to go with it. What kind of hiking best suits you? Find out below!

The Local Hiker

The local hiker sets out of trails near their home. This type of hiker need very little hiking gear other than a pair of good shoes and a bottle of water. In fact, they might just be wearing tennis shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt. The local hiker might not summit epic mountain peaks (unless they live in Colorado), but they are getting to enjoy the local woods and trails.
Want to hike your local trails, but don’t know what to bring? Use our gear list!

The Day Hiker

The day hiker is a bit more ambitious. Often driving several hours or going on a vacation to find truly epic hikes. Day hikers might be in search of high summits like the 14ers of Colorado. Or they may be looking for the best views like McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. This type of hiker is going on longer hikes and might need more supplies and gear. One of the best parts of a long day hike is having a lunch picnic at the most scenic point!
Ready for your next day hike? Make sure you bring the right gear.

The Weekend Backpacker

The weekend backpacker is ready to take hiking to the next level. Rather than going on a day hike, they plan to camp for a night or two in the backcountry. This means the weekend backpacker has a lot more flexibility for their distance and destination. This type of hiker is ok without having a hot shower at the end of the day and forgoing a comfy bed.
Ready for your first weekend backpacking trip? Make sure you bring the right gear.

The Section Hiker

The section hiker is geared up for a backpacking trip that can range from a handful of days to months! They are usually doing a piece of a longer thru-hike such as the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) or the Appalachian trail (AT). These long thru-hikes take most hikers 4-6 months or more! Since the average person cannot take that much time off of work, they break it into pieces. This type of hiker really enjoys immersing themself in nature for extended periods of time.

The Thru-Hiker

The thru-hiker is a different breed altogether. Often making expeditions of 4-6 months or more, this type of hiker has their sites set on completing a long trail. Often spending days or even weeks in the wilderness between towns, the thru-hiker comes equipped for everything they might run into. This type of hiker tends to be in their late teens to early twenties or retired. People in these age groups tend to be more likely to have the time to go on such a long adventure.

The Fast Packer

The fast packer has a different approach. Like the other backpackers, the fast packer will be sleeping in the backcountry. Unlike the other backpackers, the fast packer will be running most of the time. This type of hiker opts for minimal and lightweight gear. Fast packers might use bivy sacks, all dehydrated food, or other weight saving measures. While many thru-hikers and sections hikers tend to take their time and enjoy the sights, the fast packer is moving much more quickly from point A to point B. This type of hiker is out there to challenge themselves with a different type of adventure.

Hi! David here. I hope you enjoyed learning about the different types of hikers! Have other questions about hiking, backpacking, or other outdoor activities? You can ask me questions on the Sage Board through my profile.

If you want to follow along with the adventures of me, my wife Meredith, and our dog Blaze then please check out our blog I Chafed.

Interested in going on a backpacking, bikepacking, or bicycle touring trip? We are here to help. Blaze Adventure Tours offers a variety of trips and services to help you have your best adventure yet.

9 thoughts on “The 6 Different Types of Hiker (and hiking)”

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