You Might Be a Thru-Hiker If…

What exactly is a thru hiker? Technically, it’s someone who completes a 2,000-mile trail in one hiking season, but it’s so much more than that. And this is why it can be difficult to know when exactly one becomes a thru hiker. Is it when you don’t think twice about eating a fallen skittle off the ground or when you solicit in front of a “No Soliciting” sign? There’s no right answer. You’ll know when you know. But for the wondering hiker, here’s a few hints that you are a thru hiker.

You Might Be a Thru Hiker If…

  • You own one outfit, and you’re wearing it right now
  • Your last shower was a week ago
  • Jumping in a pond counts as a shower
  • People smell you before they see you
  • The bottoms of your feet are made of plastic
  • Your shirt doubles as your towel, handkerchief, and napkin
  • You own crocs
  • You stand 5 feet away when talking to another hiker to respect the stench radius
  • Your nightmares consist of fence stiles and wet rock stairs
  • You’ve blown your nose and found a gnat in your snot
  • You have less than 10 toe nails
  • You don’t know your friends’ real names
  • You recognize hikers by their pack
  • You opt for the highest calorie foods when you go shopping
  • Losing weight is you’re worst nightmare
  • You’re hungry right now
  • You can’t walk without shoes on your feet
  • You have a distinct left and right sock.
  • Your calves could cut steel
  • You can hike 10 miles on 3 oz of water
  • You’ve mastered snot-rocketing
  • You’ve slept in a bathroom, picnic table, and garage in the same week
  • You don’t think twice about eating fallen food off the floor
  • You fall asleep to scurrying mice around you
  • You notice when your pack is 2 oz lighter
  • You genuinely despise boyscouts
  • You eat and drink whatever is in a cooler on the side of the road
  • You’re a professional hitchhiker
  • You’re favorite words are “free” and “all-you-can-eat”
  • You’re wallet is a sandwich bag with your driver’s license and some cash
  • You’ll hike 30 miles in a day through rain, snow, ice, and freezing temperatures for pizza at the end of the day
  • You’ve been asked to sit in the back of a restaurant
  • You’ll stand in a bathroom for 30 minutes just to charge your phone
  • You have a gnarly sock tanline
  • Pooping is no longer a private matter
  • Dinner conversation revolves around the weather
  • You’ve wrung out your socks before putting them on
  • You avoid handshakes like the plague
  • You eat cold oatmeal for breakfast
  • The mere sight of a Clif bar will make you cry
  • You fly past a dayhiker who’s carrying nothing but a bottle of water up a mountain
  • Your trekking poles have become your third and fourth legs
  • You walk faster over rocks and tree roots than on a paved road
  • Complete strangers know everything about your life
  • You don’t know what day it is, but you can tell a weekend by the number of dayhikers on the trail
  • You get carsick sitting in a vehicle driving 15 mph
  • Tap water tastes terrible to you
  • You’re 20-years-old and can’t make it through the night without having to pee
  • You get excited when you see a bear or moose


You’re hiking over 2,000 miles!

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Comments 1

  • Mark Stanavage : Jun 27th

    That about sums it up. Don’t hate boy scouts, leaders are usually good for a sympathy cup of coffee. But yeah, noisy inconsiderate buggers 75% of the time. You forgot: stare in wonder at people who will drive around a parking lot for 15 minutes to get a close spot when you could have parked and made the distance in 3 minutes. People at work complain about walking down a hall for ice and I’ve gladly walked an extra 2 miles for a Gatorade and ice cream from a vending machine.


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