How to be a Thru-Hiking Elitist 

When it comes to thru-hiking, it’s absolutely imperative that everyone follows the rules (not guidelines) set by you. Here’s a few tips to help you get started helping other hikers hike your hike.

1) Reduce your base pack weight to sub 7 lbs and make sure everyone knows it. You really need everyone to know that your pack is lighter and therefore superior to theirs.

2) Hike the most miles each day. Proudly announce you have completed the most miles each day to everyone at the shelter.

3) Talk about your thousands of Instagram followers.  Actually humble-brag incessantly.

4) Make sure everyone knows that if they don’t see each white blaze they aren’t a real thru hiker.

5) Post about people skipping white blazes and yellow blazing on Facebook groups.  The court of common pleas is full, we must ensure the Facebookers all know that Hot Lunch(Class of ’16) yellow blazed 30 miles up Uncle Johnny’s in Erwin TN.

6) See #5… I cannot stress this enough you must post on FB groups how superior you are as a hiker.

7) Write a blog post titled “Don’t invite yourself on my thru hike” before you leave.

8) Arrive last at the shelter and still announce how many miles you did each day. (Ref. #2)

8b) Immediately wake everyone up by shining your non red lens headlamp in everyone’s eyes so they know you have arrived safely to the shelter.

9) Leave all of your carried trash at any trail magic found.  They probably drove anyway.

10) Carry 2 extra sodas away from trail magic, not just 1.  No one hikes as many miles as you anyway.

11) Take surface dumps immediately adjacent to the trail.

12) Throw any other trash you’ve been carrying into the fire ring before leaving camp each morning.  Leave first of course.

13) Inform each day or section hiker you pass their aroma of fresh linens is offensive and they should be ashamed.

14) Never shower.

15) Wear one pair of socks until they die, or all other hikers refuse to speak to you.

16) Correct anyone misusing the term stealth camping.

17) Loudly explain Leave No Trace to anyone not in compliance.  Do this with as many adjectives as possible.  When in doubt summon Judge Judy (Class of ’16) for any written citations necessary.

18) Quote your best estimate of when someone’s inferior gear will break down on them.

19) Out drink everyone in town.  Harass all locals for their mainstream lifestyle.  Remind everyone for several hundred miles.

20) Never eat Ramen noodles.  Judge all that do.  Especially those savages eating uncooked Ramen.

21) Call out any hiker or gear company that does not bow down to your  thru hiking superiority on all forms of social media.

22) Take everything from the hiker box you can carry.  Open everything else and taste it before returning it to the hiker box.  Immediately spill it inside.

23) Hike naked, the day before and day after hike naked day.

24) Spread misinformation about non existent trail magic.

25) Use an entire page in each shelter log writing your entire life story.  People should and do care to hear about your 2nd grade teachers bunions.

26) Never thank trail angels, they are inferior and you don’t want to encourage them to challenge your superiority.

27) Make sure all shelter capacity is not exceeded, especially when it’s raining.( AKA Seats TAKEN!)

28) Inform all section hikers who gets first priority for all shelters on the AT.  Thru hikers.

29) Write and publish a post encouraging overall thru hiking tomfoolery and snobbery to the greatest hiking website, then immediately post it to Facebook and Instagram.

These should get you well on your way to becoming a BAMF thru hiking legend!  If anyone is going to hike anyone’s hike, they better hike yours!

Chances are you have come across these types of hikers… or even been one yourself.  I seriously did write the post in #7, luckily I didn’t publish it(H/T ZDiddy).  If you care enough about who calls themselves a thru-hiker to complain on Facebook, you missed the whole point of thru hiking.  It’s time to lighten up, laugh at ourselves and come together as a community.  To stop bashing each other’s gear, stop caring who blue blazed or yellow blazed.  I’ll leave you with a quote from the wise and ever-so-eloquent philosopher Raylan Givens:

“If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole.  If you ran into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” Raylan Givens – Justified

Disclaimer: Clearly this was published in jest, and the feature photo is of Wheels.  I took it and he’s a hilarious BAMF thru-hiker, of the non-snob variety.

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Comments 11

  • Mary : Jun 1st

    Like. HYOH y’all.

  • Ashley Schellhase : Jun 1st

    I am the savage who eats raw ramen.

    • Dylan Niknot : Jun 5th

      Embrace your inner savage!

  • Danielle : Jun 2nd

    Why hasn’t someone made GNAR

    • Danielle : Jun 2nd

      Why hasn’t someone made GNAR for thru-hiking Such a great post! Maybe you need to make the GNAR game for thru-hiking to bring some humor to the trail.

  • Stu : Jun 2nd

    love the “asshole” quote, so true and what a way to live your life and reflect on your day. :^)

  • Joshua Johnson : Jun 5th

    Right on, LOL. Thank you for this best-in-class satire.

  • Dylan Niknot : Jun 5th

    The worst part is most of these are fact based!

  • mỹ phẩm xách tay chính hãng : Oct 16th

    I have fun with, lead to I discovered just what I was taking a look for.

    You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.

  • Todd : Apr 5th

    I notice some of that snobbery come out once in a while from AT vloggers. The second I hear them bash or put down someone who is on the trail that is not a thru-hiker, I lose interest and unsubscribe. With that in mind, I really need to give those thru-hikers a heads up. The AT (or any long distance trail) is not your sole domain. I have been doing weekend to week long trips on it for the last 20 years and will continue to do so long after your little six month adventure is over and you decide not to step on a trail again. Plus, for those that have that elitist little attitude that is brewing right under the surface, keep in mind that 5/6 of you will not complete your hike.

    • NormaJeanMonster : May 28th

      You are spot on. I live near a lot of trails, and my dog and I are going to be walking our 5-15 mile loops 2 or 3 times a week in perpetuity. I don’t need attitude from some jagoff who will never set foot in my little National Forest domain ever again.
      I like to use an old 5 iron as a walking stick as it has unmatched spider web smasher/multifloral rose decapitator capabilities. Of course this odd gear choice will occasionally attract snobbish confused looks from hiking elitists with their fancy poles horrified that they are sharing the trail with a uneducated, possibly dangerous hillbilly. I’m just looking for a clear spot to stop, light a fat blunt, and really enjoy the trail.


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