You Might Be Hiker Trash If…

hiker trash

haɪk•r træʃ

noun US informal

  1. the endearing term used within the hiking community to describe a hiker or group of hikers who have acclimated to a lower standard of living.
  2. the following are examples gathered from the hiking community to assist in diagnosing yourself or your companion with the honorable affliction/label of hiker trash.

“You calculate distance by the tenth of the mile.”

“Sharing a small hotel room with four other people sounds luxurious.”

Rocket aka @juliasheehan (AT ’19)

“You’re not sure if you have a tan or you’re covered in dirt.”

“Hitchhiking doesn’t seem sketchy anymore!”

“You pack out wine in your SmartWater bottle knowing there is no reliable water for the next 30 miles.”

Sunshine aka @getlo19 (AT ’18, CDT ’19)

“You use the Appalachian Trail as your defense in court. Then, when you win the judge wants to know if you completed the whole trail.”

Hermes aka @eerie_mtns (AT ’19)

“You nap facedown at a national monument.”

Rabbit aka @rabbithikes (AT ’16, PCT ’17, CDT ’18)

“You have found abandoned undies on the trail that were in better shape than your own, so you swapped those bad boys out.”

Beer aka @flipflopperpat (AT ’18)

“A hostel has old cornhole boards—but no bags—so you use rice and ZipLocks for cornhole.”

50/50 aka @50.50offtheat (AT ’19)

“You’ve bought an eighth in the middle of the woods from a total stranger.”

Iceman Dan aka @danielupkes (AT ’14)

“A good place for a nap is a full bag of trail mix.”

“Your legal place of residence is a tent.”

TBD aka @shersonthetrail (AT ’19)

“You’ve slept on a Z-lite on your hotel balcony.”

Famous aka @acetakesahike (PCT ’19)

“You eat a whole rotisserie chicken on the curb outside of Walmart.”

Baloo aka @lost_in_a_hayes (AT ’18)

“You camp out for hours in gas stations or fast-food restaurants to charge your electronics.”

“You’ve ever hung your hammock up in a park on a swing set.”

Two Speed aka @cguynn (AT ’17, PCT ’18)

“You’ve licked Cheese Whiz, that exploded in your pack, off of your tent fly for lunch.”

Growler aka @WEP88 (AT ’18)

“You don’t think showering every day is necessary.”

Blue Moon aka @bluemoonrising2021 (PCT ’13)

“You pack out cigars to feel fancy.”

You air out your gear in the laundromat parking lot.”

Sweet Tea aka @anna.s.jones (AT ’18)

“You wore a Speedo and drank beer at the summit of Mount Whitney.”

Momento aka @circus_58 (PCT ’18)

“You know how to open a bottle of wine with a trekking pole.”

Munchies aka @munch_88 (PCT ’17)

“You’re willing to wake up to one of your tramily members farting every single morning.”

“You can’t stop hoarding Ziploc baggies.”

Victory Lap aka @akashgfanpage (AT ’19)

“You get your vortex patch at Angel’s Rest.”

“You accept a free bed and shower from someone you met five minutes ago.”

Junco aka @ashleyisoutside (AT ’19)

“You’ve drank a beer that you packed out at 5:30 a.m. to lower your pack weight.”

Supergirl aka @jessamagee (AT ’19)

“You sawed off your toothbrush to lower your pack weight but will shove as many trail magic beers into your pack as you can, without a second thought.”

Salamander aka @sutton_kt (AT ’19)

“Rain pants are formal town attire.”

“You take food from strangers in vans.”

Swift aka @turlecharles_va (AT ’15)

“You take over the local diner when you roll into town.”

“You think you would be good at being homeless.”

Bear Chaser aka @buxham (AT ’18)

“You try to imitate @twerkinthedirt and fail miserably.”

“Someone comes up to me in a Walmart parking lot and points you toward the nearest homeless shelter.”

Comet aka @runlottierun (AT ’19)

“You calorie count in the opposite direction than most.”

“You can smell day hikers or fresh out of town thru-hikers by their dryer sheet smell.”

“You drink the dishwater from your dinner cup.”

Tic Toc (AT ’19)

How do you know for sure that you’re hiker trash?

You find friendships in the most unlikely places. You connect with the people around you on a much deeper level. The friendships that you made only a few days ago have evolved into a family that you can’t imagine living without. Shout-out to the people who changed my life and taught me lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn. I can’t wait to get back out there next season.

Subscribe to The Trek’s newsletter for your chance to participate or ensure you don’t miss future articles like this one!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 13

  • Lil Shitpost : Dec 24th

    Swap out the word, “Hiker” with “Leftist”.

  • Drew Boswell : Dec 24th

    I’m still laughing at most of these, and quite a few are absolute genius. Wonderful fun to read, especially with the photos. Nicely done.

  • Just "Bob" : Dec 24th

    This is probably the funniest posting I have ever read on this site. Thank you for making me laugh today !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bob Sartini : Dec 24th

    Must be great to be under thirty.

    • Steven Johnson : Dec 26th

      … or over 60! 🙂

  • Michelle : Dec 26th

    Hey wait… How DO you open a bottle of wine with a trekking pole???

  • Ryan : Dec 26th

    Self important losers

  • FM : Dec 27th

    At what point do backpackers officially crossover to becoming ‘Hiker Trash’? Nose blindness–when the hiker can’t smell himself anymore.

  • Alpaca 16 : Dec 27th

    Might be if, by month about 4 you look straight up a sheer ridge and tell yourself that if you see a blaze next step, straight up that ridge, “you got this” … ain’t a thing

  • Mark Stanavage : Dec 28th

    Done so many, made me laugh! Saw some negative, judgemental replies… so I’ll add one. Hiker trash doesn’t care and don’t take themselves or others too seriously. HYOH, LYOL! Happy trails in 2020!

  • Kevin Neft : Jan 1st

    When you hear the word “bar” you first think of a Cliff bar, granola bar, or similar meal/snack bar instead of a drinking establishment…

  • Tony Manley : Jan 8th

    Most importantly..good times had by all! ?

  • Hallie kemp : Dec 29th

    When a homeless dude gives you five dollars


What Do You Think?