5 Types of Outdoorsy People, and How to Identify Them

Spend enough time outdoors, and you’ll notice different types of outdoorsy people. While I’m sure there are dozens of outdoorsy types I’ve excluded here, I’ve come up with 5 of my personal favorites and how to identify them.

Type 1: Expensive Gear, No Skills

It’s all top of the line for No. 1. Clothes, packs, tents, boots—you name it, they bought the most expensive version available, and lots of it.

They’ll look at your dusty, beat up gear with contempt. You can typically locate them at an outdoor store buying gear, not using gear. They’ll get all decked out for their first hiking experience, a paved/flat 3-miler where they “test” their gear.

Never throw No. 1’s new expensive gear in the dirt unless you’d like to get punched in the face! You’ve been warned.

2. Really Wants To Enjoy Being Outdoors, But Hates Every Minute Of It

No. 2 hates every little thing about being outdoors, but will pretend they’re having oodles of fun for the sake of maintaining an outdoorsy image.

No. 2 is usually associated with the Type 1: Expensive Gear, No Skills category. The slight urge to join their buddies on wild outdoor adventures is combated by mosquitoes, poison oak, cold nights, sore feet, dirty skin, and much, much more.

So while he/she wants to get out there, in reality, they’d rather be loafing in air-con sipping iced lattes.

The easiest way to identify No. 2 outdoors is by their constant bitching and moaning, the lack of happiness, and the overwhelming amount of glee upon returning to civilization, where they’ll typically say something like “Hell yeah! Hot showers and cheeseburgers, ya’ll! Screw the wilderness!”

Type 3: Will Stop At Nothing to Get the Perfect Shot

No. 3 is usually found at national parks here in the United States. Nothing will stop them from obtaining the perfect vacation photo. “This one’s gunna be a framer, honey,” they’ll say as they approach impending doom.

The impending doom comes in the form of bison, bears, elk, slippery waterfalls, huge drop-offs, and anything that can easily kill the normal tourist. But No. 3 is not normal, you see. They WILL get that shot!

No. 3 is incredibly flexible and will contort their bodies over and under all sorts of obstacles to frame their shot.

Watch out for No. 3. They’ll think you’re an overcautious idiot if you attempt to talk them out of letting their kids pose by the nice little buffalo or grizzly bear cubs. Remember, they will stop at nothing.

“A little to the left…could you maybe wake him up, too?”

Type 4: Dirtbag

We’ve talked about No. 4 in a previous post. They are fairly easy to identify, as they are the complete opposite of No. 1.

If No. 1 is clean and sparkly, No. 4 is grimy and smelly. Their origins are questionable at best, and their intentions are usually less than honorable. The most successful dirtbags drive/live in some variation of a VW bus.

Dirtbags are Mama Nature’s high fivin’ homies, or Mama Nature’s eternal house guest, depending upon your perspective.

Type 5: Hardcore Treehuggin’ Conservationist

You truly want to love No. 5. They have everything going for them: the environmental wisdom, the fight for what’s right, the patchouli oil, the Birkenstocks.

But after a day on the trail with No. 5, the last thing you’ll want to discuss is recycling or veganism or  how to turn trash into nifty craft projects for children.

No. 5 thinks you’re a moron. Everything you do outdoors leaves a negative impact, they’ll say. And maybe No. 5 is right. But can he/she just shut up for one second to let everyone else enjoy being outside? No? OK then. Preach on.

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13 comments

  1. Thanks for this handy identification guide Eric…and also for reminding me why I love to hike solo. I’ve encountered all of these folks…and number 5 has to be THE MOST annoying. At some point I just want to look over to him, wait for him to pause from his self-righteous monologue, and say….So, do you know what exactly would be the environmental impact of my tossing you from this cliff? None at all.

    😉

  2. You you are missing one type:

    6: The down-to-earth humble outdoorsman.

    The guy whose body isn’t sculpted like the type #1 guy from a big city, but can still climb a mountain before lunchtime. The guy who doesn’t care where he gets his clothing/gear, and will price shop like a smart person. Some of his clothing may be off-name stuff that he found on sale… it may also be years old. The guy who doesn’t have a high paying job in some city, only to partake in outdoor activities in the form of weekend warrior expeditions. The guy who doesn’t care about fitting the “image” of an outdoor person. He just genuinely appreciates being outdoors.

    #6 is the real outdoor person, and I would argue that most people are not #6.

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