Hikers tend to have a lot in common — a love for the outdoors, a respect for nature, and an ease that comes from going without some everyday luxuries for a few nights. There are other traits, let’s say more interesting traits, that are sure-fire signs you or someone you know is a hardcore hiker. 

  1. You keep a backpack in your trunk filled with a tent, sleeping bag, cooking tools, water bottle, change of clothes, and headlamp just in case.
  2. You can neatly and efficiently pack gear into a pack in less than ten minutes.
  3. Cashiers give you looks when you purchase $100 worth of Ziplocs, trash bags, and travel-size products.
  4. Your wardrobe consists of moisture-wicking trek shorts/pants, dry fit shirts, and merino wool socks.
  5. Many of your shirts have worn, or thin spots where your daypack rubs your side.
  6. Bandanas, scarves, and towels are one and the same in your eyes.
  7. You’re on a first-name basis with the employees at your local outdoor retailer.
  8. You can sleep comfortably anywhere other than in your own bed.
  9. Your knowledge of a given region consists of the best trails or nearby mountains to climb.
  10. Your Bucket List is filled with places without cell phone reception.
  11. You’d rather spend $300 on a tent than $50 on a hotel room.
  12. You prefer the smell of campfire on your clothes to perfume or cologne.
  13. Your thoughts when you pass a tree are “Toilet,” or “A bear bag would work on that.”
  14. You know the calorie count in a variety of foods off the top of your head.
  15. You think of objects only in terms of weight and cubic inches.
  16. You think wearing one pair of underwear for a week is normal.
  17. When you move to a new city, you have no clue where the post office is, but know where the nearest trails are.
  18. Any white T-shirt you own is now some shade of brown.
  19. You have multiple Nalgene water bottles in your home, in your car, or at work.
  20. When you get engaged, you register for gifts at REI.
  21. Your budget includes trail food, park memberships, and hiking gear, but not things like basic cable or “normal” groceries.

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