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Top 5 traits and qualities every hiker needs

Updated: Apr 2, 2022

Are you looking at beginning your hiking journey? Well then this guide might just help you, it's no secret that hiking has certain skills you need if you want to give it a go. Not everyone needs to have the following skills or qualities when they first start out but it can create a good guide and list of skills to develop as you progress in your hiking journey.

1. Endurance

It's no secret that hiking is sometimes not easy and that's why having the endurance and stamina to finish what you set out to do is a very important trait to have. When you are out on the trail there is sometimes no chance to turn back so having the ability to keep moving forward and push through is important not only for you to have fun and reach the end but also so that you make it the whole way safely. If you don't think you have the stamina or endurance to make It the full way through an overnight hike then that's fine because it's not something you need to have from the very beginning, you can start by doing simple day hikes and building up your skills along with your endurance until you feel confident to take on a bigger challenge.

2. Flexibility

Flexibility doesn't mean that you need to be an amazing gymnast but means that you are able to adapt and change depending on the situation you find yourself in. Hiking is an activity of unknowns so having the ability to be flexible and change your plans is important, you may find yourself needing to take a different track or use some of your backup food and if you can be flexible this may make hiking in very unpredictable locations hard and living in tight spaces like tents very strenuous. Even if you don’t think that you are able to be totally flexible at the moment, it's fine because as you continue to grow as a hiker you will learn these skills and can eventually take on bigger hikes as you develop this attribute.

3. Tolerance

Sometimes things don’t go the way you want and that is never more true than in hiking, being able to tolerate the sometimes constant set of either setbacks or challenges requires lots of patience and tolerance to get through and that's why it's an important attribute for a hiker to have. Being able to keep you're cool when something goes wrong is so important because when you lose your cool it can put you and others in needless danger, if you don't think you have the tolerance then that's fine because different hikes have different challenges and many of those hikes take a lot less resilience than others. So when picking your first hike it is fine to choose something easy and with little chance to go wrong but always remember to try build your resilience so when you want to take on a bigger challenge you have the skills you need to do it.

4. Ingenuity

Hiking is an activity of challenge and that's why using ingenuity is so important, fixing things on the go is a common sight while you are out on the trail so having the skills set to think of solutions on the fly will help you greatly in fixing issues and problems that arise. Having the ability to think outside the box can defiantly come in handy while hiking because there are many situations in which you need to make do with what you have and requires you to show some ingenuity. If you’re not someone who would consider themselves to be too resourceful then that's fine because like all the things on this list it's not something you need to have from the very beginning and there is plenty of time to learn, if you think you show some ingenuity then this might help you make the most of your hiking journeys.

5. Appreciation

Though hiking poses many challenges there is also many chances to appreciate the area you are hiking in and the beautiful views you will encounter. Appreciating these moments of truly amazing views and natural landscapes is what hiking is all about and is what motivates most people to push themselves to the top. Being able to make the most of these times at the top of a vantage point or viewing platform that looks over a valley or mountain range can greatly change the experience you have and make the pain it takes to get there very worth it. If you are someone who doesn't really feel like they appreciate the top as much as you should then that's fine and it's not a problem but it is a great quality to have as a hiker.

So do you have all these traits or do you have none? It's important to remember that these qualities are not explicitly needed for hiking but if you possess them it will defiantly make it more enjoyable and easier to make the most of your next hiking adventure.

Written by Josh Welch


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