The hikers are persons who frequently take long walks along the trails through the forest or up the gentle slopes of mountains. Day hikers may hike empty-handed, with simple walking shoes. While longer hikes require hikers to carry backpacks with water, food, and possibly even some professional gear and camping supplies.

Types of Hikers

Here are the typical designations most of the hiking websites use to categorize the types of hikers.

Day hikers (day-hiker)

The term “day hiker” refers to anyone who spends time on trails and in the outdoors, but doesn’t go overnight. Day hikers are sometimes referred to as “lightweight hikers”. Although they may have a lighter pack than backcountry or thru-hikers, day hikers still need to be prepared for unexpected situations.

Overnight hikers, or overnighter

Overnight hikers are the most common type of backpacker. These individuals enjoy hiking for a couple of days and then spending the night in a hostel or a shelter. Because these trips can be quite expensive, it is not uncommon for overnight hikers to travel with other people. 

Weekend hikers (weekender)

The weekend hiker is the type of person that is most likely to go on a hike on a Saturday or Sunday. They are looking for an activity that is good for the body and mind. They are looking for something fun and adventurous, but still easy enough to do with the family. A day hike is a great option because it gives you all the benefits of hiking without requiring an overnight staying outside (which may be difficult if you have young children).

Multi-day distance backpacker

The multi-day distance backpacker is a traveler who goes on backpacking excursions that last more than a single day. Multi-day backpacking trips are usually longer, more intense, and often more expensive. They may cover several days of the week or require an entire weekend to complete, depending on the duration of the trip.

Backcountry hikers

A hiker who hikes in a remote area where there is no available means of transport. Backcountry hiking is a form of hiking that takes place in the wilderness or backcountry. It involves leaving civilization and all its trappings for a more natural environment, at least temporarily. In many cases, backpackers make use of trails suitable for day hikes or cross-country travel, but there are also routes that follow non-maintained paths.

Section hikers (takes part from long trails)

A section hiker is someone who takes part in long trails. A section hiker can be anyone, and the term refers to a person who hikes parts of long trails like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail rather than the whole trail. This type of hiking is becoming more common as people enjoy learning about new places, but don’t want to commit to an entire hike. Section hiker may choose a particular season, the reason for hiking (such as seeing fall foliage in New England).

Thru-hiker – Completing a long trail in one go

A thru-hiker is a hiker who attempts to hike the entire length of a long-distance trail in one season without any resupply or drops from either end.

Thru-hiking is a long-distance hiking trail that covers a geographical area, such as a region or state. In the United States, for example, there are about 150 trails totaling over 40,000 miles. The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the most popular thru-hikes in the country and spans from Mexico to Canada.