That Day Hiker Smell

You wake up before the sun bursts through the clouds. Your feet ache, your shoulders are a bit sore and there’s your filthy wet socks and shoes waving good morning. Yesterday was filled with miles of hiking, which you still find becoming today’s burden from the scratches and bites, bumps and bruises. Nevertheless, you’ll push on.

Packing up your condensation soaked gear and stuffing everything in your pack without a care in the world for the proper way to organize it, you set back out on the trail to see what type of adventure awaits on the new day’s journey. You start out by bushwhacking through what appears to be the remnants of an epic battle against Spider-Man, and you curse his webs as all 6,000 of them greet your still-groggy face.

After a few more hours of uphills, stream crossings, thorn bushes and tree roots, you hear something off in the distance along the trail. Better be quiet, you tell yourself. Could be a deer. Maybe it’s a mother with her young? Might even be a bear-sighting! Wait, it’s getting louder…

Voices. Two of them. They sound young and full of energy. There it is, penetrating your nostrils like a fast food joint on a Friday night. Only it doesn’t smell like grease and high cholesterol, it smells sweet. Sickeningly sweet, as if these people just stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch at a shopping mall.

Your own smell, unfortunately, is more like vinegar that has been sitting out in the sun too long. When you pass by the couple with fresh attire, small packs and clean shoes, you acknowledge each other and say hello. They smile widely, eyes beaming as they prance down the short loop. They’ll be back to the car in a few quick hours. You give your best smirk, because despite your love of backpacking, it’s hard work.

They’re day hikers, as your nose knows.

You’re hiker trash. And proud of it!


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