We are going over various types of hikers that we meet along the trail when out enjoying nature and today we are featuring the Free Range Hiker.
I think we have all been a Free Range Hiker at least once in our lives and if not perhaps we have dreamt of how freeing and wonderful it would be to roam a mountainside unattached to any trail and as far removed from civilization as we can get. A quick warning to the dreamer from those of us that have engaged in Free Range Hiking, it does SOUND very liberating and fanciful……typically not quite as glorious as the dream. Now this is not to be confused with Mountaineering which most times have destinations and general routes mapped out even if they aren’t technically trails. The Free Range Hiker is more avant garde about the route and determined they can figure out how to get back to the start using their instincts.
Now the Free Range Hiker isn’t often spotted, as they are not on the trail and in fact most likely actually lost somewhere randomly in the woods. Thankfully they will most likely have a Classic or Rugged Tarpestry with them as they at least understand there is a chance they “may” get lost and weather protection “might” be necessary. When you do come across a Free Range Hiker be prepared for everything opposite of the Birder Hiker. You will need to fully engage the Free Range Hiker as they are most likely thirsty, hungry, tired and a little bit scared and they will need to tell you their entire hike story so far, and need to know how to get back to the parking lot at the end of all of that! After you tell them how to get to the parking lot, say something like “well glad you’re alive” or “you’re doing great and so close to your car”. Often very confused when you find the Free Range Hiker it is best to proceed with caution but don’t be scared of them they just might need a little guidance…..and food…..and water…..etc.